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The State of Our Art: We’re Older. Are We Better?
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Two of the most influential figures in our field reflect on the most important advances of the past four decades as well as the prospects for improving our therapeutic effectiveness in the future, with a special emphasis on the scientific and technical innovations. In this discussion, you’ll explore answers to the following questions:

  • What have been the biggest breakthroughs in treating the most common presenting issues, including trauma, anxiety, depression, couple’s issues, and family dysfunction?
  • How have advances in understanding the brain led to actual improvements in mental health treatment?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing our profession, and the most promising new developments on the horizon?
  • What role will technology play in enhancing therapeutic effectiveness in the years ahead?

Daniel Siegel, MD, Mind Your Brain LLC

Daniel J. Siegel, MD, is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding co-director of UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center, founding co-investigator at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain and Development, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions, and communities.

Dr. Siegel's psychotherapy practice spans thirty years, and he has published extensively for the professional audience. He serves as the Founding Editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology, which includes over 70 textbooks. Dr. Siegle's books include his five New York Times bestsellers: Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence; Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, and two books with Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline. His other books include: The Power of Showing Up also with Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, The Developing Mind, The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight, The Mindful Brain, The Mindful Therapist, Parenting from the Inside Out (with Mary Hartzell, MEd), The Yes Brain (also with Tina Payne Bryson, PhD). He has been invited to lecture for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, his Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, and TEDx.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Daniel J. Siegel is a clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the executive director of the Mindsight Institute. He is an author for W.W. Norton publishing and receives royalties. He is an author for Bantam publishing and receives royalties. He is an author for Guilford Press and receives royalties. He is an author for Tarcher/Penguin and receives royalties. He is an author for Random House and receives royalties. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Dr. Daniel J Siegel has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Bessel van der Kolk, MD, has spent his career studying how children and adults adapt to traumatic experiences, and has translated emerging findings from neuroscience and attachment research to develop and study a range of potentially effective treatments for traumatic stress in children and adults.

In 1984, he set up one of the first clinical/research centers in the US dedicated to study and treatment of traumatic stress in civilian populations, which has trained numerous researchers and clinicians specializing in the study and treatment of traumatic stress, and which has been continually funded to research the impact of traumatic stress and effective treatment interventions. He did the first studies on the effects of SSRIs on PTSD; was a member of the first neuroimaging team to investigate how trauma changes brain processes, and did the first research linking BPD and deliberate self-injury to trauma and neglect in early childhood.

Much of his research has focused on how trauma has a different impact at different stages of development, and that disruptions in care-giving systems have additional deleterious effects that need to be addressed for effective intervention. In order to promote a deeper understanding of the impact of childhood trauma and to foster the development and execution of effective treatment interventions, he initiated the process that led to the establishment of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a Congressionally mandated initiative that now funds approximately 150 centers specializing in developing effective treatment interventions, and implementing them in a wide array of settings, from juvenile detention centers to tribal agencies, nationwide.

He has focused on studying treatments that stabilize physiology, increase executive functioning and help traumatized individuals to feel fully alert to the present. This has included an NIMH funded study on EMDR and NCCAM funded study of yoga, and, in recent years, the study of neurofeedback to investigate whether attentional and perceptual systems (and the neural tracks responsible for them) can be altered by changing EEG patterns.

His efforts resulted in the establishment of Trauma Center, that consist of a well-trained clinical team specializing in the treatment of children and adults with histories of child maltreatment, that applies treatment models that are widely taught and implemented nationwide, a research lab that studies the effects of neurofeedback and MDMA on behavior, mood, and executive functioning, and numerous trainings nationwide to a variety of mental health professional, educators, parent groups, policy makers, and law enforcement personnel.

Dr. van der Kolk is the author of the NY Times best-selling book The Body Keeps The Score.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Bessel van der Kolk is a professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Bessel van der Kolk has no relevant nonfinancial relationship to disclose.


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