Speaker Bios

Speaker Bios



Ron Bassman Ph.D. is a Psychologist and activist with lived experience.  In 1969, at the age of 25, he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the second time in three years. The first diagnosis, schizophrenia, paranoid type was followed by a second hospitalization and the diagnosis schizophrenia, chronic type. “Treatments” included electroshock, insulin comas and massive doses of medication.  After recovering from “treatments”, he began addressing the identity issues that had triggered his excursion into “madness” and entered graduate school.  Dr. Bassman has worked in a state hospital, private practice, consultant to schools and state agencies, taught graduate school courses in Community Mental Health, and has been the executive director of a 7-county comprehensive mental health center.  He served as a two-term president of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA), has been an elected member of the American Psychological Association’s Expert Task Force on Serious Mental Illness, and was co-founder of the International Network Towards Alternatives for Recovery (INTAR).  Currently, Dr. Bassman serves as chair of The Community Consortium, a non-profit organization created to promote the civil and human rights of people with psychiatric disabilities, and to provide the tools to facilitate genuine community integration for people who use mental health services.  Articles I have written can be downloaded for free from my website:  www.ronaldbassman.com

Cathy Cave has 30 years of experience as an administrator, facilitator and consultant specializing in cultural competence and disparities elimination, trauma informed services and supports, strength based approaches with individuals, youth and families, and leadership within child welfare, education, juvenile justice, disaster response, mental health, domestic and sexual violence advocacy, healthcare and corrections. She is one of New York State’s early trauma champions, coordinating county collaboratives and annual trauma conferences. Currently, Cathy provides technical assistance on trauma, cultural competence, wellness and peer support through the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, SAMHSA’s Programs to Achieve Wellness, The National Center on Trauma-informed Care, governmental agencies and advisory bodies, coalitions and directly to human service organizations throughout the country. She served 7 years in the executive staff position as the Director for Cultural Competence at the New York State Office of Mental Health, addressing disparities elimination and inclusion of cultural considerations into services and supports. She is recognized for her work in the integration of cultural competence and trauma-informed approaches, has consulted with many national technical assistance centers and brings her experiences with survival, healing family and community trauma, leadership and organizational development to all that she does.

Crystal L. Brandow Ph.D. has been working in the fields of behavioral and community health for nearly a decade, including efforts related to children’s mental health, youth behavioral health, health and wellness, community action, statewide family networks, systems of care, and homelessness. Dr. Brandow has a Ph.D. in Health Communication from the University at Albany, New York, where her dissertation research explored the school-based ecological factors that influenced middle school students’ nutrition attitudes and behaviors. She worked with the University as both an adjunct professor and a research assistant. Her interests include broader, interdisciplinary topics related to public health communication, health disparities, and media effects. Dr. Brandow has presented her research at the 2016 CDC National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media; the 2015 D.C. Health Communication Conference; and the 2015 UMASS Bodies That Sell Conference. Dr. Brandow is a Founding Member of the Society for Health Communication and a member of both the College for Behavioral Health Leadership and the American Public Health Association. She is also a consultant with HumanKind Workshop.

Melissa Murphy, LCSW is a doctoral student at the Florida State University College of Social Work. Her research focuses on the conceptualization of psychiatric diagnoses and treatment by examining knowledge dissemination within mental health practice and research. In addition to her research experience, Melissa is a licensed clinical social worker and has more than 7 years of practice experience in both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings. 

Jeffrey Lacasse Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Florida State University College of Social Work. His research examines psychiatric diagnosis and treatment within the biomedical industrial complex, focusing on the use of psychiatric medication in vulnerable populations. He has published articles in PLoS Medicine, Psychiatry Research, and Psychiatric Times. 

Daniel Dunleavy is a Doctoral Candidate at the Florida State University College of Social Work. His research focuses primarily on the intersection of mental health practice with the child welfare system and on social welfare policy. His current work pays particular attention to the reliability and validity of psychiatric diagnosis and on the use of coercion in social welfare settings.

Louis Hoffman, PhD, is a faculty member at Saybrook University. He is a past president of the Society for Humanistic Psychology and current president of the Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association. An avid writer, Dr. Hoffman has 12 books as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. He has been recognized as a fellow of the American Psychological Associations as well as three divisions of the APA for his contributions to professional psychology. In addition to his teaching and scholarship, Dr. Hoffman has a private practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Heatherlyn Cleare-Hoffman, PsyD, is a Staff Psychologist at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Recreation and Wellness Center. Originally from the Bahamas, much of Dr. Cleare-Hoffman’s scholarship has focused on multicultural and international issues in psychology.  She has served as a Director of Clinical Training at universities and training centers previously. 

Sera Davidow was given her first psychiatric diagnosis as a teenager, and had accumulated more than a half dozen such labels by her mid-twenties. However, her path to healing and a full life ultimately involved discarding those diagnoses for a very different way of understanding her experiences and place in the world. Now, she identifies most strongly as activist, advocate, mother, filmmaker, and beyond. Her professional associations include leadership of the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community (RLC), founding Board Member of Hearing Voices USA, lead trainer for the Massachusetts Certified Peer Specialist program, and regular blogger at Mad in America. The work of the RLC has recently been featured in such national publications as the New York Times and Foreign Policy.  Sera herself was featured in a full-length interview published in the April, 2017 edition of Sun Magazine where she spoke expressly to the need to develop new understandings of people’s distress, and the elements of the system (and world) that truly help or hinder them.

Noel Hunter Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist working in private practice in New York City and as an adjunct faculty at New York University. Her work focuses on the link between adverse life experiences and extreme states of distress, mental health care reform, and the intersection between social injustice and the mental health system. These topics are the basis for her book (in-progress), "Trauma, dissociated identifies and madness in mental health services". She is on the board of directors for the Hearing Voices Network - USA, National Association for Rights and Protection Advocacy, and the International Society for Professional Psychology & Psychiatry. 

Mary Vieten Ph.D. ABPP is a board certified clinical psychologist and Executive Director of The ADVANCE, an intense training program for active duty and veteran Warfighters with operational stress and reintegration issues.  CMD Vieten 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.  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 worldwide in 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 clients to pursue trauma recovery and resilience outside of the medical model, and proactively educates them on the dangers of psychopharmacology. 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. 

Phil Borges, a social documentary photographer and filmmaker, has been documenting indigenous cultures for over 25 years. His films and photographs are exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. Phil has hosted television documentaries on indigenous cultures for Discovery and National Geographic. As an experienced lecturer, he has spoken at multiple TED talks. Phil directed 13 short documentaries focusing on gender based issues around the world for UN Women, CARE, ReSurge, joinFITE, Foundation for Women and One Heart. Two recent films include: One Heart in Nepal (2012, 6:39 min), and Ms. Trung (2012, 4:51 min).



Earl Miller first entered the psychiatric and foster care systems when he was 12. He went on to spend as much of his teen years in the system as he did out, which continued into early adulthood and included experiences of homelessness, hospitalization, and a great deal of trauma. Along the way, he received the message that he should never become a father, and that he should give up making music because it wasn’t good for his ‘mental health’.  Nowadays, Earl is the father of two healthy, and full-of-life girls who he credits with helping to tether him to this world. He is also a successful musician and poet who has produced several albums including ‘Resting on My Laurels: The Best of Miller’ which can be heard here http://bjpen.bandcamp.com/.  Earl has also worked with the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community for the last three years, and has been instrumental in raising awareness about the impact of homelessness on people’s emotional health and well-being. Earl has recently become the Coordinator of Peer Roles on the Center For Human Development’s Community Based Flexible Supports contract. 

Joanne Cacciatore Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Arizona State University, where she is the director of the Graduate Program in Trauma and Bereavement, and founder of the MISS Foundation, an international nonprofit with 77 chapters around the world that helps families suffering from the death or impending death of a child family member. She has more than 60 empirical studies published in top tier journal including The Lancet, BMJ, and Death Studies. Her latest book, Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief, hit number one in four categories on Amazon.  She trains medical and psychotherapy providers on traumatic grief informed green-care. She lives in Sedona, Arizona where she also rescues badly abused horses, sheep, dogs and anything else that she finds. For more information on her work, please visit www.JoanneCacciatore.com

Bertram Karon, Ph.D., ABPP is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology (2010), Michigan State University; Former President, Division of Psychoanalysis, American Psychological Association; Fellow, APA Divisions of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy , Psychoanalysis, and of Trauma Psychology;  and Diplomate in Clinical Psychology and Psychoanalysis, ABPP.  In 2000, Dr. Karon was given the award for Contributions to Ethical Human Science and Services, ISEPP;  2002 award for “profound contributions to our psychoanalytic understanding and humane treatment of patients with  severe mental disorders; ISPS-US; 2003 Distinguished Science Research Award, Division of Psychoanalysis; 2010 Lifetime achievement to Date for Distinguished Contributions to Psychoanalysis Award, Psychologist Psychoanalyst Clinicians (Section 5) of the Division of Psychoanalysis.  Over 165 publications including the book (with G.R. VanderBos) Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia: The Treatment of Choice.

Lloyd Ross, Ph.D.  is a psychologist in full-time private practice for the past 40 years,  specializing in child-adolescent psychotherapy and clinical supervision.  A graduate of the New York University psychology doctoral program, he is also certified as a school psychologist.  He presently serves as director of ISEPP’s North American Region.  He was psychoanalytically trained under Margaret Mahler, M.D., and The Institute for the Study of Psychotherapy in New York.  He has previously served as psychological consultant at The Barnstable School, Glen Rock Schools, St. Peter’s Children’s Residential Treatment Center, Chief of the Children’s Unit, Central Bergen Mental Health Center, as adjunct professor, Montclair State University, and as Clinical Director, Mt. Carmel Guild Narcotic Rehabilitation Center, all in northern New Jersey.  He has presented numerous workshops on ADHD, depression, the DSM, psychopharmacology, drug addiction, psychotherapy with difficult patients, working with aggressive, acting out children, school discipline, prescription privileges, and other topics.  In 2015 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from ISEPP.

Peter Solon, Ph.D.  is a clinical psychologist who has spent the past 30+ years in practice in Boulder, Colorado, working with both children and adults with severe emotional problems.  He is board certified in psychopharmacology and is a graduate of the California School of Professional Psychology, and is trained in Sulivanian and self-psychology.   He studied under and was supervised by Otto Allen Will, MD.    He has lectured at the University of California Medical Center, East Bay Hospital, and the Wright Instutute, and has given many workshops regarding therapists who have success with patients who are labeled as Schizophrenic.  He is the author of Hidden Secret: The Successful Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia.

Sooin Lee, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who practices existential psychology.  Dr. Lee earned her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL.  Her doctoral dissertation, “Existential concerns in self-defining memories of individuals with depression” (2014), expressed her early interest in alternative ways to understand “psychopathology.”  Dr. Lee’s research involves the existential approach to such areas as multiculturalism, becoming a therapist, and inpatient psychology, and she has presented at various conferences to include the Annual Conferences for the Society for Humanistic Psychology (APA Division 32).  Dr. Lee currently works with Ozark Center/Freeman Health System in Joplin, MO providing psychological services for both inpatient and outpatient clients and supervising psychology students and interns.

Tabita Green is a digital content strategist, author, speaker, and community organizer. In 2011, she left her six-digit corporate job to focus on family, health, and community building. After three years of research into emotional wellbeing and resilience for her book, Her Lost Year: A Story of Hope and a Vision for Optimizing Children’s Mental Health, she believes humanity’s future health and happiness depends on a new economy and the creation of resilient, sustainable communities. She speaks on topics ranging from social justice to simple productivity, is a guest lecturer at Luther College, and contributes to Mad in America, a website dedicated to rethinking psychiatric care in the U.S. and abroad. Her blog at tabitagreen.com inspires readers to take action for personal wellness, social justice, and a sustainable future. Tabita lives in Decorah, Iowa with her husband, Todd. In her spare time, she likes to make music, read, run around in the woods, and teach Swedish.

Rachel Kling has a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from Saint Michael’s College, and currently has a full time private psychotherapy practice in Montpelier, Vermont.  Diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in 1993, Rachel has found lived experience to be an asset to her work as a psychotherapist and application of psychoanalytic ideas. Prior to graduate school, Rachel worked as a peer support worker in a peer staffed Crisis Intervention Program.   Her thesis was a qualitative study on the impact of this program on clients diagnosed with BPD.  

Sarah Edmonds is a psychologist in private practice in Flagstaff, AZ.  After completing her pre-doctoral internship at Napa State Hospital in California, she earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Syracuse University in 1993.  She has published papers and presented at conferences on topics such as bereavement, parenting, nonviolent communication, and abuses of power in the mental health system.  With a background in humanistic, psychodynamic, and relational approaches, she became interested in coherence therapy because of its non-pathologizing stance that involved entering into the client's world.  She started training in earnest with the Coherence Therapy Training program ten years ago, and became a Certified Practitioner of Coherence Therapy in 2015.

Al Galves practices psychotherapy in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  He is a Past Executive Director of the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) and a member of the Board of Directors of MindFreedom International.  He is the author of Lighten Up. Dance With Your Dark Side.

Robert Sliclen Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in full-time private practice.   Initially trained as a school psychologist with his doctoral studies at St. John’s University, he completed post-doctoral training in a psychoanalytic program which focused on short-term intensive psychotherapy.  His orientation is psychodynamic / developmental. Dr. Sliclen works in individual sessions with children, adolescents and adults, and sees couples and families. He is also a consultant to local school districts.  He lives and practices in Bergen County, New Jersey.                                                                                                     

Phillip Sinaikin MD has been involved in the critical psychiatry movement for many years including active participation in and presentations for ISEPP and AAPP (The Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry). I have published critical, humanistic and philosophical articles in peer reviewed journals and books including the EHPP journal. I have also written a book titled PSYCHIATRYLAND, a comprehensive consumer friendly examination of what has gone so terribly wrong in psychiatry and what, if anything, can be done about it. Finally, I have been a practicing clinical psychiatrist in numerous venues for 32 years.  

Kelli Foulkrod, MS, LPA, RYT is a therapist and yoga teacher in Austin, Tx.  She has worked in the mental health field and practiced yoga for the past 15 years.  Kelli has an extensive background in psychological clinical research studies and has published multiple journal articles and book chapters.  Currently she combines yoga, meditation, and spiritual healing with talk therapy and educates on alternatives to psychiatric medications.  She has a specialty in pregnancy and postpartum depression and is deeply interested in how hormones and trauma shape “mood disorders” and psychiatric drug withdrawal.  In her work with new moms, Kelli is passionate about empowering women to make decisions based on informed consent, both as an individual and for the health of their children.  She also has a strong interest in diet and nutrition and the impact food and gut health have on mood and behavior.  

Karin Tochkov, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist and Associate Professor at Texas A&M University-Commerce. A native of Germany, she completed her B.A. in Psychology at the Ruprecht Karls University in Heidelberg, Germany. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany in 2007. As head of the Addictive Behaviors Research Laboratory, Dr. Tochkov’s research focuses on the role of emotions and cognitive distortions in the development and maintenance of addictive behaviors. The results of her research have been presented at national and international conferences, including the British Psychological Society Annual Meeting and the World Congress of Psychology.  Her publications have appeared, among others, in Judgment and Decision Making and International Gambling Studies.   At Texas A&M University-Commerce, Dr. Tochkov teaches classes in Psychopatholgy and Group Psychotherapy. She is chairing the dissertation and thesis of students in the Educational Psychology Ph.D. program and the Master program in Clinical Psychology at Texas A&M University-Commerce.  In 2013 Dr. Tochkov received the Academic Excellence Award and in 2010 the Provost Award for Research & Creative Activity at Texas A&M University-Commerce. From 2008-2013 she received the Student Recognition Award for Teaching Excellence from the Texas A&M University System.

Burton N. Seitler, Ph.D., is trained as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. He is the Director of Counseling and Psychotherapy Services, with offices in Ridgewood and Oakland, NJ; the Director of the Child and Adolescence Psychotherapy Studies program of the New Jersey Institute for training in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy; has worked at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital and Neurological Institute and in residential treatment centers; has been a consultant for the public schools in his area; and has taught psychology at the Undergraduate and Graduate school level. Dr. Seitler has developed and run conferences on ADHD; Trauma; Schizophrenia; Autism; Resilience; and Neuro-Science, and has lectured across the United States and presented papers in Lugano, Baden Baden, Lisbon, and Buenos Aires.