Brené Brown

Photo of ()\

Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work who has spent the past 10 years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. She is a nationally renowned speaker and has won numerous teaching awards, including the college's Outstanding Faculty Award. Her groundbreaking work has been featured on PBS, NPR, and CNN. Her 2010 TEDxHouston talk on the power of vulnerability is one of most watched talks on TED.com. Her most recent TED talk, "Listening to Shame," was released in March 2012.

Brené is the author of The Gifts of Imperfection and I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't). 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 wholeheartedness in families, schools, and organizations. She lives in Houston with her husband and their two young children.

Author photo © Danny Clarc

Listen to Tami Simon's in-depth audio podcast interview with Brené:
The Courage to be Vulnerable »

Also By Author

The Courage to be Vulnerable

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston’s graduate college of social work who has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. Brené is the author of the number-one New York Times bestseller Daring Greatly, and with Sounds True she has created the audio learning course The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, and Courage. In this episode, Tami Simon speaks with Brené about the cultural myth that equates vulnerability with weakness instead of recognizing it as the greatest measure of our courage. They also examine Brené’s research into the qualities that allow someone to live in a wholehearted way. (66 minutes)

The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting – with Brené B...

We all know that perfect parenting does not exist, yet we still struggle with the social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. These messages are powerful and we end up spending precious time and energy managing perception and the carefully edited versions of the families we show to the world.

On The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting: Raising Children with Courage, Compassion, and Connection, Dr. Brené Brown invites us on a journey to transform the lives of parents and children alike. Drawing on her 12 years of research on vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame, she presents 10 guideposts to creating what she describes as “wholehearted” families where each of us can continually learn and grow as we reach our full potential. 

Brené Brown on Embracing Vulnerability

“You cannot access empathy if you’re not willing to be vulnerable.” What a rich and evocative statement from our friend and Sounds True author Brené Brown. There is such a deeply-rooted pull to move toward those emotional-states that we identify as “positive” or “light” or “spiritual” – along with a counter move away from those “darker” or challenging and exposing emotions such as vulnerability, sadness, and grief. But, as Brené reminds us, vulnerability is the ground of all of the so-called positive emotional states, including those of love, joy, and belonging.

When we can allow ourselves to be naked, exposed, to be profoundly touched by whatever appears, we can meet this life – and the sweet, beautiful heart of another – in the most precious way. It is in this turning into the immediacy of our experience, in a truly embodied way, that we come to discover the many fruits of this sacred world. There are times, of course, when doing so is not easy, when it takes everything we have (and more), and feels completely counter-instinctual. But somehow, by some mysterious grace, we learn to stay with what is there, knowing that it has something very precious to show us about ourselves, and about the true nature of love. 

If you are interested in learning more about Brené’s teachings and research in the areas of vulnerability, shame, and worthiness, you may enjoy her original audio programs with Sounds True:

The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting: Raising Children with Courage, Compassion, and Connection

Men, Women, and Worthiness: The Experience of Shame and the Power of Being Enough

The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, and Courage

Enjoy the following video from Brené on the gifts of embracing vulnerability.

You Might Also Enjoy

Mary Firestone: Trusting the Dawn: Choosing Freedom an...

In 2018, Mary Firestone survived the tragic Montecito mudslide caused by 200 million gallons of rainfall in 15 minutes, washing away her home and more than a hundred others. In the wake of this experience, Mary began a healing journey that led to the creation of her new book, Trusting the Dawn: Choosing Freedom and Joy After Trauma. In this podcast, Sounds True’s founder, Tami Simon, speaks with Mary about her personal story and the lessons she offers in the book, including how we share the narratives of our past traumas; the difference between being victimized and remaining in victimhood; reframing our experiences versus spiritual bypassing; the importance of integration for the healing of trauma; MDMA, ketamine, and holotropic breathwork therapies; the “personal I” and the “depersonalized I”; initiation experiences; overcoming fear around speaking your truth; hypnosis and past-life regression as a pathway to wholeness; meditation, EMDR, flower essences, and other widely accessible alternative healing modalities; the power of choice; and more.

The Surprising Power of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniq...

In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Dawson Church about Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and the technique known as “tapping”—and its amazing efficacy in trauma healing and post-traumatic growth. Tune in to this hope-giving, possibility-expanding conversation that explores bringing energy therapies into mainstream primary care, the proven effects of tapping acupuncture meridians to calm limbic activity, the history of tapping and the steps involved in practice, the importance of self-acceptance, avoiding retraumatization through memory reconsolidation and emotional extinction, the impacts that tapping has on our brain waves and sleep patterns, resilience and post-traumatic growth, meditation practice and the experience of “bliss brain,” the power of compassion, and much more.

Decoding Your Emotional Blueprint

Judy Wilkins-Smith is a highly regarded organizational, individual, and family patterns expert. A systemic executive coach, trainer, facilitator, thought partner, and leadership conference and motivational speaker, she has 18 years of expertise in assisting high-performance individuals, Fortune 500 executives, and legacy families to end limiting cycles and reframe challenges into lasting breakthroughs and peak performance. She is the author of the book Decoding Your Emotional Blueprint: A Powerful Guide to Transformation Through Disentangling Multigenerational Patterns.

In this inspiring podcast, Sounds True’s founder, Tami Simon, speaks with Judy about the deep work of transforming our ancestral patterns on the path of personal evolution. They discuss Bert Hellinger and the creation of constellations and systems-based work; engaging in a multisensorial experience of your system; reengineering what we’ve inherited as truth; illuminating our “unconscious loyalties”; how we can take a “quantum leap” that serves the entire system; how every system has its clear rules—both spoken and unspoken; Judy’s teaching on “building the weight” and doing the things you never thought possible; a constellation exercise for feeling a greater sense of belonging in our families; epigenetics and the imprinting of generational behavioral patterns; what neuroscience tells us about rewiring our thoughts, feelings, and actions; laying down a triumphant path instead of a traumatic path; decoding our emotional blueprint when we have a health challenge; and more.

>