Team Bios

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D.

Cassandra Vieten is Executive Director of the John W. Brick Foundation, Visiting Scholar in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences where she served as President from 2013-2019. She is a licensed clinical psychologist, a mind-body medicine researcher, and author of numerous articles in scientific journals and three books, and an internationally recognized workshop leader and keynote speaker.

Cassandra received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She completed her clinical training working in substance abuse treatment centers and low-fee mental health clinics in San Francisco, and research training in behavioral genetics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). At UCSF for 12 years, she led a team of researchers to study how alcoholism runs in families. At California Pacific Medical Center for eight years, she was co-director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group. At the Institute of Noetic Sciences she led a team of scientists conducting laboratory and field-based consciousness research. Later as CEO and President, she was responsible for the overall strategic direction of the organization, fundraising of more than $10 million, and advancing the mission and vision by working with the board, staff and members.

She has received multiple grants from federal, state and private foundation sources. Her research has focused on how spiritual and mind-body practices can improve mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being. Major projects have included the development of mindfulness-based interventions for increasing psychological well-being, and dealing with addictions and mood disorders. Projects also explored how engagement in spiritual practices and communities are associated with positive health outcomes.

She also conducts research on how introducing people to awe-inspiring ideas and environments can stretch the imagination or help them see things from a new perspective, leading to self-transcendence, shifts in worldview, new perspectives on life, and other prosocial emotions and behaviors. Her workshops and trainings focus on how cognitive, social and neuroscience, along with practices from the world’s wisdom traditions, can foster positive change in individuals and in our world. She is the author of Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child’s First Year, co-author of Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life, and co-author of Spiritual and Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice: Guidelines for Psychotherapists and Mental Health Professionals.

Cassandra is passionate about changing the way we treat mental health to ensure that care and prevention routinely includes fitness/movement, nutrition and mind-body approaches, along with clients’ spiritual and religious beliefs and practices, when relevant. She is thrilled to be working with the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation.