2016 ISEPP Keynote/Plenary Speakers

2016 ISEPP Keynote/Plenary Speakers





Eric Masiel Ph.D.
Eric Masiel
David Cohen Ph.D.
David Cohen
Dina Tyler
Louise Hoffman Ph.D.
Louis Hoffman



Mary Vieten
Mary Vieten
Al Galves Ph.D.
Al Galves
Georg Vaill
George Vaillant
Burt Seitler Ph.D.
Burt Seitler







George E. Vaillant M.D.

George Vaillant M.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital.  He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School; Dr. Vaillant did his psychiatric residency at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. He has spent his research career charting adult development, the importance of involuntary coping mechanisms, and recovery from alcoholism. From 1970 to 2005 he was Director of the Study of Adult Development at the Harvard University Health Service.  The study is arguably the longest (75 years) prospective psychosocial and medical study of males in the world.  At age 80 he is now the beneficiary of his own research.  More recently Vaillant has been interested in positive emotions and their relationship to Positive Psychology.  In 2000 he became a founding member of Positive Psychology.  He has been a Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, a past Class A (nonalcoholic trustee) of Alcoholics Anonymous and is a Fellow of the International Positive Psychology Association. He has received the Jellinek Memorial Award and American Psychiatric Association Distinguished Service Award.  His published works include Adaptation to Life, 1977, The Natural History of Alcoholism-Revisited, 1995, Aging Well, 2002, Spiritual Evolution, 2008 and Triumphs of Experience, 2012.


Louis Hoffman Ph.D. - "Reconsidering “Evidence” and Its Ethical Implications: Existential-Humanistic Psychology, Multiculturalism,and Evidence-Based Practice in Psychology"

Louis Hoffman Ph.D. is a faculty member at Saybrook University and director of the Existential, Humanistic, and Transpersonal Psychology Specialization.  Dr. Hoffman is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, and a fellow/past-president of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (APA Division 32).  Currently, he serves on the editorial boards of The Humanistic Psychologist, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Janus Head, and PsycCRITIQUES: APA Review of Books.  An avid writer, Dr. Hoffman has seven books to his credit along with three additional books nearing completion.  His books include Existential Psychology East-West, Brilliant Sanity: Buddhist Approach to Psychotherapy, and Stay Awhile: Poetic Narratives on Multiculturalism and Diversity.  He has also contributed numerous journal articles and book chapters.  Dr. Hoffman has a passion for multicultural and social justice issues, which have been the focus several of his publications and also an important part of his volunteer service.


Eric Maisel Ph.D. - "The Future of Mental Health"

Eric Maisel Ph.D. is the author of more than 40 books in the areas of creativity, meaning and mental health.  A licensed California psychotherapist, he is widely regarded as America’s foremost creativity coach and founded the profession of creativity coaching.  He provides core trainings for the Creativity Coaching Association and leads workshops nationally and internationally.  His books include Rethinking Depression, Why Smart People Hurt, The Van Gogh Blues, and Creative Recovery (with Dr. Susan Raeburn).  He writes the Rethinking Mental Health column for Psychology Today and contributes pieces on mental health to the Huffington Post.  His books for creative and performing artists include Secrets of a Creativity Coach, Making Your Creative Mark, Fearless Creating, Coaching the Artist Within, The Creativity Book, Affirmations for Artists, Performance Anxiety, Write Mind, Deep Writing, A Writer’s Space, A Writer’s Paris, A Writer’s San Francisco, and Creativity for Life.


David Cohen Ph.D.  LCSW - "An Overview of the Scientific and Professional Literature on Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal"

David Cohen Ph.D. is the Marjorie Crump Chair in Social Welfare at UCLA. He previously taught at Florida International University (Miami), University of Montreal, and held the Distinguished Tocqueville/Fulbright Chair in France in 2012. Among the first scholars to describe psychiatric drug withdrawal, emphasize its self-management, and pinpoint the failures of the modern drugging of psychosis, he supports decoupling coercion from help, enhancing user expertise, accounting for iatrogenic harm, and rejecting medicalized language to describe distress and misbehavior. He created and tested the CriticalThinkRx program to reduce the drugging of foster care children. He’s published over 120 articles and book chapters. His co-authored books include Challenging the Therapeutic State (1990), Your Drug May Be Your Problem (1999), Critical New Perspectives on ADHD (2006), and Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs (2013).


CDR Mary Vieten- "TOHIDU"

Mary Vieten Ph.D. is a board certified clinical psychologist who served on active duty from 1998 - 2008,with tours at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Roosevelt Roads (Puerto Rico), and Naval Air Station Patuxent River.  In 2008, CDR Vieten transferred to the Select Reserve, where she has held several positions, including the OIC of Det HQ, EMF Bethesda.  Most recently in 2014, she was on active duty assigned to the staff of the Navy Chief of Chaplains where she trained over 1000 military chaplains world wide     pastoral response to trauma in general and military sexual trauma specifically.  She has completed two deployments in support of OIF/OEF. Her civilian practice, Operational Psychology Solutions, serves clients who are military, paramilitary (e.g., police, EMS, contractors), veterans, and civilians who work or have worked in high-risk operational environments.  She actively encourages her patients to pursue trauma recovery outside of the medical model, and proactively educates them on the dangers of psycho-pharmacology.  With this approach, she has been successful in keeping her clients in their occupations, or returning them to a fit-for-duty status, while empowering them to manage residual symptoms and assist their peers.  Her work is frequently directed to those who have failed previous treatment, those requesting care without medication, those for whom the medical model has not     mitigated symptoms, those who are not well enough to navigate the complexity of VA services, and those without means to pay.  In November of 2014 she began a partnership with Melwood to offer intense training and intervention to active duty and veteran war fighters with operational stress issues.


Al Galves Ph.D. - "We Need to be Studying the Mind, Not the Brain"

Al Galves practices psychotherapy in Las Cruces, NM.  He is a Past Executive Director of ISEPP and author of Harness Your Dark Side: Mastering Jealousy, Rage, Frustration and Other Negative Emotions (New Horizon Press, 2012), previously entitled Lighten Up. Dance With Your Dark Side.  You can learn more about him at www.algalves.com and checking out his YouTube channel.


Burton N. Seitler, Ph.D. - "Sophistry and ADHD: The Duals Myths of Organicity and Biochemical Imbalance and the Ensuing Medication Tidal Wave"

Burton N. Seitler, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist/Psychoanalyst in private practice. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the new journal named, J.A.S.P.E.R., which stands for the Journal for the Advancement of Scientific Psychoanalytic Empirical Research, published by International Psychoanalytic Books. For over 20 years, he was the Executive Director of the former Counseling And Psychotherapy Services center in Ridgewood and Oakland, NJ
and the former Director of the Child Adolescent Psychotherapy Studies program of the New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis (NJI). He currently serves as a Supervising Training Analyst and member of the faculty of NJI.  In addition, Dr. Seitler is on the Editorial Board of the journal, Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, and is on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry. Also, he is a Research Associate of the Psychohistory Forum. He has presented and published papers locally, as well as internationally, on psychosis, paranoia, ADHD, resilience, myopia, soma-psyche, the DSM, ethnic humor, and a number of other topics.


Dina Tyler - The Meaning of Life: A Personal Journey of Spirituality and Making Meaning in Madness

Dina Tyler is a peer specialist and advocate for recovery-oriented services in mental health working in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She is the Director of Peer & Family Services at PREP (Prevention and Recovery in Early Psychosis) for the Felton Institute. At PREP, an early psychosis intervention program, Dina supervises peer and family support specialists, and trains clinical staff on recovery-based language and approaches and provides individual peer support and mentorship to participants of PREP in becoming peer specialists and/or recovery and stigma reduction advocates. She is a Co-Founder and Board Member of the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network. She is also a facilitator of the Voices, Visions, and Different Realities Support group in San Francisco, California. She is the Director of the Bay Area Mandala Project, a group working to create whole health alternatives for people experiencing extreme states. Dina has a degree from UC Berkeley in Sociology, with a focus on mental health and stigma. As someone who went through the mental health system herself, she has found that great personal transformation and healing can come from looking into the meaning within experiences labeled as psychosis. She holds the values of the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement close to her heart that people should have a choice in their treatment, that social inclusion and empowerment of people with lived experience should be a primary focus of improving services, and that recovery-oriented, whole health approaches should be part of the public mental health system. She was awarded the prestigious Peer Specialist of the Year by the National Council for Behavioral Health in 2015.


Withdrawn and Reclaimed: A Ex-Patient Panel on Coming off Psychiatric Drugs (Panel) - Laura Delano, Liz McCarthy, Dina Tyler, and Dave Cope


Building a Better Science for Psychology & Psychiatry (Panel) - Al Galves (Moderator), David Cohen, Jacqueline Sparks, Burt Seitler, and Chuck Ruby