Symposium on Clinical Excellence

Symposium on Clinical Excellence


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

Co-Hosted by:


Where: New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

Date: March 10, 2017

Time: 7:30am – 4:45pm

Cost: $99/person

5.5 APA CE credits provided by Constellation Behavioral Health.
All attendees seeking APA CE Credits from Constellation Behavioral Health must arrive and sign-in prior to 8:00am, complete each course’s evaluation in its entirety, and sign-out at the end of the day. Full day participation is required to receive APA CE credits.

5.5 NYS LCSW Credit Hours provided by Freedom Institute.
Freedom Institute, Inc., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0408 

No commercial support has been provided for the symposium.



Symposium Agenda:

Friday, March 10th

7:30-8:00am           Registration, Networking; Coffee & Pastries

8:00–8:30am           Welcome by William Morrison, Chief Executive Officer of Constellation Behavioral Health (CEs not provided for this portion)

8:30–9:30am          “Modern, Effective Care for Substance Use Disorders: Findings from the 2016 Surgeon General’s Facing Addiction Report”
                                  Keynote Speaker: A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D.

9:30–10:30am        “International Examples of Innovations in Substances Use Disorder Treatment”
                                  Speaker: Richard A. Rawson, Ph.D.

10:30-11:00am        Networking Break: Meet the Speakers & Book Signing (CEs not provided for this portion)

11:00a-12:00pm     “PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Substance Use Disorders in Veterans: New Research”
                                  Speaker: Steven L. Batki, M.D.

12:00pm                   Lunch buffet opens (CEs not provided for this portion)

12:15-1:15pm           “Progressive Changes in the Family Experience”(CEs not provided for this portion)
                                  Keynote Speaker: David Sheff

1:15-1:45pm             Networking Break: Meet the Speakers & Book Signing (CEs not provided for this portion)

1:45-2:45pm            “Innovation: Money & Mental Health”
                                  Speaker: Paul “Ted” Klontz, Ph.D., CET III

2:45-3:15                  Interactive Panel Discussion: “Money & Mental Health”; Moderator: Alex Dayton, LMHC
                                  Panelists: Ted Klontz, Ph.D., CET III; Arden O’Connor, MBA; Robyn Schecter, LCSW, MSW

3:15-4:15pm             “Ethics in the New Behavioral Health Landscape”
                                  Speaker: Pamela Harmell, Ph.D.

4:15-4:30pm            Closing Remarks, CE Evaluations Returned (Sign-out required for CE credits) (CEs not provided for this portion)


Speaker Details

“Modern, Effective Care for Substance Use Disorders: Findings from the
2016 Surgeon General’s Facing Addiction Report”

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

1 APA CE Hour
Target Audience: Intermediate

Educational Objectives:
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. Describe two general methods for effective prevention
  1. Cite at least one example from each of the three components of effective addiction treatment: Medications, Behavioral Therapies, Recovery Support Services
  1. Provide a functional definition of “recovery.”
  1. Offer at least two reasons to integrate of treatment of substance use disorders and general healthcare.

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.


“International Examples of Innovations in SUD Treatment”

Speaker: Richard A. Rawson, Ph.D.

1 APA CE Hour
Target Audience: Intermediate

Educational Objectives:
Members of the audience will be able to:

  1. Identify at least two examples of diversity of drug and alcohol problems in different parts of the world.
  2. List two examples of treatment philosophies and approaches around the world
  3. Define the role of the WHO and United Nations in coordinating addictions service system development around the world.

More about the speaker:

Richard Rawson is a research professor at the University of Vermont and a professor emeritus in the UCLA School of Medicine.  Dr. Rawson has worked with NIDA, SAMHSA, the US State Department, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime on international substance abuse research and training projects for over 20 years.   He has worked extensively in South Africa, Iraq, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Vietnam, among many other countries.  Specific projects include WHO site visits to Iran, a Fogarty Training grant between UCLA and Cairo University (Egypt), a State Department contract to conduct a national drug survey in Iraq and a SAMHSA Contract to establish the Vietnam HIV-Addiction Technology Transfer Center.  Dr. Rawson has published 6 books, 35 book chapters and over 200 professional papers and annually conducts over 50 workshops, paper presentations and training sessions.


“PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Substance Use Disorders in Veterans: New Research”

Speaker: Steven L. Batki, M.D.

1 APA CE Hour
Target Audience: High Intermediate

Educational Objectives:
Members of the audience will be able to:

  1. Name at least one key diagnostic feature of each of the following: PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and substance use disorder.
  2. Name at least one symptom that overlaps among each of these 3 disorders.
  3. Name at least one evidence-based treatment approach for each of these 3 disorders.

More about the speaker:

Steven L. Batki, M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine as well as Chief of the Addiction Recovery Treatment Services and Director of the Addiction Research Program at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC), where he also directs the UCSF Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program.

At the San Francisco VA Medical Center he directs clinics focusing on the treatment of opioid, alcohol, and stimulant use disorders in Veterans. Much of his work focuses on the treatment of Veterans who also have co-occurring PTSD or traumatic brain injury in addition ot substance use disorders.

Dr. Batki also serves as the Addiction Psychiatry Consultant for Alta Mira Recovery Programs, a residential rehabilitation program in Sausalito, CA.

Prior to his current positions, Dr. Batki was Director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Addiction Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital.

Dr. Batki is engaged in addiction research, training, and clinical care. His research focuses on the pharmacological treatment of addictions. His current NIH/NIDA-funded work studies the treatment of methamphetamine use disorder, and his current VA-based research program focuses on the treatment of alcohol use disorder in Veterans with PTSD and TBI.

He chaired the SAMSHA CSAT Treatment Improvement Protocol No. 37, Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons with HIV/AIDS, and Treatment Improvement Protocol No. 43, Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence. He is a long-term member of the NIH/National Institute in Drug Abuse (NIDA) Data Monitoring and Safety Board (DSMB).

Dr. Batki teaches addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry to medical students, interns and residents, fellows, and attending physicians, and regularly lectures at regional and national meetings of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is the author of over 80 peer-reviewed articles and numerous book chapters and one book.


“Progressive Changes in the Family Experience”

Keynote Speaker: David Sheff

No APA CE Hours awarded for this portion
Target Audience: Appropriate for all audiences

More about the speaker:

David Sheff is the author of Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy, the follow-up to his New York Times #1 best seller, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s AddictionClean is the result of the years Sheff spent investigating the disease of addiction and America’s drug problem, which he sees as the greatest public health challenge of our time. In 2009, Sheff was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the World’s Most Influential People. He was awarded the 2013 College of Problems on Drug Dependence (CPDD) Media Award, and the 2017 American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Media Award, to be presented in April, 2017.

Sheff’s Beautiful Boy, published in 2008, was based on his article, “My Addicted Son,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine. The article won a special award from the American Psychological Association for “outstanding contribution to the understanding of addiction.” Beautiful Boy was named the year’s Best Nonfiction Book by Entertainment Weekly, and it won first place in the Barnes and Noble Discover Award in nonfiction.  Sheff also contributed to HBO’s Addiction: Why Can’t They Just Stop.

David is on the advisory boards of the The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program “designed to help colleges and universities promote emotional wellbeing and mental health programming, reduce substance abuse and prevent suicide among their students,” and the International Bipolar Foundation.

Along with The New York Times Magazine, Sheff has also written for The New York Times, Wired, Rolling Stone, Outside, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Playboy, Esquire and Observer Magazine in England, Foreign Literature in Russia, and Playboy (Shueisha) in Japan. He has conducted seminal interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, artist and dissident Ai Weiwei, nuclear physicist Ted Taylor, Congressman Barney Frank, Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks, Betty Friedan, Keith Haring, Jack Nicholson, Carl Sagan, Salman Rushdie, Fareed Zakaria, and others. He also wrote an award-winning documentary about John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, and a radio special about Harper Lee’sTo Kill a Mockingbird, both for National Public Radio.

Sheff is also the author of Game Over, called “the bible of the videogame industry” by The Wall Street Journal, and “beguiling” and  “irresistible. . . almost as hypnotic as a successful video game” by The New York Times. Author Gore Vidal said that China Dawn, Sheff’s book about the Internet revolution in China, is a “fascinating…study of go–getting businessmen in a revived China bound to shape our future.” All We Are Saying, based on Sheff’s interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1980, was a Literary Guild Selection book. Charles Champlin, Arts Editor of the Los Angeles Times, wrote: ”David Sheff’s sympathetic questions evoked so much of the Beatle past and of Lennon’s intellectual past and present and future plans that the interview would hardly have been less engrossing and important even it if were not illuminated by tragedy.”

He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. David lives with his family in Northern California.


“Innovation: Money & Mental Health” Presentation and Panel

Speaker: Paul T. Klontz, Ph.D., CET III

Panelists: Paul T. Klontz, Ph.D., CET III; Arden O’Connor, MBA; Robyn Schecter, LCSW, MSW

Moderator: Alex Dayton, LMHC

1.5 APA CE Hour
Target Audience: Intermediate

Educational Objectives:
Members of the audience will be able to:

  1. Identify the three basic components that make up the Triune Brain Model
  2. Identify the role of ambient anxiety in the addiction process and subsequent treatment implications
  3. Identify six-core human needs and their relationship to the addiction process and treatment process

More about the presenters:

Paul T. (Ted) Klontz, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Practice of Financial Psychology and Behavioral Finance at Creighton University, Founder and Director of the Financial Psychology Institute at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business, is based in Nashville, TN, and has a 40+ year career in counseling, consulting and advising that has included authoring, co-authoring and/or contributing to 6 financial psychology related books (e.g. Wired for Wealth, Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge, Facilitating Financial Health, Financial Therapy: Theory, Research and Practice).  He is a published researcher, professional speaker; trainer with corporate groups focusing on communication skill development and anxiety management.  Ted is a designer and facilitator of workshops; consultant to major entertainment management groups; the US defense department, with a private practice focused on working with professional athletes/entertainers and financial professionals.  He has served in expert roles as an advisor to Congressional Committees and is regularly quoted in national and international media that have included The Today Show, CNN, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, Oprah Winfrey,  NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Money magazine and The New York Times.  Ted’s Healing Money Issues Workshop was featured on ABC News’ 20-20 and Good Morning America.  He has also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network.  He is President of Klontz Consulting Group, has served as one of the original executive officers of the National Financial Therapy Association, and Co-Founder of Your Mental Wealth,™ a direct to consumer personal finance brand.

Arden O’Connor, MBA, founded the O’Connor Professional Group to address the needs of families and individuals struggling with an array of behavioral health issues, including addiction, mental health disorders, eating disorders, learning, and other developmental challenges. With several relatives in recovery, Arden is passionate about helping families and individuals navigate the highly fragmented treatment system in a way that creates positive outcomes and allows families to heal.

Arden is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She remains heavily involved in community activities, as a board member of Winsor School Corporation, Massachusetts Association of Mental Health, and Justice Resource Institute (chair). Previously, she served as a board member for the Harvard Club of Boston, Victory Programs, and Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Boston. She maintains professional affiliations with the following organizations: Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises, Boston Estate Planning Council, Purposeful Planning Institute, Family Office Exchange, Collaboration for Family Flourishing, Family Office Association, USA 500, and Family Firm Institute.

Robyn Schecter, LCSW, MSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of clinical experience. She has worked in the Employee Assistance field since 1995 primarily working with individuals in financial and other corporate settings. Robyn currently works as the primary onsite EAP Consultant at a leading investment bank. In this role, Robyn provides counseling, crisis intervention, assessment and referrals, management consultation, and trainings and education on mental health and addictions. She facilitates Smoking Cessation classes and collaborates with the firm’s Wellness group on resiliency initiatives   Robyn is a trusted resource to the firm’s Employee Relations and Legal groups, as well as senior management and the firm’s Medical Director to help mitigate risk around behavioral health issues in the workplace.

In her current role, Robyn sees a wide array of clinical issues. The most prevalent include anxiety, depression, grief, trauma and addictions. Her greatest interest and expertise lies in the field of addictions, both substance and process. In her work with a largely high achieving, perfectionistic client base, Robyn sees many “functioning addicts” as well as obsessive personality types with addictive tendencies.  As someone who has been personally touched by addictions, she is highly focused on helping people to see where they may be using addiction, escape, and distraction in ways that are harmful to their career, relationships, and overall well-being. The role of wealth and power is especially prevalent in the competitive environment of investment banking. The interplay of issues around entitlement and deprivation are themes that continually come up in her work with employees at all levels.

Robyn began her career in EAP as both a Clinician and an Account Manager.  She provided onsite trauma counseling post 9/11. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Psychology from Tufts University.

Alex Dayton, LMHC, is the Associate Clinical Director here at Freedom Institute. He co-facilities the Evening Outpatient Program, is a member of the DBT consultation team, and works individually with adolescents, young adults, and adults. In addition to his Masters degree from NYU, Alex has completed training at Bellevue hospital and at FEGS working with adults with both chronic mental illness and addiction. He has worked with adults, adolescents, and children at the Brooklyn Center for Psychotherapy and on a research team at the Center for Health, Identity, behavior and Prevention Studies conducting HIV and substance abuse research. Alex has completed the Foundations in Family Therapy Course at The Ackerman Institute for The Family, received intensive training in DBT at Behavioral Tech, and has completed training in advanced practices for Motivational Interviewing.


“Ethics in the Age of the Internet”

Speaker: Pamela H. Harmell, Ph.D.

1 APA CE Hour
Target Audience: Intermediate to High intermediate

Educational Objectives:
Members of the audience will be able to:

  1. Give two ethical issues related to social networking.
  1. Give two reasons why SKYPE and FaceTime are or are not HIPAA compliant
  1. Give three examples of how to handle inappropriate attacks upon one’s 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.


About Constellation Behavioral Health

“Constellation Behavioral Health is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Constellation Behavioral Health maintains responsibility for this program and its content.”

“All CE event venues are toured by CE Administration prior to approval for sponsoring a CE event, to ensure all ADA standards are met.” Please call Christi Cessna, Program Administrator, to request special needs accommodations at 415-275-7220.

A request for a cancellation must be submitted 30 calendar days prior to the event for a full refund minus administrative fees. A request for cancellation within 30 calendar days of the event will receive monetary credit (minus administrative fees) for another event. Refunds will be processed within 3 to 5 business days of request. No refunds will be provided within 5 days of the event.  Please contact Julia Babcock at with questions or requests.