They say change always starts in California (the birthplace of NAMI). The NAMI Westside LA agenda for its annual conference (April 22, 2012) includes Robert Whitaker (author, Anatomy of an Epidemic), Dr. Daniel Dorman (author, Dante’s Cure), Catherine Penny and Dr. Michael Livittan.
Workshop 1 – Robert Whitaker
Evidence-Based Solutions that Promote Robust Recovery: Open Dialogue Therapy in Finland, Exercise for Depression, and Other Promising Therapies
In western Lapland in Finland, only a small percentage of first-episode psychiatric patients are treated with antipsychotics, with the focus instead on psychosocial care. The long-term outcomes for these patients are now the best in the Western World. Why does this approach work so well, and could it be adopted here? Meanwhile, in Britain, depressed patients can obtain a prescription for exercise, which has been shown to produce a much better long-term stay-well rate than antidepressants.
Here in the United States, there is a non-profit group that has formed, called the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, that is seeking to promote such evidence-based therapies that best promote robust recovery.Worshop 4 – Daniel Dorman, Catherine Penny
This workshop will explore therapeutic approaches that have proven to produce good long-term outcomes, and detail the efforts of the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care to promote such evidence-based therapies here.
PSYCHOTHERAPY OF SCHIZOPHRENIA RESULTING IN FULL RECOVERY. Dr. Dorman and his former patient, Catherine Penney, will discuss “What worked.”
Catherine Penny, age nineteen was admitted to UCLA Hospital suffering from catatonic schizophrenia. Daniel Dorman, M.D., then a resident-in-training, was interested in treating those suffering from schizophrenia psychotherapeutically, without medication, hoping that a human connection oriented towards understanding his patients’ struggles might be curative. Ms. Penney and Dr. Dorman will discuss how their relationship served to help Ms. Penney establish a sense of self, thus relieving her of her terrors and poor self-esteem which allowed her to resume her life, free of the hallucinations and mental shut-down that characterized her years of suffering from schizophrenia. Dr. Dorman and Ms. Penney will also discuss how the current medical model of mental illness needs to be expanded to include a person’s meanings and efforts toward individuation and self-sufficiency.
Workshop 10- Dr. Michael Livittan
HEALING TRAUMA: THE MIND, THE BRAIN, AND THE FAMILY
This seminar provides an understanding of trauma and its effects on the individual mind, brain, and the family as a whole. The definition, impact, symptoms, and dynamics of trauma are explored in simple yet in-depth terms. Mental and emotional processes, as well as new research on the brain, are explained to highlight the consequences of trauma. In addition, the impact on the family is examined in order to better understand post-traumatic behaviors. Methods and practical tools are provided to facilitate coping, healing, and moving forward with compassion, vitality, and wisdom.
A complete list of Robert Whitaker’s upcoming speaking engagements is found on the Mad in America site.