Conference Schedule

Conference Schedule


(See full speaker lineup here)

Friday, October 11th


4:00 - 6:00pm: ISEPP Board Meeting [Board members only]


6:30 - 9:00pm: Welcome Reception - Mirror Room. Attire: Business Casual. Cash bar and hors d'oeuvres.

Remarks by Gail Tasch, M.D. - "A Metamorphosis."

It takes a lot to totally change from thinking that being a physician is a good profession helping people to realizing the painful truth that psychiatry along with other medical specialties does way more harm than good.


Saturday, October 12th


8:00 - 8:45am: Registration. All presentations during the conference are in the Edinburgh Room except as otherwise noted. Sign up for the “Lunch with the Experts” option. Sign in for those who paid for CEUs.


8:45 - 9:00am: Welcoming remarks and announcements by Chuck Ruby, Ph.D., Executive Director.


9:00 - 10:00am: Paula Caplan, Ph.D. - "Psychiatric Diagnosis Is THE Fundamental Problem Plaguing the Mental Health System."

Everything bad that happens in the mental health system -- and certainly everything unethical -- begins with a psychiatric diagnosis, and the vast majority of both patients and practitioners have little idea how unscientific, unhelpful, and harmful these labels are. Paula J. Caplan is a psychologist and the only person who served on a DSM Task Force, resigned, and wrote a book and a play about it, and her presentation will include excerpts from her play, CALL ME CRAZY. She will address some examples of why even many critics of the traditional system resist exposing some of its most unethical practices and practitioners and will propose some solutions to the problems. She is the author of They Say You're Crazy: How the World's Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who's Normal and When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home: How All of Us Can Help Veterans.

10:00 - 10:15am: Discussion/Q&A


10:30 - 11:30am: Stephen Sheller, Esq. - "Big Pharma, Big Greed."

My discussion will include key developments in the Philadelphia District attorneys opioid case and the City of Philadelphia’s opioid cases to date. In the Risperdal cases I will also discuss that our verdict in the Pledger case has been affirmed by the appellate courts and the verdict must be paid (about 3 million dollars with interest at this point) and it and other cases which are pending or we have verdicts in our favor have been sent back for consideration of punitive damages after our mass tort judge was reversed by our appeals court and ordered to consider punitive damages issues for trial . The Pledger case has also been sent back for punitive damage consideration after our mass tort court was reversed by our appellate courts. Also I will discuss my new book Big Pharma, Big Greed. Mental illness is being used as an excuse to sell antipsychotics, particularly Risperdal, for kids. In my view it’s nuttier than any of the so called illnesses they are prescribing it for long term. Also the new game in town is autism for which Risperdal is used all too often. 

11:30am - 11:45am: Discussion/Q&A


12:00 - 1:00pm: Lunch Buffet

"Lunch With the Experts" - Mirror Room. We have an option where attendees can have lunch with one of the conference plenary speakers. Each speaker will host a table and a limited number of attendees can join the speaker for lunch. Sign up for the speaker of your choice during morning registration.


1:00 - 2:00pm: Patrick Hahn, Ph.D. - "Is Mental Illness In Our Genes?"

I review the history of psychiatric genetics, beginning in 1917 with  Ernst Rüdin, Director of Psychiatric and Genealogical Studies at the German Institute for Psychiatric Research, and continuing all the way to the present day. Family studies, twin studies, and adoption studies all are considered. I conclude that none of these studies has found any credible evidence for a strong genetic component to schizophrenia and other so-called “mental illnesses,” and that in fact all of these types of studies are fatally flawed in ways that cannot be fixed. I also discuss genome-wide association studies and find these studies have also failed to find a strong genetic component to mental illness. I conclude that psychiatric genetics has produced no findings that help the human condition in any way, and in fact have done great harm by diverting attention away from the well-established causes of these conditions, which have their roots in child sexual abuse and other adverse childhood experiences. Dr. Hahn is the author of Madness and Genetic Determinism: Is Mental Illness in our Genes?

Dr. Hahn's Powerpoint Slides

2:00 - 2:15pm: Discussion/Q&A


2:30 - 3:30pm: Irving Kirsch, Ph.D. - "The Antidepressant Data are Clear: The Spin Remains."

Our 2008 antidepressant meta-analysis has been listed as one of “the 10 most controversial psychology studies ever published.”  However, all subsequent studies, including a comprehensive analysis conducted within the FDA, have produced virtually identical results, indicating that antidepressant-placebo differences are clinically meaningless.  Recent data also confirm the increased risk of suicidal behavior caused by antidepressants and further show that the risk is not confined to young people.  Given that safer and cheaper treatments are available, antidepressants should not be prescribed to anyone who has not already taken them. Dr. Kirsch is the author of The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth.

3:30 - 3:45pm: Discussion/Q&A


4:00 - 5:00pm: Tonier Cain-Muldrow - "Healing Neen: A Story of Trauma and Healing."

Tonier Cain will share her personal story of healing, which clearly depicts the impact of unethical versus ethical practices on one's wellbeing and recovery. She survived a childhood of unspeakable abuse, unrelenting violence, and betrayal by systems that were charged with helping. Incarcerated and pregnant in 2004, someone finally took the time to ask: “what happened to you” instead of “what’s wrong with you.” It is at that moment she began her journey to become a survivor and for the first time in her life began to live with more hope than fear. Tonier will share her current work focused on heightening awareness of the characteristics and effects of trauma as well as improving the systems that interact with trauma victims and survivors. For example, she advocates for trauma-informed care in prisons and mental health facilities. Trauma blind-spots distort perceptions, lead to costly mistakes, and limit the possibilities of victims and survivors. Her talk will demonstrate why being informed by trauma survivors is critical and required by anyone hoping to be trauma-informed.

5:00 - 5:15pm: Discussion/Q&A


Awards Dinner - Oriental Room. Attire: Business Casual.

6:00 - 6:30pm: Social Time
6:30 - 7:15pm: Dinner
7:15 - 7:45pm: Awards
7:45 - 8:30pm: Remarks by Art Levine, Investigative Journalist. "Ethical Epidemic: Everyday Malpractice In Behavioral Healthcare -- and How To Stop It."

Our nation's mental health and addiction treatment systems have inflicted on our most vulnerable citizens what amounts to an epidemic of unethical behavioral healthcare malpractice. It's seen most noticeably in sometimes deadly residential treatment scams exploiting substance abusers,  and in the wave of overdrugging of children, veterans, and seniors in nursing homes; as many as 15,000 elderly people are killed yearly by the use of antipsychotics as chemical straitjackets. A tacit alliance of Pharma-funded patient advocacy groups and professional associations, joined by  compromised regulators, have failed to halt dangerous practices or implement proven programs. At the same time, the raging political debate over Medicare-for-All is missing altogether the importance of ensuring safe, effective care. With a  crisis so urgent, it's up to proponents of alternative approaches to put aside their doctrinaire differences, and to form alliances with  influential legal and health reform organizations that can then help rein in the most egregious abuses that threaten millions each day. Art Levine is the author of Mental Health, Inc: How Corruption, Lax Oversight and Failed Reforms Endanger Our Most Vulnerable Citizens.


Sunday, October 13th


7:45 - 8:15am: Registration. Edinburgh Room

8:15 - 8:30am: Dedication to Bertram P. Karon, Ph.D., by Lloyd Ross, Ph.D.


8:30 - 9:30am: Ben Rall, D.C. - "The Doctor Within - Understanding Vitalism and Holistic Care and Its Role."

The terms "wellness" and "prevention" have become watered down and easy to ignore in today’s overmedicated and technology-dependent culture.  We must reclaim a vitalistic model of healthcare vs. a mechanistic model. The body is a self healing and self regulating organism. This presentation will provide insights into honoring the innate healing capacity of the body. Due to the infinite complexity of human beings (mind, body, spirit), many things can manifest as symptoms of “mental illness”  that are simply nutritional deficiencies, over-burdened biology and countless other problems that have a basis in meaning. As we explore “allostatic load” and its relationship to mental health we will change the current model towards a more humane one. Dr. Rall is the author of Cooperative Wellness: How to Achieve Wellness and Be Part of the Healthcare Solution (It's Easier Than You Think!)

9:30 - 9:45am: Discussion/Q&A

10:00 - 11:00am: 
Chuck Ruby, Ph.D. - "Psychiatric Drugs and Violence."

In 2015, ISEPP published a White Paper that explores the problem of violence and the possible role that psychiatric drugs play in contributing to violence in general, and the recent mass shootings in particular. Four years later, our culture is  still trying to grapple with this problem. In a purported attempt to remedy the problem, there was a recent call by the President to target the "mentally ill" and prevent them from owning guns, possibly even reinstituting the routine incarceration of these people in mental hospitals. They would be identified with "red flag" laws that would ostensibly identify those at risk of committing violence. This is a very timely topic. But what is at the answer to reducing these devastating events?

White Paper: Psychiatric Drugs and Violence

Talking Points - SAFE HOME

11:00 - 11:15: Discussion/Q&A


11:30 - 12:30: Lunch Buffet

"Lunch With the Experts" - Mirror Room. We have an option where attendees can have lunch with one of the conference plenary speakers. Each speaker will host a table and a limited number of attendees can join the speaker for lunch. Sign up for the speaker of your choice during morning registration.


12:30 - 1:30pm: James Gordon, M.D. - "Transforming Trauma"

Psychological trauma comes to us all, if not early, then later, as we deal with inevitable losses, physical frailty and our own death. Trauma is the origin of much of our suffering and of many of our clients’ disorders. This workshop is informed by the timeless understanding that the pain and disruption that trauma brings can, if appropriately understood and addressed, open the door to greater wholeness, joy, and wisdom, to personal and professional transformation. James S. Gordon, MD, is the author of The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma and the Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine.

1:30 - 1:45pm: Discussion/Q&A


2:00 - 3:00pm: Panel: “Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps: A Journey from Warfighter to Psychiatric Patient to Warfighter.”

Moderator: Mary Neal Vieten, Ph.D., ABPP



-Master Sergeant Troy Drasher, USAF, RET
-Staff Sergeant Ronald Turner, USMC, RET
-Hospital Corpsman, First Class, Fleet Marine Force Anthony Fuller, USN, RET
-Technical Sergeant Jeff Heisler, USAF, RET
-Sergeant Meeka-Lizzene McWilliams, USA, RET

Warfighters of all branches, ranks and specialities are encouraged to "tell their doctor" about their emotional and stress responses, and the "standard of care" calls for "treatment" with psychiatric drugs, with or without talk therapy. Four warfighters and a psychiatric technician talk about their experiences, issues of compliance, power, rights and devastating physical and functional outcomes.

3:00 - 3:15pm: Discussion/Q&A


3:30 - 4:45pm: Special pre-screening of the full film Medicating Normal - The Film.  Co-directed/Produced by Lynn Cunningham and Wendy RactliffeModerated by Mary Neal Vieten, Ph.D., ABPP

Millions of Americans are harmed by commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs, including anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and ADHD drugs. Pharmaceutical companies have hidden risks and severe side effects from both patients and doctors. Medicating Normal reveals the untold story of what happens when for-profit medicine intersects with human beings in distress.

4:45 - 5:15pm: Discussion/Q&A


5:15pm - Closing remarks by Chuck Ruby, Ph.D., Executive Director