Symposium on Clinical Excellence – Chicago

Constellation Chicago Symposium


The Constellation Symposium on Clinical Excellence: The Innovator’s Dilemma

Co-Hosted by:

Lindner Center of Hope Logo

Presentation handouts can be downloaded from each speaker’s bio below.

Where: W Hotel, Chicago – Lakeshore, 644 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611

Date: Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Time: 7:30am – 4:30pm

Cost: $99/person

CE Credits Offered: 5.5


Continuing Education Sponsored by Yellowbrick:

Marriage and Family TherapistsYellowbrick Foundation is a registered Marriage and Family Therapy Continuing Education Sponsor by the State of Illinois, License #168.000180.

Registered Social WorkersYellowbrick Foundation is a registered Social Work Continuing Education Sponsor by the State of Illinois, License #159.001043.

Counselors:  Yellowbrick Foundation is a registered Professional and Clinical Counselor Continuing Education Sponsor by the State of Illinois, License #197.000160.

Psychologists:  Yellowbrick Foundation is a registered Psychologist Continuing Education Sponsor by the State of Illinois, License #268.000019

Yellowbrick Foundation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Certificates of attendance will be available to all participants.

No commercial support has been provided for the symposium.


Symposium Agenda:

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

7:30-8:15am       Registration, Light Breakfast, Networking

8:15-8:30am      Welcome by William Morrison, Chief Executive Officer of Constellation Behavioral Health

8:30-9:30am     Dr. A. Thomas McLellan: “Innovations in Research: Facing Addiction in America, Highlights of the Surgeon General’s report on Alcohol, Drugs & Health”

9:30-10:30am    Dr. David Baron: “How Neuroscience Informs Treatment”

10:30-11:00am   Networking Break & Meet the Speakers

11:00-12:00pm  Dr. Paul Keck: “Borrowing from the Cutting Edge: Using Diagnostic and Treatment Advantages to Optimize  Outcomes”

12:00-12:15pm   Lunch buffet opens

12:15-1:15pm      Lunch

1:15-1:45pm       Networking Break & Meet the Speakers

1:45-2:45pm      Dr. Judy Ho: “The Triple Threat: Assessment Techniques for Complex Cases of Multiple Diagnoses”

2:45-4:15pm      Dr. Pamela H. Harmell: “Legal and Ethical Issues in the Age of Technology”

4:15-4:30pm      Closing Remarks, CE Evaluations Returned, Sign-out required for CE credits


Speaker Details and Presentations

Innovations in Research: Facing Addiction in America, Highlights of the Surgeon General’s report on Alcohol, Drugs & Health

Keynote Speaker: A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D.

Download Dr. A. Thomas McLellan’s Handout


Target Audience: Intermediate


Over 22 million Americans age 12 and older meet medical diagnostic criteria for addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs.  Over 40 million additional Americans regularly use one or more substances at an amount or under circumstances that can cause immediate harm to themselves or others (e.g. drugged driving, drinking while pregnant, etc.).  This is termed substance misuse.  Substance misuse and addiction cost our country over $400 billion annually in employment, criminal justice and healthcare related costs; and are implicated in over 70% of deaths among adolescents.  Moreover, these prevalence, severity and cost figures are not unusual although there have been changes in the types of substance misuse and addiction problems over the decades, overall prevalence rates and total costs have not declined.  This has led to the view that substance misuse and addiction may simply be a part of our culture, an intractable issue society will simply have to accept, like poverty or prejudice.

But there is one exception; cigarette use.  The prevalence, health harms and costs associated with cigarette use have been dramatically reduced over the past four decades as a direct result of broadly applying science-based public health policies and clinical practices.  This presentation argues that a similar science-based strategy has never been applied to control and contain other substance misuse problems but such a strategy would be practical and cost effective to implement, with expectable public benefits comparable to the cigarette example.

To make this case the presentation summarizes the three decades of research overviewed and synthesized in the recent Surgeon Generals Report entitled “Facing Addiction in the United States.”  The presentation will summarize the key findings from the neurobiology, prevention, early intervention, treatment, recovery and healthcare systems chapters from that Report and describe the rationale and basis for four major policy recommendations from that Report:

Educational Objectives:
At the conclusion of this presentation, members of the audience will be able to:

  1. Explain at least two of the four major brain circuits/systems disrupted in the course of addiction
  1. Cite at least one example from each of the three components of effective addiction treatment: Medications, Behavioral Therapies, Recovery Support Services

More about the speaker:

Dr. McLellan has been a career researcher for 35 years at the Treatment Research Institute (which he founded in 1992) and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.

In his career he has published over 450 research articles and chapters on addiction.  He has received Life Achievement Awards from the American, Swedish, Italian and British Societies of Addiction Medicine; from the US National Institutes of Drug Abuse and Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; the US Public Health Service; and the US Surgeon General.

Dr. McLellan’s comments on addiction research and policy have appeared in newspapers such as the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post; in TV programs such as 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, Today, CNN Situation Room, CBS World News Round-Up, NBC Frontline and in over 30 National Public Radio programs

From 2009 – 2012 Dr. McLellan was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate as Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, where he was the principal author of President Obama’s National Drug Control Strategy.

In 2016 Dr. McLellan was the Senior Editor for the US Surgeon General report on Substance Use, Addiction and Health.

Dr. McLellan holds a B.A. from Colgate University and a Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College.  He received postgraduate training in psychology at Oxford University in England.

How Neuroscience Informs Treatment”    

Speaker: David Baron, MD

Download Dr. David Baron’s Handout


Target Audience: Intermediate/Advanced


There is an explosion of neuroscience research which is providing new insights into brain functioning in health and illness. This research is challenging traditional perspectives on diagnosis and approaches in treatment. This presentation is an evolving effort to organize and integrate what we are learning about the brain into a coherent model for understanding and working effectively with the difficulties of those who seek our professional assistance. Both those in training and master clinicians will find something new and of value in this presentation.

The presentation will review neuroscience research which has implications for treatment with a focus on the population of adolescents and young adults. This research is then organized into a model for approaching treatment which includes four core dimensions:

  • Quieting the limbic system
  • Activating the pre-frontal cortex
  • Re-networking motivational reward systems
  • Approaching secure attachment

There will be extensive and specific discussion of the application of modern medical and ancient human technologies which can be applied to target brain network systems towards reducing threat responses, enhancing higher cognitive and executive function capacities, providing satisfaction in constructive role performance and enriched personal connectedness. Lastly, the only recently explored use of right brain processing for work with deeply troubled individuals who respond minimally to traditional and supportive interventions will be discussed.

Educational Objectives:

At the conclusion of this presentation, members of the audience will be able to:

  1. Discuss brain maturation in Emerging Adulthood
  2. Discuss how neuroscience informs treatment

More about the speaker:

David Baron, MD, was born and raised in part in New York City, and later in Livingston, New Jersey. He received his B.A. in Psychology (magna cum laude) and M.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Baron went on to complete his psychiatry residency at Tufts/New England Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Baron is a member of the faculties of Rush University and Rosalind Franklin University/the Chicago Medical School. As Clinical Assistant Professor at the Chicago Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, he supervised psychiatric residents in their community psychiatry rotation for 15 years. During that time he also served as Administrative Psychiatrist, and Interim Director of Mental Health Services, for the DuPage County Health Department, supervising psychiatrists and over 200 other clinical staff.

Dr. Baron clinical and administrative experience and practice over the past 23 years has been within a bio-psychosocial understanding of psychiatric problems, and he has developed expertise in meaningfully integrating psychotherapy and psychopharmacology approaches to help people suffering from a variety of psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Baron is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He served on the Ethics Committee of the Illinois Psychiatric Society as a member from 2001 to 2006, and as Chairman from 2006 to 2011.

Borrowing from the Cutting Edge: Using Diagnostic and Treatment Advantages to Optimize  Outcomes” 

Speaker: Paul E. Keck, Jr., MD

Download Dr. Paul Keck’s Handout


Target Audience: Advanced


By applying innovations from cutting-edge research, the scope of assessment and evidence-based treatment can be expanded to provide options to clients, even those suffering with complex and treatment resistant illness.  An evidence-based assessment is the critical first step in understanding the diagnostic implications of an individual struggles. Fortunately, there are a number of assessment tools, including genetic and psychopharmacologic, that have been developed, that when applied strategically, provide a 360-degree perspective to inform treatment recommendations. Likewise, when developing a blueprint for treatment, outcomes can be optimized with a combination of therapies.

Educational Objectives:

At the conclusion of this presentation, members of the audience will be able to:

  1. Discuss the role of structured interviews and rating scales in optimizing diagnostic precision and treatment outcomes
  2. Explain cutting edge, evidence-based treatment approaches to extend treatment options to patients.

More about the speaker:

Paul E. Keck, Jr., MD, is Craig and Frances Lindner Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine. He is also President-CEO of the Lindner Center of HOPE, a state-of-the-science, UC affiliated comprehensive mental health center in Mason, Ohio. Dr. Keck has conducted extensive research in bipolar disorder and clinical psychopharmacology, supported by grants from the NIMH, NARSAD, the Stanley Foundation, the Marriott Foundation, and industry.  Since 1996, he has been in the top 10 of the most cited scientists in the world publishing in the fields of psychology and psychiatry.

A magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Dartmouth College, Dr. Keck received his MD with honors from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY.  He served his internship in Internal Medicine at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and completed his residency training in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA.  Dr. Keck remained on faculty at McLean and Harvard before joining the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati in 1991.

Dr. Keck is the author of over 400 scientific papers in leading medical journals.  He has also contributed over 200 reviews and chapters to major psychiatric textbooks, and is the editor or author of 6 scientific books.

Dr. Keck is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Gerald Klerman Young Investigator Award from the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association (NDMDA); the Gerald Klerman Senior Investigator Award from the Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA); the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill (NAMI); the Philip Isenberg Teaching Award from Harvard Medical School; the Nancy C A Roeske Certificate for medical student education from the American Psychiatric Association; Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association; the Wyeth-Ayerst AADPRT Mentorship Award; two Communicator Awards for Continuing Medical Education; the Outstanding Physician Partner Award of the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine; and two Golden Apple Teaching Awards from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He is listed as one of the Best Doctors in Cincinnati by Cincinnati Magazine; The Best Doctors in America, a directory of the top one percent of physicians in the United States as rated by their peers; and is listed among The World Most Influential Scientific Minds by ScienceWatch.


The Triple Threat: Assessment Techniques for Complex Cases of Multiple Diagnoses” 

Speaker: Judy Ho, Ph. D., ABPP, CFMHE

Download Dr. Judy Ho’s Handout


Target Audience: Intermediate/Advanced


This presentation will focus on individuals who present for assessment and intervention with Tripartite Diagnoses, a term coined by the presenter to represent patients who present simultaneously with symptoms of a primary clinical condition such as Major Depressive Disorder or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, along with an Alcohol or Substance Use Disorder, and a Personality Disorder).

An evidence-based, comprehensive, multi-step neuropsychological assessment strategy that will help to organize thoughtful differential diagnostic consideration and accurate diagnoses will be discussed. In addition, a roadmap on how to utilize the results to develop a data-driven, individualized treatment plan with built in progress assessments to measure the effectiveness of the intervention on addressing the multiple, interacting factors that are leading to and maintaining the individual emotional and behavioral difficulties will be shared. Finally, recommendations on how to discuss the relevant findings (including the application of the test results to improve their functioning), articulation of the treatment plan, and the communication of active diagnoses with the patient will be provided.

Educational Objectives:

At the conclusion of this presentation, members of the audience will be able to:

  1. Explain several assessment techniques that will help to evaluate individuals presenting with multiple mental health conditions and personality disorders
  2. Discuss how to utilize objective and subjective data gathered from intake interviews and formal neuropsychological evaluations to develop treatment plans with built in assessments to measure progress

More about the speaker:

Dr. Judy Ho is a board licensed clinical psychologist, a two-time board diplomate of American Board of Professional Psychology and the National Board of Forensic Evaluators, and a tenured Associate Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University. Her clinical experiences include working in inpatient psychiatric settings; outpatient hospitals and clinics; in forensic settings as a testing psychologist and expert witness in criminal and civic proceedings, and in public schools and special education classrooms. Dr. Ho maintains a private practice where she conducts neuropsychological and forensic assessments and provides evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapies to couples and individuals. She currently serves as Consulting Neuropsychologist at Bridges To Recovery, an inpatient residential treatment center for adults, and Consulting Forensic Psychologist at Promises Treatment Center, a drug and alcohol residential treatment program for professionals. She conducts regular trainings for mental health providers for Los Angeles Department of Mental Health (LADMH). In past years, she served as a neuropsychological trainer and consultant for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Legacy Project and as a cognitive-behavioral therapy consultant on the Community Partners in Care Project and the REACH NOLA Project.

Dr. Ho regularly appears on various television programs as an expert psychologist. Notable shows include several primetime programs on networks including CNN (Piers Morgan, CNN Tonight, CNN Newsroom), HLN (Dr. Drew, Nancy Grace, Michaela), Fox (Daily Helpline, Fox 11 News), Discovery Channel (Pretty Bad Girls, Wicked Attraction, Death by Gossip), Lifetime (Killer Kids), ESPN (Outside the Lines), A & E (Miss Murder), Oxygen (Snapped: Killer Couples), NBC (Nightly News), ABC (Eyewitness News), CBS (The Doctors, Evening News), Pivot TV (TakePart Live), Reelz (Celebrity Arrests), and WE TV (Braxton Family values), KTLA (Crime Watch Daily), and ITV (Good Morning Britain). Dr. Ho pursues her media consultant work with the goal of providing information to the general public about psychological issues in daily life and quality mental health care, and to reduce stigma towards mentally ill individuals and to encourage people who need help to seek effective treatment.

Dr. Ho contributes clinical research manuscripts to National and International psychological journals, and writes chapter contributions to Mental Health Textbooks and research articles illuminating issues regarding mental health treatment for high need populations. Dr. Ho is currently working on a book for publication which will help people overcome self-sabotaging behaviors in romantic relationships. Dr. Ho will be doling out practical, easy to implement advice based on what has been scientifically proven in research to improve lives.

Dr. Ho received her bachelors of arts degree in Psychology and bachelor of science degree in Business Administration from UC Berkeley, and her masters of sciences and Ph. D. from the San Diego State University/University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and is a two-time recipient of National Institute of Mental Health’s National Research Services Award.

Legal and Ethical Issues in the Age of Technology

Speaker: Pamela H. Harmell, Ph.D.

Download Dr. Pamela Harmell’s Handout


Target Audience: Advanced


The 21st Century has brought innovations that require therapists to consider confidentiality, record keeping and boundary controversies.  This one and a half hour workshop will address personal versus professional website issues, telehealth and updates on proper internet record keeping including FaceTime, Skype, iMessage, Yelp and reputation protection.  Literature updates, expert opinion, and relevant ethics codes will be applied.

Educational Objectives:

At the conclusion of this presentation, members of the audience will be able to:

  1. Give two issues related to social networking
  2. Give two reasons why SKYPE and FaceTime are or are not HIPAA compliant.
  3. Give three examples of how to handle inappropriate attacks upon one reputation on the internet (ie. Yelp).

More about the speaker:

Dr. Pamela Harmell is a national lecturer specializing in legal and ethical issues in clinical practice.  She is a Professor at the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology and has written extensively in professional publications on ethical practice and Past President of the Board of Psychology.  Dr. Harmell is former Chair of the California State Ethics Committee, is the current Chair of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association Ethics Committee. She served on the Board of Directors of the California Psychological Association and is Past President of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association.  She has completed one year of law school.

A very special thank you to our attendees for helping make this year’s The Constellation Symposium on Clinical Excellence a success:

Donna Albert, LPC

Roberto Amato, PsyD, CADC

Tracy Ashworth

Dr. Judith Bank, LCSW

Whitney Belcher, PsyD

Mike Binder

Sarah Buividas, LCPC

Debbie Davero

Michael Giammanco, MA, CADC

Rose J. Gordon, Clinical Psychologist

David Green

Rae Green, LPC, CAADC

Mikki Guerra, LCSW, CADC

Jennifer Hahs, MA

Peggy Hough, LCPC

Stephanie Jarvis

Phil Kosanovich

Ruthie Landis

Jean Leahy

Martin Lemon, PhD

Janet Levitt, MA, LCPC

Michael Losoff

Tom Maisel, RN

Bill Martin, LCSW

Allison Mason, PsyD

Marion Middleton, LCSW

Leo Miller, LCPC, CRADC

Jim Nardiello, LCPC, CSADC

Kathleen Neher, LISW-S

Myron Nelson

Terri O’Connor, CADC

Jimmy Owen, LCPC

Tom Parker

Bill Patten

Kristen Powell, LPC

Jessica Renner, LCPC

Ryan Rivard

Randi Nell Sax-Weaver, Clinical Psychologist

Adam L. Scheffler, LSCW

Rick Shamberg

Meridith Sonetz

Jeanette Spires, NCSP

Myron Stokes, LSW

Casey Tanner

Pam Tansey, RN, LCSW

Jennifer Venezia, MA, CADC

Tricia Wisneski, LCPC