Meet Our New BCRC Board Member, Christiane Brems, PhD – Breast Cancer Resource Center Blog

Meet Our New BCRC Board Member, Christiane Brems, PhD

It is our pleasure to welcome Christiane (Chris) Brems, PhD as a new Board Member of the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara (BCRC)

Christiane Brems, PhD

It is our pleasure to welcome Christiane (Chris) Brems, PhD as a new Board Member of the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara (BCRC). We are grateful for the support of compassionate individuals like Dr. Brems and our entire board for their dedication to the mission of the BCRC. Dr. Brems is a psychologist, yoga therapist, and breast cancer survivor, bringing a wealth of professional and personal expertise to the BCRC Board.

Silvana Kelly: Why were you moved to join the BCRC Board.

Chris Brems: I am very impressed with the wholistic and integrated mission of the BCRC and would be honored to be able to contribute to such a forward-thinking organization. I am deeply interested in the health and wellbeing of individuals with breast cancer, as well as their communities and families. BCRC’s outreach to and support of such individuals is commendable and much-needed.

Silvana Kelly: What are some of your personal goals in your new role as BCRC Board member?

Chris Brems: As a psychologist, yoga therapist, and breast cancer survivor, I believe I can bring personal experience as well as professional expertise to the Board.  Most immediately, I am interested in bringing therapeutic yoga services to the individuals served by the BCRC.  Yoga is an amazingly accessible and person-centered practice that supports body, mind, spirit, relationships, and communities.  Sharing with individuals in the midst of great challenge can become a refuge and a great help in adapting to new realities and in coping successfully and with resilience.  It would be an honor to share the wholesomeness and joy of yoga with survivors and their families.  

Silvana Kelly: When we serve, we look outside of ourselves, beyond our own problems, and seek to bring value to others. What is your personal philosophy of being of service to your community?

Chris Brems: Being of service is an important aspect of any human life and certainly has been a great reward in mine.  All of us have important wisdoms to share with one another.  In fact, it is our greatest honor and privilege to support others with compassion, kindness, and equanimity – finding joy in their joy and wellbeing.  When we give freely and with an open heart, we can make a difference at ever increasing circles of impact. 

Silvana Kelly: What are some of your favorite things about living in Santa Barbara?

Chris Brems: Both the ocean and the mountains are a wonderful refuge and inspiring natural environment.  They bring peace, nourish the soul, and bring wellness.  Santa Barbara has both of these amazing resources and – not surprisingly – a very kind and nurturing community.    

Silvana Kelly: Is there anything you would like to tell us that most people do not know about you? 

Chris Brems: I was only 37 years old when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Receiving my diagnosis was a great shock and challenge in my life that turned into an amazing opportunity to discover my own strength, the love and support of my community, and the importance to allow others to help us when we are in distress. 


Christiane Brems, PhD, ABPP, RYT-500, C-IAYT, received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Oklahoma State University in 1987. Dr. Brems is licensed as a psychologist and board-certified as a clinical psychologist by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). She is an experienced Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher (E-RYT500) and Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.  She is also a certified C-IAYT yoga therapist and Interactive Imagery Guide.   Dr. Brems directs YogaX, an innovative yoga school and special initiative in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.

Dr. Brems integrates yoga, mindfulness, integrative interventions, and self-care in her work as a psychologist, teacher, researcher, mentor, supervisor, consultant, author, administrator, and service provider. As an integrated holistic yoga teacher, she incorporates all eight limbs of yoga in her practice and teachings. She grounds her work in yoga psychology, based on ancient and modern texts, as well as in current research, especially in psychology, neuroscience, and interpersonal neurobiology. She honors trauma-sensitive teaching practices and cultural sensitivity, inclusivity, and humility. She encourages individual tailoring of yoga to contexts and needs of each practitioner, offering variations and adaptations that make yoga accessible to all. She values these practices as crucial aspects of her day-to-day professional and personal life and seeks to enhance access to these practices for all who can benefit. She integrates yoga, mindfulness, and other healthy living strategies (e.g., healthful nutrition, good sleep hygiene) in her own life and credits these practices with contributing to her 25-year recovery from cancer.


Carol Roe says:

It was very inspiring to read Chris Brems’ comments and philosophy. The BCRC is indeed extremely fortunate to have her join our Board!

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