Virtual Agenda

(All times listed are in PST and are subject to change.) 

December 8: Preconference Agenda

The conference has organized 5 full-day preconference sessions:

Neuroscience for Psychotherapists with Daniel Amen, MD

The end of mental illness will begin with a revolution in brain health. Unfortunately, most psychotherapists get limited information on how the brain works, even though it is the organ of loving, learning, behavior, and every decision made. Understanding the brain is critical to mental health clinical practice.

In this preconference workshop, Daniel Amen will give therapists a working knowledge of brain function and tools to optimize it, including how to coach their clients to better brain health.

When Mental Health Professionals Call Attorneys: A View From this Attorney’s Perspective with Steve Frankel, PhD, JD

For the past 20 years, Frankel has found there is a need for increased and open communication between attorneys and mental health professionals. His experience brings to light the types of issues and concerns that occur in the lives of mental health professionals.  That knowledge has led to the development of a 6-hour law/ethics program that addresses the major areas of concern to mental health professionals and the ways in which those concerns were addressed by an attorney who is also licensed as a Psychologist and a Marriage/Family Counselor in the state of California.

The program addresses changing areas of law, such as risk management, best practices, responses to threats, already-filed lawsuits and licensing board complaints. The program also addresses issues such as suicidality, internet problems, child abuse, end of life opportunities for people with terminal illnesses, gun violence, issues of concern regarding elder professionals in our fields of practice, the most frequent “crimes” committed by mental health professionals, gross negligence, and a host of others.

Biopsychopharmacology: What Psychotherapists Need to Know with Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH, and Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC

Many patients in psychotherapy practices are also taking various psychotropic medications including anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, anxiolytics, to name just a few. The psychotherapists of the 21st Century not only need to be masters at their own craft, but they also need a working knowledge of these various medications, their common side-effects, and how these medications can both help and hinder the psychotherapeutic process. 

This workshop will be led by a psychiatrist-psychotherapist team and will offer a primer on the most important neurotransmitters (such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine), and help the attendees learn about the benefits and side-effects of the most commonly used medications including weight gain and sexual dysfunction. Through case examples from their own practices, they will demonstrate how to create an ideal partnership between psychotherapists and psychiatrists, as well as psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. Focus will be on the importance of deprescribing, black box warnings, the use of scales of screeners, the partnership between medications and wellness interventions, and look at what the future holds. Use of handouts and resources will be emphasized throughout this workshop.

New Developments in the Treatment of PTSD and Co-Occurring Disorders: Ways to Bolster Resilience Across the Life-Span with Donald Meichenbaum, PhD

In the aftermath of victimizing and traumatic events, most individuals are impacted, but some 75% will go onto evidence resilience, and in some instances post-traumatic growth. This workshop will discuss the neurobiological and psycho-social factors that distinguish these two groups and consider the treatment implications. Following a discussion of the controversies and empirical status of various psychotherapeutic interventions, a Case Conceptualization Model that informs both assessment and treatment decision-making will be offered.

A Constructive Narrative “strengths-based” treatment approach will be presented using Video Case presentations of the latest developments addressing ways to treat individuals with Complex PTSD, Prolong and Complicated Grief, Guilt, Shame, Moral injuries, as well as a variety of integrated treatment procedures for PTSD and Anger, substance abuse disorders, and Borderline Personality Disorders.

How to bolster resilience in six domains (physical, interpersonal, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and spiritual) across the life-span from “high-risk” children and their families, victimized adolescents, and the elderly, will be discussed. How attendees can learn to spot HYPE in the field of psychotherapy will be presented. A “TO DO” list for attendees on ways they can immediately apply the Core Tasks of psychotherapy will be provided.

Fundamentals of Hypnosis with Michael Yapko, PhD

Building on the pragmatic foundation you have already developed as a psychotherapist, you can readily appreciate that suggestion is an inevitable part of any treatment modality. The study of clinical hypnosis encourages a deeper understanding of how you can broaden your range of skills in suggesting therapeutic possibilities. Immersion in the practice of clinical hypnosis fosters sensitivity to the unique and subjective aspects of human experience and offers ways to enlist these potentials as positive allies in treatment. In this respect, hypnosis may well be regarded as the original applied “Positive Psychology,” for anyone who practices hypnosis recognizes that people have many more resources than they realize. Hypnosis allows innate resources we all have to be far more accessible, greatly empowering individuals in the process.

This 1-day preconference introductory level workshop will provide a solid conceptual and practical framework for understanding the dynamic and fascinating field of hypnosis. The emphasis will be on starting to develop some of the core skills for designing and delivering hypnotically based interventions in ways that are consistent with your chosen style of practice. Thus, this workshop will include “hands-on” experiences as well as the opportunity to observe and deconstruct a recorded clinical hypnosis demonstration session.

People learn best through experience, and hypnosis is a vehicle of focused, experiential learning. Research on the effectiveness of hypnosis highlights the fact that hypnosis enhances
treatment outcomes. It is a domain of professional practice that encompasses effective and empowering approaches to psychotherapy (such as skill building, resource accessing and reframing) and behavioral medicine (such as pain management and promoting health and healing). What a privilege to work with people in this way!

Each day of the main conference provides a rich educational experience with multiple session types:

  • Keynotes from field masters
  • In-depth workshops
  • Great conversations
  • Clinical demonstrations 
  • Clinical demonstrations with discussants
  • Speeches
  • Speeches with discussants
  • Topical panels
  • Conversation hours

In addition, attendees can connect with colleagues and partners in the virtual exhibit hall.