Emotional Brain Training (EBT) at UVA

Stress has a powerful influence on our eating and physical activity, as well as our overall vibrancy and zest for life. We offer EBT, a comprehensive program for managing stress and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

EBT is based on 4 neuroscience concepts:  1) It’s not us. It’s our wiring; 2) Wiring triggers brain states; 3) Brain states of stress become persistent, triggering stress-fueled tendencies to overeat, and 4) We can change our wiring.

  • A Systematic approach to changing neural networks that favor balance and joy vs the effects of stress
  • Interrupts chronic stress response so helps reduce depression and anxiety, and provides the skills to improve physical health issues/disease, reducing weight/eating, spending, and other pursuits humans engage in when under stress
  • Provides a framework for working with all three parts of neural/brain circuitry: the initial impulse or emotion (1), thoughts, (2) and behavior (3).

What is the best way to start?

Step 1: Attending an orientation is a good way to begin. We offer a monthly in-person orientation at the University of Virginia.  Advance registration is required. Our UVA orientation is $20 for a 1.25 hour introductory session. You can reserve your spot by calling 434 243-4749. You can also learn more about the research, the courses and the methods at www.ebt.org.

During orientation you’ll learn 1-2 of the skills from the 6 week series. We’ll also share a brief history of the method, information about how to build a joy circuit, usual pattern of a stress circuit, and ways to interrupt and redirect the stress circuit. This group experience will give you the opportunity to decide if this training is right for you, if now is the time and whether you’d prefer to do the training in group or individually.

Step 2: Decide if it is right for you and enroll in an EBT basics class. Contact us at 434 243-7313 (Cynthia Moore MS, RD, CDE)  or RF7R@virginia.edu (Robert Fitzgerald) for class availability and enrollment.

EBT Basics Wired for Joy - $234 tuition includes 6 class sessions. This short course meets for one and one-half hours for 6 weeks, and during that time participants learn the basics of how to process stress back to a state of balance and well-being. Preventive nutrition and activity for brain fitness are targeted also. This popular short course gives participants a strong basic training in EBT. The workbook fee is $44.

Intermediate or Advanced EBT - After completing one of the introductory courses, some people want to continue with the progam to make those changes more lasting, and to acquire more of the EBT Tools. There are 6 progressive courses (EBT Kits) designed to increase states of reward, reach freedom from excesses and decrease chronic stress.

What if I prefer to learn EBT in an individual setting rather than with a group?
You can use the method through self-study however the emotional brain is the social brain. It changes most easily and quickly in community with an EBT Coach.  Also, telegroups and telecoaching are available through the EBT Institute. 

What payment methods are accepted?

We currently accept cash, check and credit/debit card. Partial payments are also available.

How does EBT compare to MBSR- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction also offered at UVA?
Both are wonderful training opportunities. Many of the people who come for the full EBT training have enjoyed and completed the MBSR –mindfulness training earlier in their lives through UVA. The EBT check in and a mindfulness check in both invite present moment awareness. Both methods build skills of stress resilience and of interrupting the automatic stress cascade. MBSR is generally an 8 week training. EBT starts with a 5-7 week training and has additional skill building group training options or individual EBT kits. EBT is a public health method to work with the feeling/emotional and thinking brain for weight reduction, stress resilience, etc. Research on mindfulness is more extensive than research on EBT.

For more information on EBT www.ebt.org

For more information on MBSR at UVA

Additional reading and resources:
Mellin, Laurel. 2010. Wired for Joy, Hay House.

Becoming an EBT provider – mental health professionals, registered dietitians and physicians have a good background for learning and sharing the EBT specific skills. More information on the website www.ebt.org regarding the path of training and credentialing.

Please also feel free to call or contact Cynthia Moore MS, RD, CDE at 434 243-7313  or clp6g@virginia.edu or Robert Fitzgerald 434 243-4749 or rf7r@virginia.edu  if you would like more information or to discuss what may be right for you.