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Guest Speaker: Ross Ellenhorn, LICSW, PhD, Owner/CEO, Ellenhorn, LLC

Host: John A. Warnick, Esq., Founder, Purposeful Planning Institute

Description:  The result of hoping and then experiencing deep disappointment can be a profound poisoning of hope. You recoil from hope, because hoping risks another disappointment. In this situation, hope appears tainted, so you stop hoping altogether.

Dr. Ross Ellenhorn calls this “Fear of Hope”. He joined a team at Rutgers University to study it, developing a Fear of Hope Scale, showing that fear of hope is a valid variable in people’s lives. In his talk, he discusses this research, the theories behind it, and how they apply to understanding behaviors often associated with psychiatric issues.  In fact, Ellenhorn is concerned that much of what we ascribe to issues of the brain have to do with people fearing hope.  He will also discuss with participants how fear of hope is a helpful concept in legacy and family business planning.

Introduction to Our Guest Speaker

Dr. Ellenhorn is trained as a sociologist, psychotherapist and social worker. He has spent the last two decades helping individuals suffering psychiatric symptoms find the psychological and social means for remaining outside institutional settings. He created the first fully-operating intensive hospital diversion and wrap-around program in Massachusetts, later creating and leading, one of the first Programs for Assertive Community Treatment teams in the Commonwealth. His book, which addresses psychiatric hospital recidivism and techniques for diverting hospital use, was published by Springer Publishing in 2007. Dr. Ellenhorn has given talks and seminars throughout the country, and has provided consultation to numerous mental health agencies and psychiatric hospitals on the subjects of hospital diversion, psychosocial rehabilitation, patient careerism and the PACT model. Dr. Ellenhorn is trained in Open Dialogue, a method for helping individuals experiencing extreme psychiatric states, and which has documented success in minimizing the need for psychotropic medications. A graduate of the UCLA School of Social Welfare, Dr. Ellenhorn is the first person to receive a joint Ph.D. from the prestigious Florence Heller School for Social Welfare Policy and Management and the Department of Sociology at Brandeis University.  His new book, “How We Change (and the Ten Reasons Why We Don’t),” will be published by Harper Collins in May of 2020.

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