The 2011 ISEPP Conference, “Alternatives to Biological Psychiatry – If We Don’t Medicate, What Do We Do?” held in Los Angeles recently was a huge success. This conference drew an eager crowd of clinicians, researchers, students, parents, doctors, and mental health professionals. First time attendees were overwhelmed with the wide range of alternatives to biological psychiatry.
My presentation on “Childhood ADHD Behavior: The Neuroscience Behind Using Movement to Self-Regulate Instead of Medication,” received a warm and appreciative welcome from the audience. All of the attendees jumped right in to sample the movements I teach for helping children self-regulate.
Attendees also asked for the Amazing Brain Charts I’ve created that explain what happens to each hemisphere of the brain under stress – symptoms that are currently being labeled “ADHD,” but are actually normal behavior for anyone under stress.
I attended several remarkable presentations. DuBose Ravenel, M.D., a pediatrician and author from North Carolina (“The Diseasing of America’s Children”), presented drug-free solutions for behavior problems labeled ADD, ODD and Childhood Bipolar Disorder. His approach included parenting research, nutritional guidelines, educational practices, and extensive research on the serious, detrimental side effects of medication.
Scott Shannon, M.D., a pediatrician and author (“Please Don’t Label My Child”), from Colorado, spoke about “The Ecology of the Child: A New View of Pediatric Mental Health.” His presentation offered a critique of the current diagnostic and treatment system, the lack of scientific evidence for reliability of medications, and a range of positive interventions that honor and manage the challenges of the larger web of interactions in each child’s life.
Noelene Weatherby Fell and Brian Kean from Australia spoke about the non-medical intervention piloted and taught at the University Wollongong that supports the mental health of both students and teachers using positive, non-invasive, life-affirming methods for the classroom, particularly with new teachers. Australian innovations in teacher education would be a great asset for U.S. schools.
Kudos as well go to Michael Gilbert, Psy.D., one of many hardworking conference organizers. Michael Gilbert founded a not-for-profit clinical and resource center called “It’s About Childhood and Family, Inc.” He recently launched the “Inner Wealth Initiative,” a grassroots movement to provide families an alternative to the traditional mental health system.
Here’s a brief video of Al Galves, Executive Director of ISEPP speaking with me at the ISEPP Conference about my program, Solutions Without Drugs, helping children self-regulate using simple movements.