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SPRING CONFERENCE 2008: April 12-13, 2008
Schizophrenia: Diagnosis is not Destiny

Please note: Saturday presentations (Disks 1-4) are available as individual DVDs. Due to clinical material the Sunday presentations (Disks 5-8) are only sold as part of the complete DVD set.

Advances in understanding the brain and the myriad effects of the stress response, growing awareness of the value of systems biology, and the understanding of human relationships provided by Bowen theory have all contributed to revitalizing the biopsychosocial model of considering schizophrenia. Conference presentations emphasize the role of the chronic stress response in psychosis, and the impact of relationships on triggering psychosis and in relieving it. The first day emphasizes theory and the second day looks at clinical application. Several of our speakers discuss their personal experiences with schizophrenia. This conference is unique in its broad spectrum of viewpoints and interdisciplinary approach. It will also address that little issue of schizophrenia being in all of us!


Esther M. Sternberg, MD is Director of the Intramural Integrative Neural Immune Program, NIMH/National Institutes of Health. She is also Chief, Section on Neuroendocrine Immunology and Behavior, NIMH and is internationally recognized for her work on the stress response, the brain-immune system connection, and the role of the immune system in medical and psychiatric conditions.

Michael D. Lumpkin, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in the School of Medicine at Georgetown University. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in neuroendocrinology and neuroimmunology and has a remarkable ability to communicate how stress can translate into disease.

Michael E. Kerr, MD is the Director of The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family and is in private practice in family psychiatry. Widely recognized for his expertise in Bowen family systems theory, he has long been interested in the interplay of relationships, stress, and the biology of schizophrenia.

Elyn R. Saks, JD, PhD Candidate is the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Law School. She is also the Associate Dean for Research, USC Law School and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. Her most recent book, The Center Cannot Hold, conveys incredible insight into schizophrenia. It was chosen one of the Top Ten 2007 Non-Fiction Books by Time magazine.

Lonnie Joe Holt, MS is a systems analyst for the Department of Defense and a marriage and family therapist serving as Director of Counseling, Abundant Life Baptist Church in Lee's Summit, Missouri. He is a diagnosed schizophrenic. His description of key components in his recovery both inform and inspire.

Cecile Whitehead and Thomas Whitehead, JD will discuss their role in their daughter's recovery from a series of psychotic episodes. Ms. Whitehead is the President of Accurate Solutions, an accounting firm specializing in outsourced accounting services for businesses in the metropolitan DC area. Mr. Whitehead has retired from government service and private law practice.


Welcome and Introduction - Michael E. Kerr, MD

Neuroendocrine Regulation of Autoimmune, Inflammatory, and Infectious Disease - Esther M. Sternberg, MD
How the science of the mind-body connection explains how stress and the social world affect health, how belief helps healing, how the immune system can change moods, and how these ideas influence treatment.

The Relationship between Stress and Schizophrenia - Michael D. Lumpkin, PhD
Outline of how the particular neuroendocrine mechanisms activated in stress are believed to participate in the generation of schizophrenia.

Panel Discussion and Audience Questions - Sternberg and Lumpkin

The Relevance of Bowen Theorys Concept of Self to a Broader Understanding of Schizophrenia - Michael E. Kerr, MD
Bowen theorys concept of self is unique by defining self as the capacity to adapt successfully to the pressures and tensions of family and social groups. Symptoms emerge when that adaptive capacity is exceeded.

Medication and Restraints: Forced Treatment and the Rights of People with Mental Illness - Elyn R. Saks, JD, PhD Candidate
The legal, psychiatric, and normative issues surrounding the right to refuse treatment and the use of restraints in psychiatric hospitals.

Panel Discussion and Audience Questions - Sternberg, Lumpkin, Kerr and Saks

The Center Cannot Hold - Elyn R. Saks, JD, PhD Candidate
The story of how Ms. Saks overcame a diagnosis of schizophrenia in her twenties with multiple hospitalizations and a poor prognosis to build a successful life as a law professor, researcher, author, psychoanalyst in training, and wife.

Diagnosis is not Destiny - Lonnie Joe Holt, MS
A recorded interview in which he describes being diagnosed with schizophrenia in his late teens, the critical role of relationships in his gradual ascent to sanity, and his becoming a husband, father, and family therapist.

Panel Discussion and Audience Questions

Presentation of the Caskie Research Award - Michael E. Kerr, MD and Ruth Riley Sagar, MA
The Polly Caskie Research Fund was established in 2001 to honor Dr. Caskie and her contributions to the development of Bowen theory and its applications. An award of $1,000 to support an important research effort in Bowen theory is made each year at the Center's Annual Spring Conference.


A Family Approach to Psychosis - Cecile Whitehead and Thomas Whitehead, JD
A recorded interview with the parents of a daughter who had a series of psychotic episodes beginning in her late teens. It describes how the parents worked on their parts in the problem and contributed to the daughters recovery.

Panel Discussion and Audience Questions - Sternberg, Lumpkin, Kerr, Saks, Holt and the Whiteheads

Code Name Image Price Availability  
SC 08 - D-Set Schizophrenia: Diagnosis is Not Destiny (Eight DVD Set)   $300.00  
SC 08 - A-Set Schizophrenia: Diagnosis is Not Destiny (Audiotape Set)   $150.00  
SC 08 - MP3-Set Schizophrenia: Diagnosis is Not Destiny (MP3 Set on One Disk)   $125.00  
SC 08 - D-Disk 1 Schizophrenia: Diagnosis is Not Destiny DVD Disk One   $65.00  
SC 08 - D-Disk 2 Schizophrenia: Diagnosis is Not Destiny DVD Disk Two   $65.00  
SC 08 - D-Disk 3 Schizophrenia: Diagnosis is Not Destiny DVD Disk Three   $65.00  
SC 08 - D-Disk 4 Schizophrenia: Diagnosis is Not Destiny DVD Disk Four   $65.00  

For more information, please contact The Bowen Center at 202-965-4400 or