Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. 

Author | Speaker | Researcher | Yoga Teacher

The Short Story

I'm an author, speaker, researcher, and yoga teacher who helps people create a life they love. I received my Ph.D. in psychology in 2008 from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Most of my research and teaching focuses on positive psychology, which emphasizes the development of human strength and potential.

I've worked in the corporate world and in academia, and I've also spent several years as an entrepreneur. Most recently, I spent 2.5 years as a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where I studied the effects of yoga in school settings.

I currently live in Prague, where I'm teaching a positive psychology course and continuing to research yoga and mindfulness for youth.

The Long Story

I'm an author, speaker, researcher and yoga teacher who helps people create a life they love. I offer tools, techniques and resources that promote wellness on all levels: mind, body and spirit. I serve as a catalyst for positive change and a guide on your path toward living in authenticity.


Why?


In a nutshell, I spent the first 26 years of my life in a perpetual state of anxiety, stress and sadness. I had a rocky childhood. I suffered from anxiety and depression in my early 20s. I took antidepressants for 6 years. I've been through my fair share of dysfunctional relationships. And I've done time in a soul-sucking cubicle.


I worked myself to the bone and I achieved a lot, but I always had an underlying sense of unease. I struggled to find a sense of calm and peace, but this happiness always seemed to allude me.


After hitting rock bottom several times, I realized that I needed to make a change.


With a lot of hard work, courage and determination, I stopped living my life on other people's terms. I eventually got off antidepressants. I quit my corporate job. I started making my health and well-being my #1 priority. 


One step at a time, I'm creating my most authentic life. And I've made it my mission to help others do the same.


I truly believe that happiness is our birthright. We're all meant to live a life we love, but we forget. We get bogged down by daily tasks and "shoulds." We do what society tells us to do because we think this will make other people happy.


Many of us feel stressed, burnt out, apathetic and helpless. We feel like we can't do anything to change our situation. In fact, we're scared to change. So we keep going to the same energy-draining job every day, we stay in a dysfunctional relationship, we end up totally stressed, sad, and possibly on medication.


We search for the answers outside of ourselves when the truth is always within.


In my role as a change agent for authenticity, I encourage you to live life like you mean it. I help you bust through fears and limiting beliefs. I teach you how to be well on all levels, mental, physical and spiritual - one step at a time.


All of the products and services that I offer, from my writing, lectures and research projects to my yoga classes for anxiety and stress, are geared toward making the world a better place by nourishing and honoring our true self.


Today, I fill my days doing what I love: writing, speaking, research and yoga. Most recently, I spent 2.5 years as a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where I studied the effects of yoga in school settings in collaboration with the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health's Institute for Extraordinary Living. Right now I live in Prague, where I'm teaching a Positive Psychology course at the University of New York in Prague and continuing to research yoga and mindfulness for youth.

Is every day perfect? Far from it. But I'm exponentially happier than I used to be.


I'd love to serve as a guide on the path toward your most authentic life. Join my whole-self health revolution by signing up for my e-newsletter, following me on Facebook, and learning more about the tools and services that I offer.


In Case You Want To Know More...

I received my Ph.D. in psychology in 2008 from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. My early research focused on anxiety and depression, which was, as you might imagine, somewhat depressing! So, after spending several years studying psychopathology, I changed my focus to positive psychology, which emphasizes the development of human strength and potential. My dissertation research on the psychology of romantic relationships garnered the Martin E. P. Seligman Award for Outstanding Dissertation Research in Positive Psychology.


After receiving my Ph.D., I originally planned on becoming a psychology professor. But the ivory tower lifestyle just didn't feel right for me. I wanted my work to be consumed by and have an impact on the general public. So I turned down a fully-funded postdoctoral research position to take a job in the corporate world as a Research Analyst for a leading IT Research Firm.


After almost 2 years in the corporate world, I realized that the 9 to 5 cubicle life wasn't for me, either. So I made the bold (and scary!) decision to quit my job and launch my own business. I started out by writing my first book, The Antidepressant Antidote, which chronicles my personal struggles with anxiety, depression and a dependence on antidepressant medication. I also share how I finally managed to get off the medication for good.

More About My Book...

Most recently, I spent 2.5 years as a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where I studied the effects of yoga in school settings in collaboration with the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health's Institute for Extraordinary Living. Right now I live in Prague, where I'm teaching a Positive Psychology course at the University of New York in Prague and continuing to research yoga and mindfulness for youth.


I'm also a certified yoga teacher and I've completed over 200 hours of training in yoga postures, philosophy, breathing techniques, meditation, anatomy, and ayurveda. I've received life coaching training from the Coaches Training Institute (CTI), and I have my first degree Reiki certification.


In addition to my book, I've published professional papers in several leading psychological journals, including Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and Personal Relationships. I've also won numerous national and international awards for my achievements.


To book me for a speaking engagement or media interview, please visit my Speaking Requests page.

Education, Training & Academic Roles

Lecturer (2016-Present)

University of New York in Prague

Course: Positive Psychology


Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2013-2015)
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard Medical School


Ph.D., Social Psychology (2008)
The University of Western Ontario.


M.A., Clinical Psychology (2004)
The University of Western Ontario.


B.A. Honors Psychology (2002)
The University of Guelph.


Certified Yoga Teacher (2008)
The Lotus Centre, London, Ontario


First Degree Reiki Certification (2009). With Tara Thomas, London, Ontario.


Fundamentals of Co-Active Coaching (2010). The Coaches Training Institute (CTI), Toronto, Ontario.


Introduction to Nonfiction Writing (2010). Continuing Studies at Western, London, Ontario.


Intermediate Nonfiction Writing (2010). Continuing Studies at Western, London, Ontario.


Introduction to Fiction Writing  (2011). Continuing Studies at Western, London, Ontario.

Awards

European Mind & Life Contemplative Science Summer Research Institute (2015; Selected Attendee).

 

International Association of Yoga Therapists Research Abstract Award for Excellence and Innovation in Yoga Research (2014).

 

International Symposium for Contemplative Studies Student Scholarship (2014).

 

U.S. Mind & Life Contemplative Science Summer Research Institute (2014; Selected Attendee).

Nominated for the Centre For Addiction & Mental Health Transforming Lives Award (2012). 

Nominated for the Canadian Mental Health Association's Champion of Mental Health Award (2011).

The Martin E. P. Seligman Award for Outstanding Dissertation Research in Positive Psychology (2008).

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship (2008-2010).

Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conference Travel Award (2007).

Doctoral Canadian Graduate Scholarship (CGS) (2004-2007).

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2004-2005).

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2003-2004).

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2002-2003).

President’s Scholarship for Graduate Studies, University of Western Ontario (2002-2003).

Certificate of Academic Excellence, Canadian Psychological Association (2002) – Honors Thesis.

Psychology Honors Award, University of Guelph (2002).

President’s Scholarship, University of Guelph (2001).

Psychology Core Award, University of Guelph (2001).

President’s Scholarship, University of Guelph (2000).

Board of Governor’s Award, University of Guelph (1998-2002).

University Merit Award, University of Guelph (1998).

Publications

  • Butzer, B., LoRusso, A.M., Windsor, R., Riley, F., Frame, K., Khalsa, S.B.S., & Conboy, L. (2017). A qualitative examination of yoga for middle school adolescents. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 10, 195-219. doi: 10.1080/1754730X.2017.1325328

  • Butzer, B., LoRusso, A., Shin, S. H., & Khalsa, S. B .S. (2017). Evaluation of yoga for preventing adolescent substance use risk factors in a middle school setting: A preliminary group-randomized controlled trial. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46, 603-632.

  • Khalsa, S.B.S. & Butzer, B. (2016). Yoga in school settings: A research review. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13025

     

  • Forchuk, C., Montgomery, P., Rudnick, A., Lahey, P., Cohen, B., Schofield, R., Perry, S. E., Coatsworth-Pupoky, R., Edwards, B., Butzer, B., & Meier, A. (2016). Poverty trajectories experienced by persons with mental illness. Journal of Poverty. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10875549.2016.1186772

  • Butzer, B., Ahmed, K., & Khalsa, S. B. S. (2016). Yoga enhances positive psychological states in young adult musicians. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 41, 191-202.

  • Butzer, B., Bury, D., Telles, S., & Khalsa, S. B. S. (2016). Implementing yoga within the school curriculum: A scientific rationale for improving social-emotional learning & positive student outcomes. Journal of Children’s Services, 11, 3-24.

  • Butzer, B., Ebert, M., Telles, S., & Khalsa, S. B. S. (2015). School-based yoga programs in the United States: A survey. Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, 29, 18-26.

  • Butzer, B., van Over, M., Noggle, J. J., & Khalsa, S. B. S. (2015). Yoga may mitigate decreases in high school grades. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Article ID 25981.

  • Butzer, B., Day, D., Potts, A., Ryan, C., Coulombe, S., Davies, B., Weidknecht, K., Ebert, M., Flynn, L., & Khalsa, S. B. S. (2015). Effects of a classroom-based yoga intervention on cortisol and behavior in second- and third-grade students: A pilot study. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 20, 41-49.

  • Felver, J. C., Butzer, B., Olson, K., Smith, I., & Khalsa, S. B. S. (2015). Effects of a school-based yoga curriculum on mood state. Contemporary School Psychology, 19, 184-192.

  • Khalsa, S. B. S., Butzer, B., Shorter, S. M., Reinhardt, K., & Cope, S. (2013). Yoga reduces performance anxiety in adolescent musicians. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 19, 34-45.

  • Butzer, B. (2012, Fall). Yoga as an alternative to antidepressants: Modern science meets ancient wisdom. Integral Yoga Magazine, 30-31.

  • Butzer, B. (2010). The Antidepressant Antidote: Five Steps to Get Off Antidepressants Safely and Effectively. Balboa Press.

  • Campbell, L., Butzer, B., & Wong, J. (2008). The importance of the organization of partner knowledge in understanding perceptions of relationship quality and conflict resolution behavior in married couples. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 723-740.

  • Butzer, B., & Kuiper, N. A. (2008). Humor use in romantic relationships: The effects of relationship satisfaction and pleasant versus conflict situations. The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 142, 245-260.

  • Butzer, B., & Campbell, L. (2008). Adult attachment, sexual satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction: A study of married couples. Personal Relationships, 15, 141-154.

  • Butzer, B., & Kuiper, N. A. (2006). Relationships between the frequency of social comparisons and self-concept clarity, intolerance of uncertainty, anxiety, and depression. Personality and Individual Differences, 41, 167-176.

  • Winston, A. S., Butzer, B., & Ferris, M. D. (2004). Constructing difference: Heredity, intelligence and race in textbooks, 1930-1970. In A. S. Winston (Ed.), Defining difference: race and racism in the history of psychology (p. 199-229). Washington: American Psychological Association.

  • Butzer, B., & Konstantareas, M. (2003). Depression, temperament and their relationship to other characteristics in children with Asperger's Disorder. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 10, 67-72.