Yael Schonbrun

Psychologist & Assistant Professor
Brown University

Making Meaning When Life Stinks

Difficult experiences are an unavoidable part of the human experience. But though we can't avoid having rough experiences, we can choose how to respond. Research reveals that when we respond by finding purpose in what's painful or challenging, we can become resilient, grow skills, and even find deep satisfaction. This session will offer simply, on-the-ground tips to making meaning inside of daily difficulties ranging from illness to managing demanding roles. Join the conversation to learn the science-backed art of making meaning in difficult experiences.


Yael Schonbrun is a clinical psychologist, an assistant professor at Brown University, co-host of Psychologists Off the Clock: A podcast about the science and practice of living well, and mother. At Brown University, Yael conducts research on extending evidence-based treatment to underprivileged populations and studies how relationship problems interact with mental health and addictions. She has authored chapters in several books on mental health conditions and treatment, and has written over thirty scientific articles. In her private practice, writing, and podcasting, Yael uses evidence-based treatment to address the challenges of balancing work, parenting, and marriage. She draws upon treatments that integrate ancient Eastern philosophy with scientifically backed practices. Yael’s writing on the science and art of working parenthood has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Kveller, Lilith Magazine, The Wise Brain Bulletin, elephant journal, Psychology Today, and Motherly. You can find more of Yael’s work on her writing and podcast websites, or join her on Twitter or Instagram.

Session info

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