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

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

Description: Cracks in the medical model of addiction are forming. And that’s a good thing. It means the chance for greater creativity, treatment choice, and freedom in decisions on what to do about substances in one’s life. It potentially means a decrease in stigma, and a much more nuanced view of the use of substances. It fractures a cookie-cutter approach to the use of substances and the engagement in other habits, allowing for care, if one wants it, to be truly individualized. We are heading towards a paradigm shift. We can see the outlines of the next model, one based on psychotherapeutic values, a non-judgmental curiosity about why a person might engage in seemingly self-destructive behavior, a belief that a person is making the bests choices they can when they use, a total respect for the autonomy of the individual, and a firm belief that lasting change never happens through confrontation or coercion. This talk reviews both the ways in which the previous paradigm is shifting and how to locate the new forms of thinking.

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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