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Recordings from conference on treatment of psychosis now available

Conference Overview

A collaborative conference was presented by Ellenhorn, Gould Farm, and The Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center from June 6-8, 2024, in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains at Gould Farm. The Residential and Community Treatment of Psychosis conference brought together professionals and advocates to explore innovative approaches for supporting the recovery of individuals with psychosis.

Grounded in humanistic principles, the conference emphasized community treatment as a robust opportunity for recovery, moving beyond symptom reduction to fostering a sense of purpose, identity, and belonging. Attendees participated in discussions, heard from leaders in clinical treatment and advocacy, and engaged in conversations about best practices to support clinicians, communities, and families working with people experiencing psychosis.

Watch the Recordings

We are excited to announce that the recordings of all presentations from the conference are now available to view and share for free. These invaluable insights and discussions can be accessed by clicking the video link above or by visiting the Gould Farm YouTube channel.

Featured Speakers

Dr. Jeremy Ridenour is a staff psychologist/psychoanalyst at the Austen Riggs Center, where he also serves as the Director of Psychological Testing. In his lecture, he discussed how people with psychosis experience loneliness at higher rates than the general population and identify loneliness as one of the most significant barriers to personal recovery. He reviewed the correlation between specific psychotic symptoms and loneliness and outlined key practice elements to reduce loneliness through psychotherapy, including addressing barriers to accessing the patient’s longing for connection, the loneliness of psychotic experiences, internalized stigma, and loneliness within the therapeutic relationship.

Brett Thatcher is a clinical social worker and psychotherapist at Gould Farm in the Berkshires and in private practice. He has completed post-graduate training in intersubjective psychotherapy and mentalization-based treatment. In his presentation, using Gould Farm’s treatment program as a case study, Brett illustrated principles and practices supporting an approach to psychosis that respects the complexity and humanity of individuals with psychotic experiences. He discussed tensions in current mental health system approaches and offered insights for reimagining practices, considering the notion of recovery, and exploring what psychotic experiences might teach about our world.

Dr. Ross Ellenhorn is a pioneer and leader in the development and promotion of community integration services, types of care that serve and empower individuals diagnosed with psychiatric and/or addiction issues while they remain in their own communities and outside institutional settings. In his presentation, Dr. Ellenhorn explored the pivotal role of social buffers in motivating individuals within their social environments. He addressed the absence of these buffers and the "fear of hope," offering insights into the negative symptoms associated with schizophrenia. He critically evaluated conventional treatment approaches and their potential iatrogenic outcomes, advocating for more empathetic and nuanced approaches to schizophrenia treatment.



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