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


35th Annual Cape Cod Symposia

Becoming a Master Clinician: Diagnosis, Drugs and Existential Psychotherapy

- S. Nassir Ghaemi, M.D., M.P.H.
June 25 - 29, 2018, Cape Cod, MA

Program & Presenter

S. Nassir Ghaemi M.D., M.P.H., is Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and a Clinical Lecturer at Harvard Medical School. He is a Director in Translational Medicine-Neuroscience at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA. He also 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. 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


  • Conceptual approaches to psychiatry will be examined, including views that are based on a single method (classical psychoanalysis, classical biological psychiatry), or eclectic (the biopsychosocial model), and will be contrasted with a method-based scientific alternative (rooted in the work of Karl Jaspers and others) / The ideas of Karl Jaspers will be examined in detail as providing a basis for a scientific humanistic approach to psychiatry, as well as in introducing existential concepts in psychiatry such as empathy


  • Existential psychotherapy will be examined in more detail, including the ideas of Jaspers, Leston Havens, Elvin Semrad, Rollo May, Viktor Frankl and others / The relationship of this approach to psychoanalytic and other psychotherapies will be examined


  • DSM-based approaches to diagnosis will be critiqued both historically and scientifically and alternative approaches explored, especially in relation to affective illness / The Hippocratic approach to psychopharmacology will be examined, entailing treating diseases more so rather than symptoms


  • Clinical applications and implications of the above ideas will be explored further in relation to studies of antidepressant efficacy in depressive conditions / Diagnosis and treatment of ADD in children and adults / Borderline personality / Bipolar illness


  • The benefits of some aspects of some psychiatric illnesses will be explored, in particular the benefits seen with manic-depressive illness for crisis leadership / The scientific evidence for these ideas will be examined, and examples of historical, political, military, and business leaders - like Lincoln, Churchill, Kennedy, Gandhi, M. L. King, Ted Turner, and others - will be discussed