Jennifer Gans, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in the psychological impact of deafness and hearing on well-being. She is on the Board of Directors of the Tinnitus Practitioners Association (TPA), a non-profit professional organization dedicated to providing tinnitus and sound sensitivity care.
In her private practice in San Francisco, CA, Dr. Gans treats clients with tinnitus, hyperacusis, misophonia, and other hearing-related difficulties. She recently completed research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the Department of Otolaryngology's Audiology Clinic on Mindfulness-Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction (MBTSR), with promising results. An experienced MBTSR teacher, she runs mindfulness workshops through UCSF and the Northern California Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Dr. Gans was first introduced to meditation and yoga after a very serious accident in 1996. She was jogging and was struck by a pick-up truck. Her injuries were serious and included a broken neck, hip, knees, tibia, and she was in a coma for five-days. It was during the long recovery period that she was first introduced to meditation as a means of "healing." While her personal meditation practice began as a way to manage the severe physical pain she was under, she became fascinated with how other areas of her life began to change as she kept up her practice. While Dr. Gans does not have tinnitus herself, her mindfulness practice combined with her years of experience working with hearing related issues in her work as a psychologist and teacher is what has led to her research and development of the Mindfulness Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction (MBTSR) online course.
Years ago, patients started coming to Dr. Gans who were frustrated with persistent tinnitus that was unresponsive to traditional treatments. She introduced her patients to mindfulness as a novel way to manage tinnitus after learning about the work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and his success with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a program he developed in 1979 for managing chronic pain and other illness. She went on to receive her MBSR professional training from Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Dr. Saki Santorelli of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center as a participant in the "Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine" training program. She went on to receive advanced teacher training and supervision and has been teaching mindfulness practices to individuals and groups of students since.
In 2009, Dr. Gans designed the MBTSR program to teach mindfulness meditation skills to people with chronic tinnitus, helping participants cultivate new ways to relate to the experience of tinnitus and stress in their daily lives.
The foundation of Dr. Gans' practice has continued to develop through participation in silent retreats and is maintained by sitting daily and actively participating in a mindful community. She has been a speaker at various conferences around the world and continues to research and publish her findings in peer-reviewed journals. By creating the MindfulTinnitusRelief.com Online Course, she hopes to bring tinnitus relief to millions of people around the world.