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    The 2019 NYU Workshop Presenters presented by Avalon Hills Treatment Specialist, Logan, Utah:

    Special Guest Presenter

    Norman Doidge, MD

    Eating Disorders & Neuroplasticity Breakthroughs for Intensive Psychotherapists & other clinicians

    Can eating disorders, especially, the severe kind which are often described as the most rigid of conditions, actually be changed? A new approach to the illness, that combines the best of depth-psychology, new insights from neuroplasticity, and our latest understanding of the brain and how our two brain hemispheres function, will be explained by Norman Doidge, author of The Brain that Changes Itself. The Avalon Hills residential treatment team has created a milieu to apply this model. Dr. Doidge will show why psychodynamic approaches, with subtle modifications and supports, are not only relevant to treating these problems, but an indispensible component in many cases, if one is to move beyond symptom management towards addressing the problems that underlie the syndrome. If used properly, this psychotherapy is a powerful way to not only change the mind, but, as we will show with brain source localization, to change distorted brain maps of the body, and emotion. Even though these patients show rigid eating disorder behaviors that does not mean their brains lack plasticity; the behaviors are actually an expression of their plasticity, gone awry. The workshop will also show how psychotherapy and neuroplastic techniques help patients to use their plasticity to restore healthy development, through a deeper understanding of the relationship between our two brain hemispheres. The team will share what we have learned about the ego functions that need to be targeted in intensive psychotherapy, and document brain changes before and after dynamic psychotherapy, and related modalities. When successful, the patients don’t just “control” the disorder, but rather, grow out of the need for it. This will be of interest to therapists working with severe personality problems as well.

    Dr. Doidge Bio: Norman Doidge, M.D., is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, on faculty at the Departments of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and Columbia University, Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis. His book, The Brain that Changes Itself was chosen by the Dana Brain Foundation, USA’s journal, Cerebrum, from among the 30,000 brain books, as the best general book on the brain. It is an international and New York Times Bestseller, in 27 languages, and has sold over a million copies. It has been described by the London Times as, “Brilliant…Doidge has identified a tidal shift in basic science…The implications are monumental.” The New York Times Science Times has written that The Brain That Changes Itself, has “implications…not only for individual patients with neurologic disease but for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history.” Dr. Doidge has won the Sigourney Prize, considered the highest award in International Psychoanalysis.


    PRESENTER –  Jeffrey DeSarbo, DO, Medical Director ED-180 Eating Disorder Programs

    Understanding and Applying the Neurobiology of Eating Disorders in a Therapeutic Setting

    Dr. Jeffrey DeSarbo’s unique presentation will discuss the translation of the often complicated and technical findings in the neuroscience of eating disorders and how a clinician can utilize this research in their clinical practice. Brain-based biological findings and models are used to explain and demystify concepts including the impact of heredity, contributing biological causes of distorted body image, the drive for thinness, frequency of binge eating episodes, and the various phenotypes of eating disorders. Research into specific findings related to differences of the eating disorder brain include changes in the brain anatomy, alterations to the central nervous systems physiology, modified neurotransmitter and neurohormone functioning, and state verses trait concepts. Dr. DeSarbo takes complex research findings and shows course participants how to translate this data into practical ideas that can be shared with patients to improve treatment compliance, set realistic treatment expectations and  better understand how their brain works with an eating disorder.
    Dr. DeSarbo Bio:  Jeffrey DeSarbo, D.O. is a Board Certified Psychiatrist and the Founder/Medical Director of ED-180 Eating Disorder Treatment Programs in Garden City, N.Y.  Dr. DeSarbo specializes in treating eating disorders as well as general psychiatric conditions utilizing both psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic approaches that incorporate psychodynamic, CBT, mindfulness training and existential therapy into treatment plans with medication management when necessary. Dr. DeSarbo’s special interest is with the neurobiological aspects eating disorders and mental health and he is currently authoring a book and comprising a comprehensive lecture course based on over 2500 scientific articles on the neuroscientific aspects of eating disorders and related conditions which should be completed by the end of 2019. He regularly is involved in treating clients and consulting on cases both nationally and internationally.



    CO-PRESENTERS –  Ed Hamlin, Ph.D., BCN, Clinical Director of the Institute for Applied Neuroscience in Asheville, NC and Don Herbert, ThD, LMFT, BCB, Program Development and Strategic Planning, Avalon Hills Treatment Programs.

    Promoting Brain Changes in Individuals with Eating Disorders

    Eating disorders have often proven to be difficult to treat for many individuals suffering with them. This treatment resistance combined with the high mortality rate associated with eating disorders suggests a need for exploring, developing and evaluating new approaches to understanding and treating these conditions. Dr. Ed Hamlin has been using quantitative EEG (qEEG) measurements and analyses to help design EEG training programs to help address the common neurodynamic factors associated with severe eating disorders. Dr. Hamlin has more than 40 years of experience in investigating brain/behavior relationships but over the past 20 years has become more interested in studying the behavior of the brain. This change in focus began with the exciting and revolutionary discovery of neuroplasticity, which he had been taught did not exist. The nonplastic brain offered little hope for individual’s being able to promote changes in the brain’s structure and functioning. However, work detailed in Dr. Norman Doidge’s groundbreaking books The Brain That Changes Itself and The Brain’s Way of Healing exposed approaches for promoting adaptive changes in brain functioning producing outcomes which often sound miraculous. The extraordinary cases and techniques detailed by Dr. Doidge shows what is possible and invites the development of new perspectives regarding changing the brain’s behavior. In this workshop, Dr. Hamlin will be describing the work being conducted with patients at the Avalon Hills Eating Disorders residential treatment center involving qEEG and neurofeedback training aimed at facilitating healthier brain functioning.

    Dr. Hamlin Bio: Dr. Ed Hamlin is a psychologist and the Clinical Director of the Institute for Applied Neuroscience in Asheville, North Carolina.  He has currently holds an adjunct faculty position as Professor at Western Carolina University and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina Medical Center. In addition to his clinical work, he conducts research and presents workshops regarding applied neuroscience and brain/mind relationships. He serves as a consultant and supervisor for the clinical staff at a number of facilities throughout the world. He has practiced neurofeedback and applied psychophysiology since the mid-1980s and has taught and utilized these techniques in a variety of settings. He has a particular interest in neuroplasticity and the potential for changing maladaptive brain organization patterns. His current research projects involve examining the impact of early abuse and neglect on the developing brain and examining the brain activity in people with eating disorders.

    Dr. Hebert Bio: Dr. Don Hebert has been a therapist since 1975 following his education at Southern Methodist University. Don also earned a Doctorate of Theology in Counseling at the Iliff School of Theology, University of Denver. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and BCIA certified in Biofeedback.  Don began with Avalon Hills in 2006 and in 2010, Don attempted to retire. Fortunately, retirement was short-lived and he rejoined the Avalon Hills team in 2013. Don’s current role involves program development and strategic planning. He is currently coordinating the research and development of brain-based interventions for the treatment of eating disorders.