Jeffrey M. Schwartz

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Jeffrey M. Schwartz
EmployerUCLA School of Medicine
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For the American anthropologist, see Jeffrey H. Schwartz.
Jeffrey M. Schwartz
EmployerUCLA School of Medicine

Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. is an American psychiatrist and researcher in the field of neuroplasticity and its application to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).


Schwartz received a bachelors with honors in philosophy and then pursued a career in the medical sciences. He is currently an associate research professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine and a fellow with the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design. Schwartz is also the overseas ambassador/patron for the UK's national Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder charity, OCD-UK.

Schwartz is a researcher in the field of self-directed neuroplasticity. He is the author of almost 100 scientific publications in the fields of neuroscience and psychiatry, and several popular books.[1] His major research interest over the past two decades has been brain imaging/functional neuroanatomy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), with a focus on the pathological mechanisms and psychological treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

For his book The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force, Schwartz collaborated with Sharon Begley.

His book Brain Lock:Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior argues that OCD can be self-treated by following four steps. The first step is to Relabel the obsessive thoughts and compulsive urges as obsessions and compulsions, not as real thoughts. The second step is to Reattribute the obsessive thoughts to a brain malfunction called OCD. The third step is to Refocus on a wholesome, productive activity for at least fifteen minutes. The final step is to Revalue the entire obsession and compulsion group as having no useful meaning in your life. He argues that by following these four steps, the brain chemistry of an OCD sufferer can be changed.[2]

Intelligent Design[edit]

Schwartz has signed the Discovery Institute's A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism [3] and is a proponent of mind/body dualism.[1][4][5]

Schwartz appeared in the 2008 Film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, in which he told interviewer Ben Stein that science should not be separated from religion.

When we see an elite, and it is an elite, an elite that controls essentially all the research money in science saying there is no such thing as moral truth, [that] science will not be related to religion.

If you believe in God, and you believe that there's an intrinsic order in the universe, and you believe that it's the role of science to try to pursue and understand better that order, you will be ostracized.[6]

However, Schwartz's 1998 book A Return to Innocence plainly attributes the development of human cognitive neurology to biological evolution:

Because its wiring is quite similar to that of a chimpanzee (our closest nonhuman relative, who shares 98 percent of our genes), your human "vehicle" has goals, desires, and impulses of its own.





  1. ^ a b 4th Annual Discovery Society Insiders Briefing on Intelligent Design
  2. ^ Schwartz, Jeffrey. Brain Lock:Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior. Harper Perennial: New York, 1996
  3. ^ A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism
  4. ^ Gefter, Amanda (22 October 2008), "Creationists declare war over the brain", New Scientist (2679): 46–47 
  5. ^ Beauregard, Mario (26 November 2008), "Non-materialist mind", New Scientist (2684): 23 
  6. ^ Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008 film). Rocky Mountain Pictures. Directed by Nathan Frankowski.

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