As the director of the UC Davis’ Faculty and Staff Counseling Center for 9 years, Beth taught meditation to 3000 faculty and staff. Her new post at UC Davis’ Occupational Health Services includes assisting in building a Health and Wellbeing program for the UC Davis campuses. During the lunch hour, close to 200 individuals arrive at the beautiful Mondavi Performing Arts Center for the hour-long meditation class. Beth commented, “It is fantastic to have so many people in one room walking in place…affirming…I am awake and ready!”
The first 20 minutes are spent introducing new meditation research and concepts including the neuroscience and health benefits behind meditation. Discussions also include topics such as pain management, sleep, and building wellbeing and resilience. She facilitates the Superconscious Living Exercises as well as a couple of stretches before actually sitting down for meditation. The last 20 to 30 minutes she leads a still meditation.
“Many of us know that meditating in large groups is quite a powerful experience. Beginners report that they had much deeper experiences meditating with the group than when they are alone,” Beth stated. She teaches both beginners and more advanced meditators together in an effort to enhance the beginners’ practice.
Along with teaching meditation, Beth is a clinical and organizational psychologist with postgraduate studies in the neurosciences.
She is also a trauma consultant and violence prevention expert. Beth speaks nationally about the neuroscience of trauma and healing after critical incidents such as school shootings, terrorist attacks, social service cases tragedies, and secondary trauma for first and second responders. She recently finished a year working with leadership at UC Santa Barbara after the Isla Vista Tragedy.
Beth added that most of her speaking engagements and trainings include teaching participants about the science and practice of meditation. She stated, “Research has shown that meditation is an essential ingredient in the healing and restoring life balance after experiencing a trauma.
Beth A. Cohen, Ph.D.
Center for Human Services