Class Descriptions

 

Being With Those In Crisis

September 12th 2017
6:30pm-8:30pm
Cindy Peterson-Dana, LMHC, Ed Altwies, PsyD., and Jazmine Russell
See Faculty Bios

Putting oneself in the presence of a person experiencing a deep emotional crisis require equipoise, self-care, courage, and trust, regardless of degree or level of experience. When it comes to crisis experiences such as extreme highs and lows or hallucinations, there is often a great deal of suffering and confusion attendant. This seminar will explore these states as natural reactions to pain and psychological distress and give an overview of evidence-based methods to provide immediate support to those experiencing first episode psychosis and other altered states early on. Facilitators will draw on personal experience, intentional peer support(IPS), relational, dialogical and recovery-oriented practices to offer tools in both personal and clinical settings.

Topics include: 

1.     Dealing with crisis as a family member, peer, clinician – first-person accounts
2.     Being present & creating a safe space, working within context and preferred language
3.     Self-care & maintaining boundaries for supporter and person in crisis
4.     Being in relationship: Meeting each other's basic needs
5.     Engaging with extreme and unusual experiences & When to call for help
6.     Harm reduction, Peer support, and relational strategies

Agenda:

 6:30-7            Introductions and brief sharing of relevant experiences
7- 7:30            Being in relationship & creating safe space
7:30-8            Examples of relational interventions in clinical practice
8-8:30            Outlook for the future

Participants will be able to:

1. increase their awareness about first episode psychosis and other mental health crises
2. identify several tools for working with and building relationships with those in crisis
3. discuss basic principles of relational and dialogical methodologies
4. consider the relevance of these methods in crisis intervention
5. explore the potential of these methods for reducing hospitalization and police involvement

Additional Information:

$75 per class/ $50 reduced
2 CE hours offered per class for psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, counselors, MFTs, creative arts therapists. View CE requirements and information here.
Target Audience: All Levels

For questions and concerns regarding class cancellations and policies, please email: idha.nyc@gmail.com


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(De) Institutionalization, and Self-Determination

September 19th 2017
6:30-8:30pm
Issa Ibrahim and Sascha DuBrul, MSW
See Faculty Bios

Under the 21st Century Cares Act, mental health treatment has been steered in the direction of re-institutionalization, while many clinicians and mental health service users are coming to understand the importance of deinstitutionalizing ourselves and building communities and movements based on self-determination. We believe the people who have personally suffered from the effects of a dysfunctional system have an integral role to play, not only in changing how the system functions, but using their hard earned wisdom to evolve the nature of society itself.

In this class we create a space to share the ways we’ve collectively learned how to take care of ourselves and free our bodies, minds and souls. We will help students build and foster confidence, critical thinking, and interpersonal communication skills during challenging times. We will touch on the modern history of alternatives, coercion and ways it has been prevalent in traditional mental health treatment and beyond, and concrete ways people who have been diagnosed with mental illness have chosen, both individually and collectively, to foster self-determination. Through a mix of skill-sharing, collective brainstorming, creative story-telling, theater, art making, and breath/mindfulness practices, our class will be guided through a reflective process to develop greater personal wellness and collective transformation. Each participant will collaborate with the group to begin a personalized “Transformative Mutual Aid Practice”  (see “T-MAP”(https://tmapscommunity.net/) booklet - a personal “map” of wellness strategies, resilience practices and collective resources to use personally and in a variety of settings.

Topics include:

  • History of institutionalization and modern evidence-based alternatives
  • Blatant and subtle coercive practices: forced treatment, consent, etc.
  • Effects of institutionalization on people experiencing a serious emotional crisis
  • Movement towards community support and resiliency
  • How to foster self-determination in treatment and amongst community
  • Utilizing the TMAP booklets to reflect on personal and community support practices

Agenda:

 6:30-7               Introductions and brief sharing of relevant experiences
 7- 7:30               History of institutionalization and examples of alternatives
 7:30-8                Benefits and challenges of Personal and collective self-determination practices
 8-8:30               Group reflection through TMAPS booklet

Participants will be able to:

1. increase their awareness about the effects of institutionalization
2. identify examples of practices that support self-determination
3. discuss the challenges to self-determination both in and outside of treatment
4. utilize tools that support interpersonal communication skills within community settings
5. create and utilize the TMAPSguide for navigating challenging circumstances in a variety of settings

Additional Information:

$75 per class/ $50 reduced
2 CE hours offered per class for psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, counselors, MFTs, creative arts therapists. View CE requirements and information here.
Target Audience: All Levels

For questions and concerns regarding class cancellations and policies, please email: idha.nyc@gmail.com


Trauma

September 26th 2017
6:30pm-8:30pm
Jazmine Russell and Noel Hunter, PsyD.
See Faculty Bios

In traditional mental health systems, some experiences of trauma are normalized, such as feelings of grief after natural disasters or the death of a loved one, while other experiences of trauma remain stigmatized and pathologized. Although initially overlooked, the impacts of trauma on mental and emotional health have become further recognized in clinical treatment. From diagnosing PTSD in war veterans, to the language of “trauma-informed care” in private practice, trauma is an integral concept to supporting those who are suffering. To understand the role of extreme circumstances in emotional distress is vital in offering necessary care and avoiding retraumatization.

In this seminar, we will explore the roles of interpersonal, social, and political factors in trauma as well as the various ways in which trauma can manifest. We will discuss the body’s responses to trauma in the nervous system, and explain the latest research and statistics on the impact of traumatic experiences on mental health. We will then share tools for healing from trauma and supporting oneself and others.

Topics include:

1.     Addressing personal, interpersonal, institutional, and collective trauma
2.     Pathologization and retraumatization
3.     Effects of trauma on mental/emotional health
4.     History of"trauma-informed" care
5.     Post-traumatic growth and optimal responses to trauma
6.     Outlook for the future

Agenda:

6:30-7             Introductions and brief sharing of relevant experiences
7- 7:30            Types of trauma and historical understandings
7:30-8             Body responses to trauma and effects on mental health
8-8:30            Ways of healing from trauma

Participants will be able to:

1.     Identify physical, mental, and emotional reactions to trauma and extreme stress
2.     Discuss ways in which trauma is rooted in social, political, and interpersonal life circumstances
3.     Illustrate key moments in history wherein trauma was recognized in mental health care
4.     Utilize various tools for supporting trauma survivors in clinical settings
5.     Discuss ways in which people heal and make meaning though traumatic experiences. 

Additional Information:

$75 per class/ $50 reduced
2 CE hours offered per class for psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, counselors, MFTs, creative arts therapists. View CE requirements and information here.
Target Audience: All Levels

For questions and concerns regarding class cancellations and policies, please email: idha.nyc@gmail.com

 


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Models of Mental Difference

October 3rd 2017
6:30pm-8:30pm
Noel Hunter PsyD., and Brad Lewis MD, PhD.
See Faculty Bios

Prevalence studies, although controversial, find that psychiatric diagnoses can be applied to more than 26 percent of the population in a given year and almost half of the population (46.4 percent) is diagnosable within their lifetimes. Many psychiatrists and mental health workers understand these diagnoses through the biomedical model. “Broken brains,” “chemical imbalances,” and “disordered neuronal pathways” are the widely used metaphorical frames that link mental difference to our bodies, our brains, and our genes. But the biomedical model is not the only model available for understanding mental difference and disability. Non-ordinary mental states and traits can also be understood through psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, existential/humanist, family, social/political, creative, spiritual, and integrative models, to name a few.

Of these many models, some tend to be pathologizing and others tend to be generative. Pathologizing models are organized around the frames of science and rationality in the service of treatment and cure of human deficit. As a group we can call these approaches mad science. They tend to be at the heart of mainstream mental health care. Generative models, on the other hand, are organized around the frame of human sensitivity and yearning. They see psychic difference as a positive attribute to be developed, cared for, and nurtured. As a group we can call these approaches mad pride. These more generative models tend to be at the heart of mad pride organizing. 

This course will use an interdisciplinary mad studies approach to develop a critical understanding of the many models of madness: both pathological and generative. We will also consider the role of language and narrative theory for navigating and narrating the many options.

Topics include:

1.     Historical conceptions and models of mental health
2.     The influence of language and narrative in our current understanding of mental difference
3.     Narrative Theory and its clinical applications
4.     History of the Mad Pride Movement
5.     Generative vs. Pathologizing models

Agenda:

6:30-7             Introductions and brief sharing of relevant experiences
7- 7:30            An overview of various models of mental difference
7:30-8            Narrative Theory and the Mad pride movement
8-8:30            Outlook for the future

Participants will be able to:

1.     Illustrate key moments in the mad pride movement that lead to the advancement of human rights in the mental health field
2.     Identify and discuss examples of pathologizing and generative models of mental and emotional distress
3.     Compare modern conceptualization methods with historical perceptions of emotional distress
4.     Identify ways in which medicalized language has shown to increase stigma and internalized shame
5.     Discuss narrative theory and how it can be applied to psychoanalysis and other clinical settings

Additional Information:

$75 per class/ $50 reduced
2 CE hours offered per class for psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, counselors, MFTs, creative arts therapists. View CE requirements and information here.
Target Audience: All Levels

For questions and concerns regarding class cancellations and policies, please email: idha.nyc@gmail.com


Human Rights & Systems of Power

October 10th 2017
6:30pm-8:30pm
Alisha Ali, PhD. and Emily Allan
See Faculty Bios

The mental health system and those who enter it cannot be separated from the interrelated systems, some of which both contribute to the development of and perpetuate mental/emotional suffering. Poverty, oppression, immigration, discrimination, and other forms of trauma have all been demonstrated to give rise to mental health crises, as well as criminal justice involvement and homelessness. Conversely, having a mental health crisis and experiencing hospitalization may itself lead to economic hardship, oppression, discrimination, loss of employment, and/or homelessness.

This class will cover the importance of addressing the basic human needs and the social context of those in our care. We will delve into the cross-cultural research on negative mental health outcomes and its psychosocial correlates across disadvantaged populations including : trauma survivors, clients in poverty transition programs, psychiatric outpatient samples, and immigrant/refugee women. Drawing on principles of feminist practices, transformative justice, disability rights, economic justice, mutual aid, intentional peer support, participatory action, and community mental health, we will explore practices and resources which can be used to mobilize and take action around mental health care and access to services.

Topics include:

1. The systems that act as pipelines to and from mental health institutions
2. Review of the research on psychosocial correlates of poverty and discrimination
3. Trans formative justice, mutual aid, and the peer perspective
4. Intervention strategies and outcomes in clinical and community settings
5. Ways to take action, access & sustainability
6. Outlook for the future

Agenda:

6:30-7             Introductions and brief sharing of relevant experiences
7- 7:30            Outcomes of poverty and discrimination on mental health
7:30-8            Transformative justice and intervention strategies
8-8:30            Outlook for the future

Participants will be able to:

1. identify social systems that play a role in mental health services
2. trace the mental health outcomes of poverty, discrimination, and other social factors
3. discuss social justice principles and ways it can be used to frame and shape mental health research and practice
4. discuss current participatory action strategies
5. explore ways of taking action around accessibility to mental health care

Additional Information:

$75 per class/ $50 reduced
2 CE hours offered per class for psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, counselors, MFTs, creative arts therapists. View CE requirements and information here.
Target Audience: All Levels

For questions and concerns regarding class cancellations and policies, please email: idha.nyc@gmail.com

 


Media, Marketing, & Meds

October 17th 2017
6:30pm-8:30pm
Jonah Bossewitch PhD., and Brad Lewis, MD, PhD.
See Faculty Bios

Adopting a cultural diversity, or mad studies, approach to mental difference underscores the importance of cultural context and cultural plasticity for understanding mental difference. Cultural plasticity, in particular, has become the springboard for global pharmaceutical efforts to transform mental difference into profits. More than providing simple “medical cures,” pharmaceutical business plans create a cultural climate of medical models and medication intervention as the main interpretive frame of mental difference.

The monopolistic doctor-spinning and cultural change skills that have emerged are tremendous. Around the world diverse approaches to mental difference are converging into a single disease model. Psychiatry has been transformed into a biomedically oriented discipline that emphasizes broken brains and pharmaceutical treatments. And more and more of us are taking medically prescribed drugs that effect the way we think and feel. This class will introduce students to the cultural change skills of big pharma, the psychoactive effects of the drugs they promote, and some of the democratic resistance strategies people are adopting.   

Topics include:

1. Models of mental difference and the cultural underpinnings
2. Examples of the bio-medical model in current media, research, and publications
3. The uses and side effects of psychopharmaceutical drugs
4. Intervention strategies and outcomes for those in treatment
5. Reasons for resistance
6. Democratic strategies, alternatives, and the role of technology
7. Outlook for the future

Agenda: 

6:30-7              Introductions and brief sharing of relevant experiences
7- 7:30            Bio-medial and other models of mental difference
7:30-8            Psychopharmaceutical interventions and resistance
8-8:30            Outlook for the future

Participants will be able to:

1. identify several models of mental difference and reasons for the prominence of the bio-medical model
2. trace the role of the pharmaceutical industry in shaping conception, treatment, and outcomes for those seeking services
3. compare the uses and limitations of psychopharmaceutical drugs
4. identify reasons for and ways of employing democratic resistance strategies
5. discuss the role of technology and media in treatment modalities

Additional Information:

$75 per class/ $50 reduced
2 CE hours offered per class for psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, counselors, MFTs, creative arts therapists. View CE requirements and information here.
Target Audience: All Levels

For questions and concerns regarding class cancellations and policies, please email: idha.nyc@gmail.com


Holistic Health & Psychopharmacology

October 24th 2017
6:30pm-8:30pm
Jazmine Russell and Peter Stastny MD
See Faculty Bios

Holistic health practices have become popularized in recent years by those seeking support in addition to or beyond talk-therapy and medication. Not only are people turning to diet and exercise to make shifts in their mental and emotional well-being but holistic principles have entered the psychotherapeutic realm to invite new and inventive modes of care. This course will review the research and principles around holistic alternatives to psychopharmacology. In addition, the presenters will draw on their experience in recovery-oriented psychopharmacology and harm reduction and provide an introduction to these concepts in relation to holistic medical practices.

Topics include:

1. Definitions:  Holistic medicine, recovery-oriented psychopharmacology
2. Examples of holistic interventions and their neurobiological correlates (including herbal medicine, somatic therapies, and mindfulness)
3. How to establish a relationship between holistic medicine and psychopharnacolgy
4. Possible joint strategies
5. Possible antagonisms
6. The principles of holistic medicine as applied to harm reduction in psychopharmacology
7. Outlook for the future

Agenda:

6:30-7               Introductions and brief sharing of relevant experiences
7- 7:30              Examples of holistic interventions
7:30-8               Relationships between holistic practice and psychiatry
8-8:30              Outlook for the future

Participants will be able to:

1. increase their awareness about the significant impact of holistic interventions
2. consider the relationship between holistic intervention and psychopharmacology in their work/practice
3. explore this rich potential of interaction, antagonism, and mutual benefits
4. discuss how such interventions may be usefully applied in psychiatric practice (and vice versa by non-psychiatric practitioner)

Additional Information:

$75 per class/ $50 reduced
2 CE hours offered per class for psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, counselors, MFTs, creative arts therapists. View CE requirements and information here.
Target Audience: All Levels

For questions and concerns regarding class cancellations and policies, please email: idha.nyc@gmail.com


Alternative Practices

November 7th 2017
6:30pm-8:30pm
Ed Altwies, PsyD., Cindy Peterson-Dana, LMHC, and guests
See Faculty Bios

This seminar serves as an overview of evidence-based innovative and alternative mental health practices. These include:  Soteria, a residential alternative to acute hospitalization and instant pharmacotherapy, dialogical practices such as Open Dialogue and Need Adapted Treatment, and peer-led respites and warmlines which have been introduced in a variety of places in the US and are being heralded as important alternatives to institutionalization. Facilitators will draw on personal experience and recovery-oriented practices to offer tools in both personal and clinical settings,

Topics include:

  • Principles and analysis of Open Dialogue, Soteria, Intentional Peer Support
  • Crisis services: Parachute mobile teams, peer warmline
  • Obstacles to implementation
  • Peer specialist work in clinical, community, and grassroots settings
  • Cooptation and the future of alternatives

Agenda:

6:30-7             Introductions and brief sharing of relevant experiences
7- 7:30            Principles and examples of OD, IPS, Soteria services
7:30-8            Obstacles and implementation
8-8:30            Outlook for the future

Participants will be able to:

1. increase their awareness about alternatives crises responses
2. identify basic principles and practices of OD, IPS, and soteria
3. discuss and list examples of these systems in the US and abroad
4. consider factors that contributed to the success and the obstacles to implementation
5. discuss the role of peers in the workforce and the significance of alternatives in the future of NYC mental health programs

Additional Information:

$75 per class/ $50 reduced
2 CE hours offered per class for psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, counselors, MFTs, creative arts therapists. View CE requirements and information here.
Target Audience: All Levels

For questions and concerns regarding class cancellations and policies, please email: idha.nyc@gmail.com