We are a group of clinicians from various disciplines and areas of specialization who were tired of the usual seminars and conferences in the field. Specifically, we believe that professionals often are limited by workshops that merely re-circulate existing theories of mental illness, and reflect traditional views regarding etiological constructs and treatment paradigms. William Shryer, the Program Director of dbh NeuroScience Seminars, a licensed clinical social worker, became frustrated with the lack of innovative thinking in the field, noting the absence of quality training opportunities that included advances in medical genetics and its influence on the development and expression of severe psychiatric disorders such as bipolar illness and autism. Moreover, the rising incidence of these syndromes in children and adolescents, along with the difficulties associated with diagnosing and treating young clients due to co-occurring conditions such as ADHD and learning disorders, led him to form dbh NeuroScienceSeminars. In so doing, Mr. Shryer brought together the academicians, scientists, and clinicians who are expanding the knowledge base within behavioral healthcare to better serve the public. These dedicated professionals combine the latest cutting-edge information from neurology, psychiatry, psychology, medical genetics, psychopharmacology, and learning theory, to produce seminars that have genuine meaning to those interested in enhancing their theoretical understanding and clinical expertise.
It is the intent of dbh NeuroScience Seminars to confront some of the more traditional treatment modalities, many of which are still based on Freudian, psychoanalytic, and object relations constructs. Clinicians’ reluctance to move toward newer technologies in the field of behavioral medicine prevents many patients from accessing recent empirical advances that potentially can lead to significant life improvements and enhanced functional ability. Diagnostic categories such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, Asperger’s Disorder, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, to name a few, increasingly are being recognized as inherited neurobiological disorders that manifest in families. However, the paucity of information about intergenerational patterns of behavior and emotional expression presents significant challenges to behavioral healthcare professionals, and often impedes their ability to develop effective interventions that would achieve maximum benefit for patients and lead to enhanced outcomes, if comprehensive genetic histories were known and better understood. Too often, these patients have spent months, if not years, in cognitive and insight-oriented therapies that did little to bring relief for them or their families. This approach would be similar to attempting to treat diabetes by utilizing psychotherapy to help an individual control his or her blood glucose levels. No one in the medical profession would accept this methodology, but in the field of behavioral health, ineffective treatment modalities are all too often are accepted without question.
The Genetics Factor
An additional area of interest is pharmacogenetics. This imposing term simply means that a person’s genetic makeup dictates how his or her body metabolizes certain substances, from food to medications. With this information in mind, physicians can more accurately predict patients’ responsiveness to medications, thereby enhancing efficacy, improving health, and avoiding one of the most costly issues in medicine: adverse drug reactions. Perhaps you have wondered why a particular medication was highly effective for one individual, whereas another person taking the same medication experienced little or no benefit, and might even have become physically ill after taking it. This phenomenon most likely is the result of genetic differences and the latter person’s inability to metabolize the medication in such a way that leads to maximum benefit, as opposed to a negative physiological response. Fortunately, reliable testing is now available to determine an individual’s genetic profile, thus enabling physicians to predict with great certainty how their patients will respond to most prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as to nutritional supplements and regular food items.
These are just a few of the exciting issues that will be explored in the seminars and conferences dbh NeuroScience Seminars is currently developing and planning for the future. We are targeting innovative clinicians who are able to grasp the comprehensive needs of their patients, demonstrate creative vision and a desire to broaden their professional viewpoint, and are willing to relinquish traditional methodologies such as interpersonal, family systems, and insight-oriented therapies. Whereas these interventions have been around for decades and, in fact, have helped many people achieve symptomatic relief, such prescriptive approaches seem to restrict clinicians from utilizing their skills to the fullest potential, thereby preventing patients from achieving optimal treatment outcomes.
It is our belief at dbh NeuroScience Seminars that the true professional focuses on what he or she does not know, and seeks consultation as needed in order to benefit their patients. Diablo Behavioral Healthcare all too often has discovered a pattern among our patients who have received services in the past from other professionals without success. Specifically, the previous clinicians apparently were so deeply entrenched in a prescribed treatment approach that they either were unable to recognize a significant disorder or co-occurring condition that was, in fact, highly treatable, or their rigid methodologies simply were too limiting and ineffective. These repeated observations of our patients’ prior struggles ultimately led to the development of dbh NeuroScience Seminars, and an ongoing commitment to furthering clinicians’ technical skills so that they may better serve consumers.
We invite you to join us in this exciting endeavor to expand our knowledge base and derive maximum benefit from the innovative advances of behavioral medicine and clinical neuroscience.
Address: dbhnss.com P O Box 1613 Danville, CA 94526