The State of Our Art: We’re Older. Are We Better?
Two of the most influential figures in our field reflect on the most important advances of the past four decades as well as the prospects for improving our therapeutic effectiveness in the future, with a special emphasis on the scientific and technical innovations. In this discussion, you’ll explore answers to the following questions:
Daniel J. Siegel, MD, is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding co-director of UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center, founding co-investigator at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain and Development, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions, and communities.
Dr. Siegel's psychotherapy practice spans thirty years, and he has published extensively for the professional audience. He serves as the Founding Editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology, which includes over 70 textbooks. Dr. Siegle's books include his five New York Times bestsellers: Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence; Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, and two books with Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline. His other books include: The Power of Showing Up, also with Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, The Developing Mind, The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight, The Mindful Brain, The Mindful Therapist, Parenting from the Inside Out (with Mary Hartzell, MEd), and The Yes Brain (also with Tina Payne Bryson, PhD). He has been invited to lecture for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, his Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, and TEDx.
Financial: Dr. Daniel Siegel is the clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, the medical director of Lifespan Learning Institute, the executive director of Center for Human Development and Mindsight Institute, and the founding editor of Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology. He receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Daniel Siegel receives a speaking honorarium, recording royalties, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Daniel Siegel has no relevant non-financial relationships.
Bessel van der Kolk, MD, has spent his career studying how children and adults adapt to traumatic experiences, and has translated emerging findings from neuroscience and attachment research to develop and study a range of potentially effective treatments for traumatic stress in children and adults.
In 1984, he set up one of the first clinical/research centers in the US dedicated to the study and treatment of traumatic stress in civilian populations, which has trained numerous researchers and clinicians specializing in the study and treatment of traumatic stress, and which has been continually funded to research the impact of traumatic stress and effective treatment interventions. He did the first studies on the effects of SSRIs on PTSD; was a member of the first neuroimaging team to investigate how trauma changes brain processes, and did the first research linking BPD and deliberate self-injury to trauma and neglect in early childhood.
Much of his research has focused on how trauma has a different impact at different stages of development, and that disruptions in care-giving systems have additional deleterious effects that need to be addressed for effective intervention. In order to promote a deeper understanding of the impact of childhood trauma and to foster the development and execution of effective treatment interventions, he initiated the process that led to the establishment of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a Congressionally mandated initiative that now funds approximately 150 centers specializing in developing effective treatment interventions, and implementing them in a wide array of settings, from juvenile detention centers to tribal agencies, nationwide.
He has focused on studying treatments that stabilize physiology, increase executive functioning and help traumatized individuals to feel fully alert to the present. This has included an NIMH-funded study on EMDR and NCCAM funded study of yoga, and, in recent years, the study of neurofeedback to investigate whether attentional and perceptual systems (and the neural tracks responsible for them) can be altered by changing EEG patterns.
His efforts resulted in the establishment of Trauma Center, that consist of a well-trained clinical team specializing in the treatment of children and adults with histories of child maltreatment, that applies treatment models that are widely taught and implemented nationwide, a research lab that studies the effects of neurofeedback and MDMA on behavior, mood, and executive functioning, and numerous trainings nationwide to a variety of mental health professional, educators, parent groups, policy makers, and law enforcement personnel.
Dr. van der Kolk is the author of the NY Times best-selling book The Body Keeps The Score.