Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor and writer at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, and authenticity.
Brené spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and fear, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness. She poses the questions:
How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?
Brené has won numerous teaching awards, including the College’s Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2008, she was named Behavioral Health Scholar-in-Residence at the Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston. Brené’s work has been featured on PBS and the Oprah and Friends Radio Network, and her articles have appeared in Self magazine, Elle magazine, and many national newspapers. She is also a frequent guest on radio shows across the US. Most recently, Houston Women Magazine named her one of “The 50 Most Influential Women of 2009.”
Brené is the author of I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power (Gotham, 2007) and two forthcoming books, The Gifts of Imperfection: Letting Go of Who We Think We Should Be and Embracing Who We Are (Hazelden, 2010) and Wholehearted: Spiritual Adventures in Falling Apart, Growing Up, and Finding Joy (Hazelden, 2011). She is also the author of Connections, a psychoeducational shame resilience curriculum that is being facilitated across the nation by mental health and addiction professionals.
Brené’s current research focuses on authentic leadership and wholeheartedness in families, schools, and organizations.
Brené lives in Houston with her husband, Steve, and their two young children, Ellen and Charlie.