We need fear to survive, as a protective and necessary mechanism, but excessive anxiety and fear can interfere with our lives — Meuret

SMU, KERA, Think, Alicia Meuret, panic, anxiety, fear

KERA public radio 90.1 hosted SMU psychologist Alicia Meuret on Krys Boyd‘s “Think” program Oct. 6. Meuret, Boyd and Madhukar Trivedi, chair of the University of Texas-Southwestern’s Mental Health Department, discussed “How fear serves us and when it can lead us astray,” particularly in the wake of the much-discussed Ebola case in Dallas.

Meuret is director of the Anxiety and Depression Research Center at SMU and discussed the differences between fear and anxiety and when each is helpful and adaptive and when they are harmful and interfere with our lives.

The program, “The Psychology of Fear,” featured discussions on whether fear is contagious, alternatives to managing thoughts that fuel anxiety, and actual thrill-seeking behavior in which we seek out exciting experiences.

Meuret is an associate professor in the Clinical Psychology Division at the SMU Department of Psychology. Meuret received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Hamburg based on her doctoral work conducted at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University and the Affective Neuroscience Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.

Her research program focuses on novel treatment approaches for anxiety and mood disorders, biomarkers in anxiety disorders and chronic disease, fear extinction mechanisms of exposure therapy, and mediators and moderators in individuals with affective dysregulations, including non-suicidal self-injury.

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