Jeffrey M. Schwartz

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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).[1][2] He is a proponent of mind/body dualism and appeared in the 2008 film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, in which he told interviewer Ben Stein that science should not be separated from religion.[2][3][4][5]

Brain lock[edit]

Brain lock is a term coined by Schwartz to describe obsessive-compulsive behavior. His 1997 book Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior outlines the disorder and its treatment.[6][7] In the book Schwartz claims that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a result of a bio-chemical imbalance that "locks" brain functions into an obsessive-compulsive pattern and that OCD can be self-treated by following four steps:[8][9]

  1. Relabel the obsessive thoughts and compulsive urges as obsessions and compulsions, not as real thoughts.
  2. Reattribute the obsessive thoughts to a brain malfunction called OCD.
  3. Refocus on a wholesome, productive activity for at least fifteen minutes.
  4. Revalue the entire obsession and compulsion group as having no useful meaning in your life.



  • Jeffrey Schwartz and Beverly Beyette, Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior, New York: Regan Books, 1997. ISBN 0-06-098711-1.[10]
  • Jeffrey Schwartz and Sharon Begley, The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the power of mental force, New York: Regan Books, 2002. ISBN 0-06-039355-6.
  • Jeffrey Schwartz, You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life, New York: Avery, 2011. ISBN 1-58333-426-2.


  • Schwartz, J. M., Stapp, H. P., and Beauregard, M. (2004). The volitional influence of the mind on the brain, with special reference to emotional self-regulation, in Beauregard, M. (Ed.), Consciousness, emotional self-regulation, and the brain, Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins Publishing Company, chapter 7. ISBN 90-272-5187-8.
  • Schwartz, J. M., Stapp, H. P., and Beauregard, M. (2005). Quantum physics in neuroscience and psychology: A neurophysical model of mind-brain interaction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 360(1458):1309-27. Full paper
  • Schwartz, J. M., Gulliford, E. Z., Stier, J., and Thienemann, M. (2005). Mindful Awareness and Self-Directed Neuroplasticity: Integrating psychospiritual and biological approaches to mental health with a focus on obsessive compulsive disorder, in Mijares, S. G., and Khalsa, G. S. (Eds.), The Psychospiritual Clinician's Handbook: Alternative methods for understanding and treating mental disorders, Binghamton, NY: Haworth Reference Press, chapter 13. ISBN 0-7890-2324-5.


  1. ^ Malcolm, Lynne (2008-09-09). "Part 1 of 2: The Power of Plasticity". Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "4th Annual Discovery Society Insiders Briefing on Intelligent Design". Archived from the original on 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  3. ^ Gefter, Amanda (22 October 2008), "Creationists declare war over the brain", New Scientist, no. 2679, pp. 46–47
  4. ^ Beauregard, Mario (26 November 2008), "Non-materialist mind", New Scientist, no. 2684, p. 23
  5. ^ A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism
  6. ^ Austin, Michael (2011). Useful Fictions: Evolution, Anxiety, and the Origins of Literature. University of Nebraska Press. pp. 50–51. ISBN 9780803232976. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  7. ^ Chansky, Tamar E. (2001). Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Random House LLC. pp. 7, 28, 39, 181, 190. ISBN 0812931173. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  8. ^ Slaughter, Adele. "Shalhoub brings obsessive compulsive disorder to light". USA Today. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  9. ^ Olson, Tom (June 2003). "Buddhism, Behavior Change, and OCD". Journal of Holistic Nursing. 21 (2): 151–162. doi:10.1177/0898010103021002005. PMID 12794958. S2CID 45102527.
  10. ^ Volk, Steve. "Rewiring the Brain to Treat OCD". Discover Magazine. Retrieved 30 August 2014.

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