DEBORAH NORRIS, PH.D.
Dr. Norris is the Founder and President of The Mindfulness Center. She is a health scientist and pioneer in the field of Mindfulness with over 40 years of experience in education, research and programming. Also an innovative businesswoman, Dr. Norris leads a team of over 100 therapists, health care providers, faculty members, researchers, business and development personnel, board members and volunteers toward a new healthcare paradigm. The community health programs led by Dr. Norris and conducted in collaboration between The Mindfulness Center and area hospitals, government agencies, schools and other non-profits, represent the forefront of integrative healthcare, empowering community members to live healthier, more mindful and fulfilling lives.
Professor Norris is also the Founder and Director of the Psychobiology of Healing program and Psychologist-in-Residence in the Department of Psychology at American University. Dr. Norris teaches and conducts research in behavioral medicine, and other complementary and integrative approaches to well-being. Trained extensively in mind-body therapies, ranging from traditional medical and psychotherapeutic practices to holistic and integrative therapies and lifestyle practices, Dr. Norris brings meditation and other lifestyle wellness programs to the forefront of your health plan. Dr. Norris was previously on the faculty in the Psychiatry Department at Georgetown University Medical School, and taught research principles in psychopharmacology to the Medical residents at the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center.
Dr. Norris worked for 15 years as a health scientist specializing in neurotoxicology and environmental illnesses at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, where she authored USEPA Neurotoxicity Testing Guidelines, and was the U.S. lead scientist for the European OECD Neurotoxicity Testing Guidelines. She also co-authored the USEPA and the OECD Developmental Neurotoxicity Testing Guidelines and numerous regulations and Test Rules.
Dr. Norris has studied a number of mind-body-spirit modalities. She has intensive training through the Washington Center for Consciousness Studies in the theory and practice of Gestalt Psychotherapy and meditation. She has also trained with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Integrating her studies of mind and body, Dr. Norris is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and is certified in exercise physiology by the American College of Sports Medicine and other certifying organizations. She is an instructor for the Arthritis Foundation. And she is 200-hr ERYT with Yoga Alliance. In her quest for continuing education in healing modalities, Dr. Norris is also trained and certified in a number of forms of bioenergetic healing, including Reconnective Healing (TM) with Dr. Eric Pearl. Dr. Norris has over forty years of experience in health sciences, exercise and dance, receiving her first National Science Foundation Research Fellowship at NIH in 1974, and apprenticing with the New York City Ballet in 1976.
In her practice, Dr. Norris integrates lifestyle elements of meditation, physical exercise, spiritual development, relaxation therapy, energy work, imagery, nutrition and herbalism for maximal health and happiness! Working with you and your physicians, Dr. Norris and the team members of The Mindfulness Center can help you formulate an integrative approach to your health care.
Aurora Hutchinson, M.A. is a meditation instructor and wellness educator at The Mindfulness Center, in Bethesda, MD, where she teaches group classes, conducts corporate seminars and sees private clients seeking to learn meditation for stress management, improved health, career and family support.Aurora has a professional background in DOD and scientific program management, with an emphasis on research, policy interpretation, technical and scientific writing. She has a B.A. and M.A. in Psychology, specifically Psychopharmacology. In addition, Aurora is pursuing her passion for holistic wellness and mind-body practices by completing dissertation work for her Ph.D. in Psychology at American University, specializing in the Psychobiology of Healing. She has completed Meditation Teacher Training with Dr. Deborah Norris, Founder and Executive Director of The Mindfulness Center (TMC) and is currently enrolled in TMC’s Yoga Teacher Training program. Aurora has also received training in Clinical Hypnosis through the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH). Her passion as a scientist is not only in advancing the scientific knowledge of mind-body therapies, but also in promoting and practicing evidence-based, best practices of self-care in hospitals, wellness centers and corporate settings to empower and serve others.