Missed Connections: A Critique of Psychiatric Drugs and Better Alternatives – July 19th



Join us for a special event with advice on the world of psychiatry and mental illness – a one-day workshop that will explore the research on psychiatric drugs and other biomedical interventions, as well psychotherapy and behavioral interventions. This conference will present an alternative perspective on mental health practices, and is certain to be both thought provoking and stimulating. There is likely to be spirited dialogue regarding the facts and myths of psychiatric medicine.


This conference is appropriate for Psychiatrists, Physicians, Psychologists, Social Workers, Counselors, School Nurses, Mental Health and Alcohol and Drug Counselors, Registered Nurses, Advance Practice Nurses, and Marriage and Family Therapists.


7:45 am Registration Opens
8:15 am Opening Remarks and Welcome – Dr. Paul Thomlinson
8:30 am Morning Workshop – Robert Whitaker
10:00 am Break
10:15 am Morning Workshop resumes
11:45am Lunch (provided)
1:00 pm Afternoon Workshop – Peter Breggin, MD
2:30 pm Break
2:45 pm Afternoon Workshop resumes
4:15 pm Adjourn


Opening Remarks and Welcome

Dr. Paul Thomlinson

Vice President, Research and Quality Assurance
Burrell Behavioral Health, Springfield, MO


Morning Workshop

Rethinking Psychiatric Care: History, Science and the Long-Term Effects of Psychiatric Medications

Robert Whitaker

Investigative Journalist
Cambridge, MA

During the past 20 years, the number of adults in the United States on federal disability rolls due to mental illness has more than tripled, rising from 1.25 million people in 1987 to more than four million in 2007. The number of children receiving a federal disability check due to severe mental illness increased 35-fold during this period, rising from 16,200 to 561,569.

This disability data necessarily raises a question: Could our drug-based paradigm of care, in some unforeseen way, be fueling this epidemic of disabling illness? Do psychiatric medications improve or worsen long-term outcomes? Does their use decrease or increase the risk of long-term disability? What does the scientific literature show?

This workshop will explore how psychiatric medications act on the brain and modify it; the long-term outcomes literature for benzodiazepines as a treatment for anxiety; the long-term outcomes literature for antidepressant as a treatment for depression; the literature regarding the dramatic increase in the prevalence of bipolar disorder in the modern era; the long-term outcomes literature for drug treatments for bipolar disorder; and the long-term outcomes literature for drug treatments for pediatric disorders (ADHD, depression, and bipolar disorder).
Specific Goals and Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how psychiatric medications act on the brain and how the brain responds to such drugs;
  • Analyze the history of the outcomes literature to describe how medications affect the long-term course of psychiatric disorders; and
  • Apply the questions raised by the long-term outcomes literature for adult affective disorders and pediatric disorders, including PTSD, to current practices.


Afternoon Workshop

Toxic Psychopharmacology and Empathic Alternatives

Peter Breggin, MD

Psychiatrist and Author
Ithaca, NY

In this workshop, Dr. Breggin will examine the underlying principles of psychopharmacology and drug development, and why chemical agents are inherently unsuitable for treating mental, emotional and behavioral problems. He will then examine the underlying principles of empathic therapy, and how and why they are most effective in healing human psychological suffering.
Specific Goals and Learning Objectives:

  • To identify in patients and to apply to clinical practice the new concept of medication spellbinding (intoxication anosognosia) and also brain-disabling treatment in psychiatry
  • To identify in patients and apply to clinical practice the concept of Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI)
  • To integrate the limits of the FDA-approval process into making clinical judgments
  • To recognize and utilize empathic processes in daily living and clinical practice
  • To describe how the social nature of human life impacts on emotional disorders
  • To cultivate in oneself and to apply the basic elements of a healing presence

Burrell is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Burrell maintains responsibility for the program and its content. This workshop is approved for 7.5 hours of continuing education. This workshop is to be considered an intermediate to advanced level of training, depending upon the attendees familiarity with psychiatric medications.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with Essential Areas and policies of the Missouri State Medical Association through the joint sponsorship of CoxHealth and Burrell Behavioral Health. CoxHealth is accredited by the Missouri State Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians. CoxHealth designates this live activity for a maximum of 7.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

CoxHealth Education Center is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Missouri Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

7.5 Contact Hours


Robert Whitaker

Robert Whitaker is the author of four books, two of which tell of the history of psychiatry. His first, Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill was named by Discover magazine as one of the best science books of 2002. His newest book on this topic, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, won the Investigative Reporters and Editors book award for best investigative journalism in 2010. Prior to writing books, Robert Whitaker worked as the science and medical reporter at the Albany Times Union newspaper in New York for a number of years. His journalism articles won several national awards, including a George Polk award for medical writing, and a National Association of Science Writers’ award for best magazine article. A series he co-wrote for The Boston Globe was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. He also was director of publications at Harvard Medical School for a time.

Peter Breggin, MD

Peter Breggin, MD, is a psychiatrist in private practice in Ithaca, NY, and the founder and director of the nonprofit Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Living and Education. He has been called “The Conscience of Psychiatry” for his decades of opposition to lobotomy, electroshock, psychiatric medications, and simplistic psychiatric diagnoses, as well as for his promotion of more caring empathic approaches. He is the author of dozens of scientific peer-reviewed articles and more than twenty books, including Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime and Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Handbook for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Their Families. He has also author the Empathic Therapy Training Video. His website is www.breggin.com.

Hotel Reservations

RamadaThe Working with Angry & Resistant Youth Conference will be held at the University Plaza Hotel Convention Center, Springfield, Missouri

Located in the heart of downtown Springfield – surrounded by great restaurants, lounges and coffee shops – this first class hotel has terrific resort-style amenities like a fitness center, whirlpool, sundeck and indoor and outdoor pools.

Special Room Rates

We have special room rates for conference at $89 (plus applicable taxes) single/double.

Call the reservations department at 417.864.7333 and be sure to ask for the Burrell New Frontiers conference block to receive the discounted conference rate.

NOTE: Rooms at the special rate are subject to availability and sell out quickly! Hotel reservations are separate from conference registration and must be booked and paid for separately.

University Plaza

See their website and take a tour of the hotel at: http://www.upspringfield.com/

University Plaza Hotel
333 John Q. Hammons Parkway
Springfield MO 65806

Hotel Phone: 417.864.7333
Hotel Fax: 417.831.5893