New England
Educational Institute
A Leader in Continuing Education
for Mental Health Professionals
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Santa Fe, NM
Marco Island, FL
Ireland with Thomas Moore

New England
Educational Institute

phone 413-499-1489
fax 413-499-6584

449 Pittsfield Rd
Suite 201
Lenox, MA 01240


34th Annual Cape Cod Symposia

Becoming a Master Clinician: Diagnosis, Drugs and Existential Psychotherapy

- S. Nassir Ghaemi, M.D., M.P.H.
July 24 - 28, 2017, Cape Cod, MA

Program & Presenter

S. Nassir Ghaemi M.D., M.P.H., is Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, Director of the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts Medical Center and a Clinical Lecturer at Harvard Medical School. He is Founding Editor of the monthly newsletter, The Psychiatry Letter, and author of many books and scientific articles, including A First-Rate Madness, a New York Times Best Seller, The Rise and Fall of the Biopsychosocial Model, and A Clinician’s Guide to Statistics and Epidemiology in Mental Health. His main expertise is in depression and bipolar illness, psychopharmacology, and philosophy.

Symposium Description

In this course, participants will learn advanced clinical approaches to diagnosing and differentiating clinical presentations of anxiety, depression, bipolar, and personality disorders. Differential diagnosis will be emphasized, and decision-making about treatment with medications and/or psychotherapies, and which specific ones, will be discussed in detail. The presentation will be very interactive, and consistently clinical and related to concrete cases. Emphasis will be placed on a little understood and used approach: the existential/humanistic methods of psychotherapy. The overall approach will be an integrated way of thinking about mental health practice that goes beyond simplicities of DSM definitions, FDA-indication based use of drugs and eclectic psychotherapies. A more integrative approach will be offered that is scientific without being reductionistic and humanistic without being vague.

Symposium Schedule


  • Diagnosis: History, weakness and strength of DSM-based diagnosis/ Scientific evidence and clinical utility of diagnoses beyond DSM restrictions, while still managing to function in an insurance and FDA environment that is based on DSM definitions


  • Drugs: Common approaches to drug treatment of anxiety, mood, and personality/ Scientific evidence for less use of medications, and more judicious choice of medications/ How to manage the influence of the pharmaceutical industry and pressures from patients to make decisions about medications ethically and scientifically


  • Existential Psychotherapy: The existential approach to psychotherapies will be explored in detail in the work of Karl Jaspers, Rollo May, Viktor Frankl and others/ The relationship of this approach to psychoanalytic and other psychotherapies will be examined


  • Advanced discussion of psychotherapies and clinical case discussion: Further discussion of the existential/ humanistic approach to psychotherapy, with special emphasis on the work of Harvard psychiatrist Leston Havens/ Advanced clinical case discussion about different approaches to psychotherapies of anxiety, mood, and personality


  • Advanced discussion of concepts of mental health: This discussion will critique both reductionistic approaches (biological or psychological) as well as eclectic approaches (e.g., the biopsychosocial model)/ The goal is to help participants think self-critically about their basic assumptions about mental health and mental illness