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Go Back Up

October 6-9, 2024 Lake Buena Vista, FL

#GXC2024 Presenters

Phoenix Adams

Phoenix Adams

Dr. Phoenix Adams is a licensed psychotherapist (FL, CA, CO, CT, GA, MA, MD, NV, PA, VA) who has over 15 years of experience as a clinician providing direct services to individuals, couples, families, groups, and organizations as well as an industry leader in the fields of mental health and substance use treatment. Throughout the course of his career, Dr. Adams has had the opportunity to gain a wide array of clinical expertise as a psychotherapist. In particular, he has extensive experience working with patients dealing with bereavement, loss, and grief. He holds a certificate as a Certified Grief Counselor from American Institute of Health Care Professionals. Having served as an Executive Vice President in an internationally renowned substance use and mental health treatment facility, he is well versed in the latest treatment modalities for substance use disorders and their cooccurring behavioral health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, relationship/couples issues, and family concerns. He has vast experience working with executives, professionals, and highly successful individuals and families of power, affluence, and influence. Dr. Adams received his Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Business Administration (MBA), and Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degrees from Florida Atlantic University. His doctoral research examined outcomes for family members participating in the treatment of a loved one impacted by substance use disorder, which provided evidence that their participation resulted in improvements to their own dimensions of mental health and wellness. He has presented his research in London, Toronto, and Dubai. His research and related clinical experience shape his clinical orientation in which he applies a trauma informed, family/relational lens to working with his clients to address and overcome challenges in their lives that interfere with their ability to achieve their goals around health, wellness, happiness, career, and relationships. Dr. Adams is licensed in the states of Florida, California, Colorado, Connecticut. Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and can provide telehealth services for individuals in these states. 

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Debra L. Ainbinder

Debra L. Ainbinder is a Professor and Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, Clinical Mental Health Program at Lynn University.  She is a founding member, officer and executive board member of the International Association for Resilience and Trauma Counseling, a new division of the American Counseling Association. Dr. Ainbinder is the administrator for the Lynn University Resilience Toolkit, a series of interventions to inspire resilience in the higher education community.  She is the Vice Chair of the Academic Resilience Consortium. Dr. Ainbinder also has a private mental health counseling practice in the community and has been on various editorial boards, academic committees, and presented Internationally and nationally on self-care, trauma, resilience, supervision, and counselor education. Debra’s focus is on counselor competency in working with the first responder community and  the associated skills for crisis, trauma and resilience counseling.

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Frank Anderson

Frank Anderson, MD, completed his residency and was a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is both a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. He specializes in the treatment of trauma and dissociation and is passionate about teaching brain-based psychotherapy and integrating current neuroscience knowledge with the IFS model of therapy.

Dr. Anderson has lectured extensively on the Neurobiology of PTSD and Dissociation and wrote the chapter “Who’s Taking What” Connecting Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology and Internal Family Systems for Trauma in Internal Family Systems Therapy-New Dimensions. He co-authored a chapter on “What IFS Brings to Trauma Treatment in Innovations and Elaborations in Internal Family Systems Therapy” and co-authored the Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual. 

His most recent book, entitled “Transcending Trauma: Healing Complex PTSD with Internal Family Systems” was released on May 19, 2021.

His memoir, “To Be Loved,” is set to be released on May 7, 2024. 

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Brendan Berry

Brendan Berry, MA, MT-BC, LCAT, a GRAMMY winner and one-half of 'For Our Fathers', is an accomplished composer and producer as well as a music therapist. Born and raised in Washington, DC, he is also proudly in long-term recovery. Brendan currently is based out of Los Angeles, California, after residing in Brooklyn, NY for over a decade.

His professional career in music began as a performer, playing bass at a young age, with the distinguished District of Columbia, Blue’s Alley Youth Jazz Orchestra and a basement dwelling punk rock band. Brendan went on to receive his Bachelor of Music from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music in Studio Composition.

Early in his collegiate career he began writing film scores for documentary short films. Since then, he has written scores for three theatrically released feature films, the award-winning The Anonymous People, Generation Found, and Tipping the Pain Scale. Brendan has also written music for commercials, dance companies, documentaries, web series’, and TV shows.

Brendan has always been passionate about music, sound, and helping people. He began his own journey of recovery from addiction in 2006, and has since used his personal experience to support countless others around the world to find their own path in recovery. Because of his fervor for music and service, Brendan pursued and received his Master’s degree from New York University in Music Therapy in 2014. While he continued to compose and produce music and sound work, he also began serving as a full-time music therapist in the mental health and addiction field. His background as a mental health and addiction specialist has spanned a wide range, from providing services in inpatient behavioral health programs to facilitating access to mental health and addiction treatment for individuals in the music and entertainment industry.

 

In every project, whether it's a piece of music or a client session, Brendan brings an equal level of commitment and care, driven by his passion for music and therapy, to guide the process.

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Marc Boff

Dr. Marc H Boff is a highly accomplished professional in the realm of physical therapy and sports performance. With a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and certifications in Athletic Training, Corrective Exercise, and Performance Enhancement, he has an extensive background working with professional athletes, celebrities, business executives, and individuals with fitness and wellness goals.

 

As the Owner of MHB Fitness LLC, Dr. Boff leads a concierge performance healthcare and lifestyle/wellness service company. His expertise encompasses orthopedic and sports performance training services, including physical therapy, integrative performance training, movement analysis, corrective exercise, injury prevention, return to sport training, and nutrition services. Dr. Boff is a sought-after consultant for sports medicine, fitness/wellness, and mental health/trauma addiction companies.

 

Notably, he spent 20 seasons in the NBA, holding key positions such as Director of Sports Medicine for the Milwaukee Bucks, Physical Therapist and Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Chicago Bulls, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and Physical Therapist for the New Orleans Hornets and Assistant to the Head Athletic Trainer and Strength Coach of the Boston Celtics. His contributions extend to the world of reality television, having served as the Director of Sports Medicine for NBC's "The Biggest Loser." Additionally, he co-founded Badger CrossFit in Wisconsin.

 

Dr. Boff's educational journey includes a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Brandeis University in 1996, followed by an MSPT in 2002 and a DPT in 2005 from Simmons College. His multifaceted career reflects a commitment to excellence in promoting physical well-being and performance at the highest levels.

Ali Cunningham

Ali Cunningham

Ali Cunningham Abbott, PhD, LMHC, QS is the Program Director & an Associate Professor in the CACREP-accredited Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Prior to academia, she worked at Florida Atlantic University as Assistant Director for the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) working with the autism community. She also provides individual counseling for adolescents and adults at the Center for the Treatment of Anxiety & Mood Disorder. Cunningham has presented on and published a book, book chapters and academic articles related to various topics including autism, mental health first aid, improved training for future counselors, and on advocacy for the BIPOC, queer & trans communities. 

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Michelle Esrick

“I like to immerse myself in stories that inspire; I have seen first-hand that honest stories can shift perceptions, change laws, transform our culture and even save lives.” 

 

Michelle Esrick is an award-winning filmmaker, poet and social activist. Her most recent film, Cracked Up, The Darrell Hammond Story had it’s theatrical premiere in September 2019 and was released on Netflix May 1st, 2020.

 

The Hollywood Reporter, Frank Scheck wrote “A moving and powerful portrait of trauma and recovery, Cracked Up will likely prove as therapeutic for many viewers as it clearly is for Hammond himself”.

 

In Cracked Up, we witness the impact that childhood trauma can have across a lifetime through the incredibly courageous and candid personal story of comedian, actor and Saturday Night Live legend Darrell Hammond. With her unyielding commitment to not just raising awareness but to the actual implementation of trauma-informed care, Esrick, along with Hammond, made her way to the nation’s Capital where they screened Cracked Up for members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Following the showing, in discussion with the legislators and their staff, Esrick and Hammond reinforced the compelling statement that childhood trauma is a root cause of addiction - particularly relevant in addressing the enormity of the opioid crisis.

 

Esrick is proud to have played a role in the adding of nine provisions for trauma-informed care to the “Support for Patients and Communities Act” which was signed into law.

 

And Maureen Seaberg of Psychology Today wrote, "I came to learn the film is much more than a film. It’s not just a movie; it’s a movement.” 

 

Esrick directed and produced The Wavy Gravy Movie: Saint Misbehavin’ - Executive produced by the late legendary, Academy-Award winning filmmaker, D. A. Pennebaker.

 

The New York Times, Stephen Holden wrote “Saint Misbehavin’ is an unabashed love letter to the world that defies the cynicism of our age.”

 

Exploring the man behind the countercultural icon, The Wavy Gravy Movie showcases the humanity and intelligence of this Holy Fool and his devotion to basic human needs. The film originally premiered in 2009 at SXSW and was then seen on Showtime, PBS and Netflix beginning in 2011. On September 24, 2019, Kino Lorber acquired and re-released this much beloved and multi-award-winning film on Amazon Prime. This 10th Anniversary Special Edition DVD includes over fifty-five minutes of extra scenes and other bonus features including two new interviews with Wavy Gravy and his wife Jahanara Romney. Also included is new audio commentary with Wavy Gravy, Jahanara Romney, and director Michelle Esrick!

 

Esrick Executive Produced the Netflix Original film, Ram Dass, Going Home, featuring spiritual teacher and best-selling author Ram Dass who reflects on love, life and dying. Widely acclaimed, the film was short-listed for a 2017 Academy Award.

 

In 2018, Esrick directed the acclaimed music video, Let’s Rise! which CNN dubbed the anthem for the March for Our Lives Movement in protest of the gun violence epidemic in America which contributes to adverse childhood experiences for the nation’s school kids. Seen worldwide by over three-hundred-fifty million viewers, Let’s Rise! ranked among the most important protest songs of the year. CNN featured Esrick and her work in a 2018 year-end television special. 

 

In May 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Esrick created a powerful and inspiring virtual series called Cracked Up, The Evolving Conversation which candidly explores through intimate conversations the many different manifestations of childhood trauma and its long term effects such as addictions, suicide, anxiety & depression, etc. as well as how we recover ourselves, help others and change systems to better serve our communities. Featuring leaders in the field of trauma and luminaries such as, Dr. Bessel van der KolkDr. Gabor MatéDr.Jacob HamJane StevensLyn MorrisDarrell HammondJane FondaV (formerly known as Eve Ensler), and more. 



“The Evolving Conversation series is life changing and life saving!”
—Cathy Malchiodi, PHD, Childhood Trauma Expert

 

Currently, Michelle is in production on a new television series based on the life and work of Relational Life therapist, author and thought leader Terry Real. The series, "Being Real,” is a compelling exploration of the complex web of relationships between individuals and society. Through examining issues like patriarchy, gender roles, cancel culture, and toxic individualism, the series challenges viewers to reconsider their understanding of these concepts and their impact on our relationships and culture as a whole. By shining a light on these issues, Being Real underscores the urgent need for a paradigm shift in how we relate to one another, making ever clear the fact that our very survival as a species depends on it.

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James Flowers

For nearly three decades, Dr. James Flowers has been one of the most recognized and respected names in the field of chronic pain, addiction, and pain recovery. With his broad educational background and extensive experience in evaluating and treating mental health, chronic pain, and co-occurring addiction, he is recognized as an expert.

 

Dr. Flowers has completed several fellowships in behavioral pain management and has completed clinical rotations at the top healthcare institutions in the country.

 

He developed mental health, pain, and addiction recovery programs for some of the country’s best-known healthcare and addiction treatment centers. He directed medical and clinical programs integrating evaluation, diagnosis, and healthcare planning with treatment to promote successful recovery.

 

Dr. Flowers co-founded several well-known, exclusive treatment programs throughout the country, dedicated to his passion – that of designing multidisciplinary mental health and addiction treatment with medical and clinical protocols – to help individuals suffering from mental health, addiction, chronic pain, and other underlying disorders, successfully recover. With a demonstrated commitment to creating positive change in the lives of his clients, he is dedicated to progressive healthcare, human healing, and developing healthcare systems that best serve this population.

 

Dr. Flowers has been executing the protocol for assessments and evaluations for many years. Still, in founding J. Flowers Health Institute, he has advanced the process to satisfy a great void – to provide truly comprehensive assessment and evaluation for those who need a diagnosis and develop post-evaluation treatment recommendations. Having spent over 28 years in the medical and clinical community, Dr. Flowers is uniquely qualified to assemble some of the finest health care professionals in the world to perform these evaluations and provide treatment.

Over the years, Dr. Flowers’ passion and dedication to his clients, as well as his unique approach, has earned him an exceptional reputation as one of the nation’s premier experts. He is a popular public speaker and lecturer to audiences across the United States and abroad and has led an exceptional and distinguished career.

 

Dr. Flowers’ latest endeavor is hosting his weekly podcast “Understanding the Human Condition.” In each episode of Understanding the Human Condition, Dr. Flowers and his most-admired mentors, respected colleagues, and VIP guests share valuable insight into underlying health causes, conditions, and issues. These in-depth yet approachable episodes are an excellent resource for both private individuals and industry professionals.

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Benjamin Fry

Benjamin is the Founder of Televagal, Khiron House and Get Stable. He is an accredited psychotherapist, author and entrepreneur. He has had a rich and varied career, combining his interests in psychology, the media and business. In his twenties he went to film school and made a feature length film which was distributed by HBO and Paramount, then founded and ran nightclubs and restaurants, before starting a family, training as a psychotherapist and writing his first book which led to presenting a television series for the BBC, as the psychotherapist in Spendaholics. 

 

More recently he has combined his business experience, clinical training and media skills to set up Khiron Clinics, one of the only residential trauma-treatment centres in the world; to lobby for more effective treatment in the public sector through his non-profit Get Stable; and to develop Televagal which delivers nervous-system informed technology for a variety of behavioural health problems. Benjamin is also a practicing couples’ therapist, using trauma and nervous-system informed therapies to help his clients optimise and heal their relationships.

Dr Stephen Porges and Anthony Gorry

Stephen Porges & Anthony Gorry

Dr Stephen W. Porges, PhD is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He has published more than 400 peer‐reviewed scientific papers that have been cited in more than 50,000 peer-reviewed papers and holds several patents involved in monitoring and regulating autonomic state. He created the Polyvagal Theory and a music-based intervention (Safe and Sound Protocol).  He is author of several books including The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation (Norton, 2011), The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe (Norton, 2017), and Polyvagal Safety (Norton, 2021), as well as co-author with Seth Porges of Our Polyvagal World: How Safety and Trauma Change Us (Norton, 2023), and co-editor with Deb Dana of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018). Dr. Porges is co-creator with Anthony Gorry of Polyvagal Music, and a founder of the Polyvagal Institute.

 

Anthony Gorry is a music and audio innovator with over 20 years of experience in the music and entertainment industry. He is the co-founder and CEO of Polyvagal Music LLC, a company that develops music and wellness technology based on the science, which he co-invented with Dr Stephen Porges, a world-renowned behavioural neuroscientist. He is also a co-founder of AjoiA Ltd, a company that creates immersive experiences dedicated to harnessing the therapeutic power of scientifically curated soundscapes through music, art, performance and technology. 

Anthony has a proven track record of creating, producing, and composing high-quality music, experiences and audio content for some of the most successful and influential artists, brands, and media outlets in the world, such as Moby, Gwen Stefani, No Doubt, Richard Ashcroft, L'Oréal, Adidas, Red Bull, and LG. He has also worked with Grammy Award winning producers and BAFTA award winning production teams, and has achieved chart-topping hits and worldwide recognition for his work. He is passionate about using music and audio as a tool for enhancing mental health, wellbeing, and social connection, and is constantly exploring new ways of applying his expertise and creativity to the field of music and wellness technology.

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Temple Grandin

Dr. Grandin is a designer of livestock handling facilities and a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. Facilities she has designed are located in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. In North America, almost half of the cattle are handled in a center track restrainer system that she designed for meat plants. Curved chute and race systems she has designed for cattle are used worldwide and her writings on the flight zone and other principles of grazing animal behavior have helped many people to reduce stress on their animals during handling.

 

She has also developed an objective scoring system for assessing handling of cattle and pigs at meat plants. This scoring system is being used by many large corporations to improve animal welfare. Other areas of research are: cattle temperament, environmental enrichment for pigs, reducing dark cutters and bruises, bull fertility, training procedures, horse perception of novel objects, and effective stunning methods for cattle and pigs at meat plants.

 

She obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College and her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University. Dr. Grandin received her Ph.D in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989. Today she teaches courses on livestock behaviour and facility design at Colorado State University and consults with the livestock industry on facility design, livestock handling, and animal welfare. She has appeared on television shows such as 20/20, 48 Hours, CNN Larry King Live, PrimeTime Live, 60 Minutes, the Today Show, and many shows in other countries. She has been featured in People Magazine, the New York Times, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Time Magazine, the New York Times book review, and Discover magazine. In 2010, Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people. Interviews with Dr. Grandin have been broadcast on National Public Radio and she has a 2010 TED Lecture titled "The World Needs ALL Kinds of Minds." She has also authored over 400 articles in both scientific journals and livestock periodicals on animal handling, welfare, and facility design. She is the author of "Thinking in Pictures", "Livestock Handling and Transport," "Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals," "Guide to Working with Farm Animals," and "Humane Livestock Handling." Her books "Animals in Translation" and "Animals Make Us Human" were both on the New York Times best seller list. "Animals Make Us Human" was also on the Canadian best seller list. Her latest book, Calling All Minds, was a New York Times best seller for middle school students. Her life story has also been made into an HBO movie titled "Temple Grandin, staring Claire Danes," which won seven Emmy awards and a Golden Globe. The movie shows her life as a teenager and how she started her career. In 2017, she was inducted into The Women's Hall of Fame and in 2018 made a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was named as one of the top 10 Best College Professors in 2020 by CEO Magazine. In 2022 she was awarded with the University Distinguished Professor degree at Colorado State University. Her latest book, "Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions," was also on the New York Times best seller list.

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Joseph Green

Joseph Green is a professional storyteller, educator, narrative disruptor, one-half of the music and healing project For Our Fathers, and a person in sustained recovery. In his 20-year career, he has facilitated over 5,000 workshops for people ranging from school-aged children to working adults on various topics, including substance abuse, recovery, and mental health. Joseph has traveled the country to work with youth and adults and has keynote presentations for organizations such as the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Google, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, SAMSHA, and the White House ONDCP. In 2021, he was featured in the award-winning documentary Tipping the Pain Scale, a film focused on the systemic failures and possible solutions for those struggling with addiction and our country's epidemic of pain. His poetry and personal story are part of the Start For Hope campaign, started in 2024 and sponsored by the Center for Disease Control and the Ad Council.  

 

Joseph has created and facilitated numerous programs for youth across the country, including through his role at the Mentor Foundation USA, where he oversaw the national Drug-Free Slogan Campaign sponsored by H&M, the Shattering the Myths Youth Drug Prevention Rally, and created the 'Living the Example' Peer-to-Peer prevention and youth leadership program. Joseph partnered with Imagination Stage to co-create Voices Beyond Bars, a program that teaches social-emotional learning to incarcerated youth between 18-24 through creative writing, spoken word, and playwriting. While partnering with Imagination Stage, Joseph co-created the Youth and Police Partnership Program, where officers and youth use acting, improv, and visual art to begin conversations around themes relevant to their lives and communities.

 

As the CEO of LMSvoice, Joseph co-created and teaches the value-centered method of storytelling, Narrative Disruption, which has empowered hundreds of participants to disrupt harmful narratives about themselves and others. Through LMSvoice, Joseph has created and facilitated training programs with The Recovery Advocacy Project, Mobilze Recovery, FSG's Talent Rewire, Faces and Voices of Recovery, Rise Together Youth Programs, SAMHSA's Office of Prevention, Dr. Bronners, Community Catalyst, Walmart, and R1 Learning.

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J.C. Hall

J.C. Hall, LCSW, EXAT is a Hip Hop artist and therapist who runs the Hip Hop Therapy Studio program at Mott Haven Community High School, a “second-chance” school in the South Bronx. In 2013, J.C. assembled a professional recording studio in an old storage room to provide youth the opportunity to engage in the therapeutic process through writing, recording, producing and performing their own music. The origins of the program are chronicled in the award-winning short documentary Mott Haven, which showcases the efficacy of Hip Hop therapy in addressing trauma and grief in the wake of a school tragedy. After the passing of his friend and mentor Dr. Edgar Tyson, the originator of Hip Hop therapy, J.C. created hiphoptherapy.com to serve as a centralized resource for those interested in learning about its theory and application. Due to the impact of his work over the years, J.C. won a national Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting the New York Community in 2020, as well as the 2024 Psychotherapy Networker Vanguard Award.

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Elisa Hallerman

Dr. Elisa Hallerman, PhD, JD, is the Founder and CEO of the Recovery Management Agency (RMA).

 

Her career over the last 30 years has included a practicing attorney, a partner and head of the talent department at United Talent Agency as well as a partner in the talent department at William Morris Endeavor. Currently she is a top consultant and crisis manager in the mental health and addiction field. She is an addiction and trauma expert who treats mental health from a functional medicine approach. Dr. Hallerman believes that true wellness comes from healing underlying root causes.

 

In addition to her JD, Elisa holds a doctorate in Depth Psychology and Somatic Studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute, with a focus on neuroscience and trauma. Elisa studied at UCLA to become a drug and alcohol counselor. She has studied Soul Psychology with renowned psychotherapist Thomas Moore PhD, and is currently becoming certified as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, as developed by Peter Levine PhD. Elisa is a member of The Institute for Functional Medicine, she has done over 100 hours of continued education through the National Institute for Clinical Application Of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM).

 

Dr. Hallerman is an accomplished author, with her influential book "Soulbriety: A Plan to Heal Your Trauma, Overcome Addiction, and Reconnect with Your Soul”.

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Ryan Hampton

A prominent advocate, speaker, author, and media commentator, Ryan Hampton travels coast-to-coast to add solutions to our national addiction and drug overdose crisis. In recovery from a decade-long opioid addiction, Hampton is regarded as a forefront expert and thought leader in America’s rising addiction recovery advocacy & drug policy reform movements. An alumnus of the Clinton White House, he’s worked with multiple non-profits and addiction recovery organizing campaigns. He’s now a prominent, leading face and voice of recovery advocacy and is working to change the longstanding negative narratives about those impacted by addiction, recovery, and overdose.

Through his books and media, organizing campaigns, and social content that reaches millions, Ryan breaks down cultural barriers that have kept people suffering in silence and is helping to inspire a new generation of advocates recovering out loud, pushing for common-sense policy.

He was part of the core team that released the first-ever U.S. Surgeon General’s report on alcohol, drugs, and health in 2016 and was singled out by Forbes the following year as a top social entrepreneur in the recovery movement. Ryan connects a vast network of people passionate about ending the overdose crisis in America. He has been featured by—and is a contributor to—media outlets such as the Today Show, the Associated Press, USA Today, MSNBC, ABC News, Fox and Friends, the New York Times, NPR, HLN, Vice, Slate, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal, and others.

Ryan has received praise from Democrats and Republicans alike for addressing addiction as a trans-political issue—crossing the political spectrum to build an inclusive coalition focused on solutions. He works closely with the White House, Senate Democrats, Republicans, U.S. House leadership, and state legislatures across the country. Notably, he helped craft binding provisions addressing substance use disorder in the historic SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, signed into federal law in October 2018.

In 2016, he created the web series Addiction Across America, documenting his 30-day, 28-state, 8,000-mile cross-country trip visiting areas hit hardest by the addiction crisis. His first bestselling book, “American Fix — Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis and How to End It,” was released by St. Martin’s Press in August 2018. His second book, “Unsettled: How the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Failed the Victims of the American Overdose Crisis,” was released in September 2021 and chronicled his behind-the-scenes efforts representing tens of thousands of victims in the Purdue Pharma opioid settlement litigation. Ryan is currently working on his third book, scheduled to be released in 2024.

In 2019, Ryan was named by Facebook as an inaugural community leadership fellow and created the national advocacy initiative, Mobilize Recovery. Since its inception, Mobilize Recovery has recruited and trained over 8,000 new advocates from all 50 states focused on community-based solutions to end the addiction and overdose crisis. In 2022, Mobilize Recovery traveled to 25 states, hosting 35 organizing and advocacy training events throughout September and October, distributing 10,000 doses of free naloxone and over 11,000 fentanyl test strips.

Through the Overdose Response Initiative, a not-for-profit coalition Ryan helped to form in 2019, over 625,000 free doses of naloxone have been distributed in 21 states as of December 2022. The alliance comprises nearly 40 organizational stakeholders nationally, including Direct Relief International, the Clinton Foundation, and Mobilize Recovery.

He lives in Nevada with his husband, Sean, and their boxer puppy, Quincy.

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Nzinga Harrison

Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer, Eleanor Health and Vocal Advocate, Activist, and Author: Book; Podcast; LinkedIn; Twitter; Instagram (12.6K Reach)

  • Earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Howard University, completed medical school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and General Psychiatry Residency at Emory University.
  • Prior to co-founding Eleanor Health, she served as SVP of East Coast Operations and Chief Medical Officer for Anka Behavioral Health Inc.
  • Her activism is geared towards the healthcare system’s responsibility to incorporate trauma-informed interventions aimed at addressing the harms of racism and marginalization faced by many communities in this country.
  • She is an Aspen Institute Fellow
    Her new book, Un-Addiction: 6 Mind-Changing Conversations That Could Save a Life, is available for order now.
  • Her new podcast "Un-Addiction" shares empowering stories of recovery from substance use disorder and answers common questions surrounding addiction and mental health.
  • In May 2023, she spoke at Quality Talks, an inspiring event with dynamic and thought-provoking speakers and inspiring dialogue on advancing the health care system and improving patient care.
  • Nzinga is based in Atlanta, GA, and is available for events, virtual and in-person, speaking and Q&A, book signings, and more.
  • Recent Press
    Fierce Healthcare: General Catalyst leads addiction startup Eleanor Health's $50M series C
    Fierce Healthcare: Addiction treatment startup Eleanor Health expands reach with Horizon BCBSNJ partnership
    The Boston Globe: Startups need more women in the board room
    Axios: $50M for wraparound addiction support
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Heather Hayes

Heather Hayes is the founder and CEO of Heather R. Hayes & Associates, Inc. She is a Master’s level Licensed Counselor in the State of Georgia, Board Registered Interventionist (CIP) and Certified ARISE Interventionist. Ms. Hayes earned her B.A. from Emory University and her M.Ed. from Antioch University in Counseling Psychology. A veteran of the behavioral health field, Heather has over 35 years of experience in treating clients with complex mental health issues and the full spectrum of addictive disorders. She has also worked with clients of all ages and specializes in the treatment of adolescents/young adults, trauma, behavioral issues and eating disorders.

 

Known as one of the country’s most prominent authorities on these topics, Ms. Hayes is a coveted speaker on the national and international stage, is widely-recognized for her comprehensive and trauma-informed approach to intervention,  and has been published in numerous journals, books, and other industry publications. Ms. Hayes also serves as an on-air expert and consultant for CNN and Dr. Oz and has been featured on A&E, ABC, CBS, BBC, FOX, MTV and NBC. In addition, Ms. Hayes is a featured interventionist on the 2018 & 2019 seasons of A&E’s high-profile show Intervention.

 

Throughout her career, Ms. Hayes has been a lifeline for clients at their most profound points of suffering. She offers clients and their families a safe haven as they navigate the recovery journey and works with the entire family system to support long-term, sustainable healing.

 

As an independent interventionist and a staunch proponent of professional ethics, Ms. Hayes does not have financial relationships with any treatment centers or clinicians. Over 95% of her interventions have successfully ended with the subject agreeing to treatment.

 

Outside of work, Heather uses her expertise to give back to her community by volunteering as the psychological profiler with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department Hostage Negotiation and SWAT Team.

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Terra Holbrook

Terra Holbrook, LCSW, CADC, is a well-known speaker, educator and facilitator in mental health and addictions work. She has a master’s degree in social work. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, as well as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Terra began her work in 1994 working with adolescents. In 1997 she co-founded Family Recovery Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho, with her husband, Jeff. Since then, she has worked in private practice and as clinical director of various treatment programs across the United States.

Terra has worked with numerous treatment centers to enhance their programs to include trauma work with individuals and families. She also provides workshops which focus on healing from trauma for therapists and those who work in the treatment setting. In 2017, she formed SeaGlass Intensives and Consulting, Inc., where she worked with individuals, couples and families in intensive therapy and workshop settings.

She has developed a passion for working with First Responders who are experiencing grief and trauma. She created 5-day retreats addressing the pain and trauma which often threatens the health and well-being of the brave men and women who serve our communities.

Last year, Terra established TerraVista, a retreat center which provides workshops focused on trauma resolution. The programs at TerraVista are an accumulation of the experience and understanding Terra has gained from her years working with mental health and trauma. She has dedicated this sacred space to health and healing, bringing hope to those who are suffering.  

Terra has spoken at numerous conferences and on many podcasts, been featured on NPR, and has been on local T.V. and radio.

She lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband and their dog, Jack.

Stella B. Keitel Photo

Stella B. Keitel

Dr. Stella B. Keitel is a licensed clinical psychologist based out of New York City. Before becoming a psychologist, Dr. Keitel worked as a volunteer with victims of domestic violence and incarcerated women in a maximum security prison. Through these experiences, she became inspired to look more closely at the mental health care system and how mental health care services are delivered, especially to underserved and marginalized people. 

Dr. Keitel is well versed in clinical and assessment forensic psychology. She was an acute care treatment team leader and provided direct care to people struggling with severe and persistent mental illness and violent behaviors. She conducted forensic evaluations to determine competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility, malingering, psychopathy, dangerousness and other relevant issues.

Since founding her own practice in 2020, Dr. Keitel has become well-known for her direct and supportive approach when it comes to treatment. Dr. Keitel believes the best therapy outcomes are from treatments that don't necessarily look and feel like "treatment." Dr. Keitel works from several therapeutic modalities, including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and a multitude of Trauma modalities.

In 2022 Dr. Keitel co-founded Breaktide Coaching, a holistic recovery, wellness, and executive functioning coaching company for adolescents and adults. Dr. Keitel's creative approach to integrating different modalities in the treatment world caters to the uniqueness of her patients and, ultimately, allows for therapy to be effective and safe for all.

John Kelly

John Kelly

Dr. Kelly is the Elizabeth R. Spallin Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is the Director of the Recovery Research Institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Associate Director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at MGH, and the Program Director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service. Dr. Kelly is a former President of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Society of Addiction Psychology and is a Fellow of the APA and a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology. He has served as a consultant to U.S. federal agencies and non-federal institutions, as well as foreign governments and the United Nations. Dr. Kelly has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and books in the field of addiction medicine. His work has focused on addiction treatment and the recovery process, mechanisms of behavior change, and reducing stigma and discrimination among individuals suffering from addiction.

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Kevin Lynch

As Founder, President and CEO, Kevin M. Lynch created The Quell Foundation with the mission to reduce the number of suicides, overdoses, and the incarceration of people with a mental health conditions. His drive to create a shift in the care of people who have a mental illness stems from the knowledge he gained and relationships he built while researching his graduate thesis, “Mental Health in Massachusetts: A De facto Criminal Offense.” This research acknowledged that the rates of suicide, opioid addiction, overdose, and incarceration directly correlate to the shortage and lack of access to mental health professionals. Kevin spent 17 years in health care on senior management teams and 12 years in the military as a member of the elite United States Submarine Force. He earned a master’s degree in Health Policy and Administration from The Pennsylvania State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Lynn University, graduating with Summa Cum Laude honors.

Sue Marriott and Ann Kelly

Sue Marriott & Ann Kelly

Sue Marriott, LCSW, CGP, is a clinical social worker, author, educator, and podcaster who enjoys live music, van camping, and writing in Austin TX (and when possible, Asheville, NC where she loves to spot black bears and occasionally her three young adult kids). Professionally, her passion is bridging the life-changing relational sciences to those who would otherwise not have access to it. In that spirit, she co-founded an organization that brings attachment and relational neurobiology to students, local therapists, and the public called Austin Interpersonal Neurobiology (IN) Connection and served on the Board of The Global Assn for Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies (GAINS). The top-rated podcast, Therapist Uncensored, is an outgrowth of this passion and a partnership with her wife, Dr. Ann Kelley. In it, they enjoy deep conversations with many of the most prominent researchers and clinicians in the field. Sue has taught nationally on intersubjective therapy, attachment, trauma, and the translation of relational neuroscience to clinical practice. In her private practice, even after thirty years, she continues to enjoy working with individuals, couples, and groups, as well as providing professional study and consultation for therapists.

 

Ann Kelley, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who received her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Kelley started her career as a Director of treatment for a juvenile justice facility that provided intensive and specialized treatment for the youth. In her position, she supervised specialized treatment programs for youth with significant trauma histories, provided workshops, training, staff supervision, and assisted in agency-wide program development. She now runs her own psychotherapy practice specializing in couples therapy and relational work since 2006. She is the co-founder and co-host of Therapist Uncensored Podcast, which is an independent, internationally recognized podcast that translates complex relational science to both therapists and interested learners. It remains in the top-ten of Apple's social science-related podcasts. Dr. Kelley has presented training on Attachment and secure relating principles to therapists as well as podcasters. She and her wife and co-author, Sue Marriott, live in Austin, Texas where they raised their three now-launched children and love roaming the country and writing. Her professional and personal writing is motivated by her ongoing concern of the toxic and divisive strategies being used by media and political forces designed to intentionally provoke our nervous systems toward fear, anger and polarization. Her biggest hope and desire for this book is to ignite an open resistance to this path and promote deep and wide conversations promoting secure relating.

Liz Pol, M.A. Chicago PD

Liz Pol

When police officers experience trauma on a daily basis, it is only natural for those events to have an impact on their personal and professional lives. As a police veteran of 19 years with the Chicago Police Department, I understand the adversities of the job including the psychological, emotional, and physiological challenges experienced by members of law enforcement. 

 

My goal is to inform officers of the trauma and suicide risk factors, to promote resilience, and discuss options for healing. By providing officers with more knowledge regarding stress, trauma, suicide risk factors, and warning signs we are providing them with the tools for self-care. Tases tools will offer of first responders with the ability to be more proactive and reduce the likelihood of being in crisis 

Terry Real & Michelle Esrick

Terry Real & Michelle Esrick

Terry Real is an internationally recognized family therapist, speaker, and best-selling author committed to helping you build the lasting, loving relationships you deserve.

 

The author of four books, including the recent New York Times bestseller Us: Getting Past You and Me to Build a More Loving Relationship, Terry knows how to lead people on a step-by-step journey to greater intimacy and personal fulfillment.  

 

His revolutionary approach to couples therapy, Relational Life Therapy (RLT), underpins all his books, courses, and teachings. RLT equips people with the powerful relational skills they need to make love work and cultivate authentic connections—to themselves, each other, and the planet as a whole.

 

A former senior faculty member of the Family Institute of Cambridge in Massachusetts and a retired Clinical Fellow of the Meadows Institute in Arizona, Terry has worked with thousands of individuals, couples, and fellow therapists. His extraordinary ability to save couples on the brink of divorce garnered Terry the reputation of “the turnaround guy,” and demand from other therapists to learn his RLT method skyrocketed. 

 

To bring the remarkable results of RLT to as many people as possible, Terry established his Relational Life Institute. To date, thousands of mental health practitioners have benefited from a whole new perspective on couples therapy that has transformed their clients, their practice, and their own relationships. 

 

Terry is passionately committed to empowering us all with the essential relational skills for meaningful relationships.

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Chris Scallon

Sergeant Chris Scallon retired as a 24+year veteran with the Norfolk Police Department, holds a Masters in Psychology, BS in Criminal Justice, and certified in Critical Incident Stress Management from the University of Maryland BC Emergency Health Services.

 

He provides direct mental health and/or substance abuse services, in addition to connecting first responders, veterans, and their families to resources. He is a current consultant/responder for the Department of Justice Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP).

 

He is the current Client services representative for Lakeview Health Addiction Treatment and Recovery, working exclusively with First Responders, Veterans, and their families. 

 

He was the former National Public Safety Liaison for Shatterproof First Responders’ and Veterans’ program. Former Director of Public Safety Support for Chateau Recovery.

 

He is the Founder of Survival Mindset Training and Consulting,  and Co-Founder of Trauma Behind the Badge. 

 

He was the founder, and first Director, of the Norfolk Police Department’s Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) & Peer Support Unit, Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Co-Coordinator for the Norfolk Police Department. Sgt. Scallon is a peer and current board member of Virginia Law Enforcement Assistance Program (VALEAP), a certified peer with the West Coast Post Trauma Retreat/First Responder Support Network. Having been involved in multiple shootings he is intimately familiar with trauma and the consequences of exposure. 

 

Chris is an approved instructor for International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) teaching Basic and Advanced Assisting Individuals in Crisis and Group Crisis Intervention a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor (Adult/Veteran Modules) through the National Council for Behavioral Health, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran’s Association (IAVA), and a Master Trainer for Homefront Protective Group teaching across the country and abroad. As an international speaker/trainer, he is often sought out to provide services in the wake of significant critical incidents. Chris has worked with victims of numerous mass shootings (e.g., Pulse Night Club, Sandy Hook/Newtown, Virginia Tech, Virginia Beach…etc.)

 

Sgt. Scallon is currently a Training and Technical Assistance Consultant for the Office of Victims of Crimes (OVC TTAC). He is also on a team tasked with creating a nationally accepted CISM model with the IACP. Previously, a Vicarious Trauma Fellow with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and Northeastern University working on a national grant from the U.S. Department of Justice-Office of Victims of Crimes, creating an evidence-based vicarious trauma toolkit for first responders (e.g. EMS, Fire, Law Enforcement, and Victim Advocates). He was recently selected to be the Chair person for the Peer Support portion of the National Consortium on Preventing Law Enforcement Suicide.

 

Chris is a U.S. Navy Veteran, served as a line officer in the Port Washington, NY Fire Department, Atlantic Hook & Ladder, Light and Heavy Rescue.

 

Chris was directly involved in multiple traumatic incidents within the aforementioned fire, military, and police agencies; in addition, to multiple deadly force encounters during his tenure as a police officer, both directly and indirectly. He has first-hand experience with the primary, secondary, and tertiary, effects of trauma related to personal and professional relationships.

 

Chris has received numerous awards to include the National Top Cop award (NAPO), Virginia’s Public Safety Medal of Valor (presented by Former Governor Tim Kaine), and the Norfolk Police Department’s Medal of Honor. He has received multiple certifications from the Nassau County Fire Service Academy in Long Island, NY.  

Dan Siegel - HiRes5 copy

Dan Siegel

Dan Siegel is the executive director of the Mindsight Insitute and founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA, where he was also Co-Principal Investigator of the Center for Culture, Brain and Development and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine.

 

An award-winning educator, Dan is the author of five New York Times bestsellers and over fifteen other books which have been translated into over forty languages. As the founding editor of the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology (“IPNB”), Dan has overseen the publication of one hundred books in the transdisciplinary IPNB framework which focuses on the mind and mental health.

 

A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dan completed his postgraduate training at UCLA specializing in pediatrics, and adult, adolescent, and child psychiatry. He was trained in attachment research and narrative analysis through a National Institute of Mental Health research training fellowship focusing on how relationships shape our autobiographical ways of making sense of our lives and influence our development across the lifespan.

Dr Volkow

Nora Volkow

Dr. Volkow’s work has been instrumental in demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain. As a research psychiatrist and scientist, Dr. Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic effects and addictive properties of abusable drugs. Her studies have documented changes in the dopamine system affecting, among others, the functions of frontal brain regions involved with motivation, drive, and pleasure in addiction. She has also made important contributions to the neurobiology of obesity, ADHD, and aging.



Dr. Volkow was born in Mexico, attended the Modern American School, and earned her medical degree from the National University of Mexico in Mexico City, where she received the Robins award for best medical student of her generation. Her psychiatric residency was at New York University, where she earned the Laughlin Fellowship Award as one of the 10 Outstanding Psychiatric Residents in the USA.

 

Dr. Volkow spent most of her professional career at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Upton, New York, where she held several leadership positions including Director of Nuclear Medicine, Chairman of the Medical Department, and Associate Director for Life Sciences. In addition, Dr. Volkow was a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Associate Dean of the Medical School at the State University of New York (SUNY)-Stony Brook.

 

Dr. Volkow has published more than 680 peer-reviewed articles and written more than 100 book chapters and non-peer-reviewed manuscripts and has also edited four books on neuroimaging for mental and addictive disorders.

 

During her professional career, Dr. Volkow has been the recipient of multiple awards. In 2013, she was a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammies) finalist and was inducted into the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) Hall of Fame. She was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine in the National Academy of Sciences, received the International Prize from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research for her pioneering work in brain imaging and addiction science, and was awarded the Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University. She has been named one of Time magazine’s “Top 100 People Who Shape Our World”, “One of the 20 People to Watch” by Newsweek magazine, Washingtonian magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Women” in both 2015 and 2017, “Innovator of the Year” by U.S. News & World Report, and one of “34 Leaders Who Are Changing Health Care” by Fortune magazine. Dr. Volkow was the subject of a 2012 profile piece by CBS’s 60 Minutes and was a featured speaker at TEDMED 2014.

Monica Williams -DR

Monnica Williams

Dr. Monnica T. Williams is a board-certified licensed clinical psychologist and Professor at the University of Ottawa, in the School of Psychology, where she is the Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Disparities. She is also the Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinics in Connecticut and Ottawa, where she provides supervision and training to clinicians for empirically-supported treatments. Prior to her move to Canada, Dr. Williams was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School (2007-2011), the University of Louisville in Psychological and Brain Sciences (2011-2016), where she served as the Director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities, and the University of Connecticut (2016-2019) where she had appointments in both Psychological Science and Psychiatry. Dr. Williams' research focuses on BIPOC mental health, culture, and psychopathology, and she has published over 200 scientific articles on these topics. Current projects include the treatment of racial trauma, improving cultural competence in the delivery of mental health care services, and addressing structural racism. She gives diversity trainings nationally for academic programs, scientific conferences, and organizations.

 

Through the Kentucky Psychological Association (KPA), Dr. Williams served as the diversity delegate to Washington DC for the American Psychological Association (APA) State Leadership Conference for two consecutive years. She has served as the African American SIG leader for Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), and recently served as Chair of their Academic Training & Education Standards (ATES) Committee. She serves as an Associate Editor of Behavior Therapy and the Behavior Therapist. She also serves on the editorial board of Cognitive Behaviour TherapyCanadian PsychologyInternational Journal of Mental Health, the Journal of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders and the Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation, and co-founded their Diversity Council. Her work has been featured in all major US and Canadian media outlets, including NPR, CBS, CTV, CBC, Huffington Post, and the New York Times.

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Deran Young

Deran Young, LCSW, Capt/USAF (retired) is a licensed therapist specializing in racial trauma and legacy burdens. She is also a Co-Author of the New York Times Best Seller, You Are Your Best Thing, a retired military officer, and founder of Black Therapists Rock.

 

Black Therapists Rock is a non profit organization with a network of over 30,000 mental health professionals committed to reducing the psychological impact of systemic oppression and intergenerational trauma.

 

She obtained her social work degree from University of Texas, where she studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa for two semesters creating a high school counseling center for under-resourced students. Deran has visited over 37 different countries and her clinical experience spans across four different continents.

 

Her passion for culture and people has led her to become a highly sought after diversity and inclusion consultant working with companies like BBERG, Facebook, Linked In, and YWCA. She resides in the Washington DC area with her young son.