International Experts on Trauma, Addiction to Speak at Elements Behavioral Health Symposia

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Elements Behavioral Health is hosting a series of symposia exploring the relationship of early complex trauma to intimacy, eating disorders and addiction on July 18 in Philadelphia, Penn., on July 25 in Columbus, Ohio, and on Aug. 15 in San Mateo, Calif. The panel includes Dr. Pamela Peeke, a physician, nutrition scientist and New York Times bestselling author; Robert Weiss, LCSW, author, international clinical educator and subject expert on intimacy disorders and sexual addiction; and Dr. Christine Courtois, a psychologist, trauma specialist, award-winning author and trainer.

Philadelphia, PA., Columbus, OH., San Mateo, CA. (PRWEB) July 10, 2014 – Three international experts on trauma and addiction will explore “The Relationship of Complex Trauma to Intimacy, Eating Disorders and Addiction,” on July 18 at the Crowne Plaza King of Prussia Mall in Philadelphia, Penn., on July 25 at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio and on Aug. 15 at the San Mateo Marriott in San Mateo, Calif. Produced by the Ben Franklin Institute and hosted by Elements Behavioral Health, the intermediate-to-advanced clinical training symposium for therapists and counselors features:

  • Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP – Renowned physician, nutrition scientist, New York Times bestselling author, and Senior Science Advisor for Elements Behavioral Health
  • Christine Courtois, PhD, ABPP – Psychologist, internationally recognized author and trauma specialist, and national clinical trauma consultant for Elements Behavioral Health
  • Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S – Social work clinician, international subject expert and author, founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute, and senior vice president of clinical development for Elements Behavioral Health
Christine Courtois

Christine Courtois

Dr. Courtois will present “Treatment of Complex Trauma: A Sequenced Relationship Based Approach,” from 9 to 10:30 a.m. The presentation will detail a meta-model for treating complex trauma that includes a three-phase approach, each with associated tasks.

“The treatment of complex trauma presents a wealth of challenges: co-occurrence with other conditions, the sequence of treatment, the therapeutic relationship, and the unique spiritual issues that arise from the trauma,” said Dr. Courtois. “Participants will come away with a solid overview of treatment approaches for complex trauma, including those that are evidence-based, and those that address mind-body reactions to post-traumatic stress.”

From 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Dr. Peeke will present “Food, Addiction and Recovery: A New Approach to Healing the Body-Mind.” The workshop presents groundbreaking science in the area of nutrition and addiction recovery. “NIH’s National Institute of Drug Abuse has funded exciting research showing that certain drugs and specific foods have similar effects on the brain’s prefrontal cortex and reward center,” said Dr. Peeke. “We will look at how we can apply this exciting new science to addictive eating behaviors and how, as clinicians, we can use this information to develop an integrative, holistic nutrition and lifestyle plan for clients struggling with addiction and food as a whole.”

Rob Weiss

Rob Weiss

Robert Weiss, who has developed the first dedicated treatment centers for women’s intimacy and sexual disorders in the U.S. as well as the highly successful mirror program for men at Promises Malibu, the Center for Relationship and Sexual Recovery at The Ranch and The Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles, will present “Sex, Tech, Intimacy & Infidelity: The Effect of Social Media on Intimacy Disorders and Sexual Addiction” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Mr. Weiss will look at how digital technology affects clinical practice and real-world social engagement among individuals, couples and families.

“Today there is little question that addictive online sexual activity is costing some their jobs, spouses and families,” Weiss said. “We’ll provide an overview of the kinds of technologies that are evoking age-old problems and discuss practical solutions for men and women struggling with Internet sex and pornography addictions.”

From 3:15 to 4:45 p.m., Dr. Peeke and Dr. Courtois will review complex case studies and clinical solutions in a panel moderated by Weiss.

Symposium attendees may earn up to seven continuing education credits. For an agenda or to register for the symposium, go to Elements’ events page.

About Robert Weiss

Robert Weiss is widely considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on sex and technology addictions along with the intimacy disorders that often underlie these problems. A media expert to CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, The Oprah Winfrey Network, ESPN, The New York Times, USA Today, NBC News and the Today Show, among others, Mr. Weiss also has provided clinical training and program development for the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. military, and behavioral treatment centers throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

About Dr. Courtois

Dr. Christine Courtois is a leading authority in the treatment of trauma, having worked in this area for over 35 years. She is a board certified counseling psychologist who has directed the development of practice guidelines for the treatment of complex trauma for three professional organizations and has been appointed chair of the American Psychological Association’s Guideline Development Panel for post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Courtois has written or co-edited eight books on healing from incest, child sexual abuse, complex traumatic stress disorders and other types of trauma, including the soon-to-be-published Spiritually-Oriented Treatment for Trauma.

About Dr. Peeke

Dr. Pamela Peeke is one of the country’s leading experts in nutrition and fitness. She is a Pew Foundation Scholar in nutrition and metabolism, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland, and Fellow of the American College of Physicians and Sports Medicine. A multimedia medical expert, Dr. Peeke is the chief lifestyle expert for WebMD, chief nutrition and fitness correspondent for Discovery Health TV, a popular TED conference presenter, and host of the HER radio show on RadioMD and iHeart. Dr. Peeke has written four New York Times bestsellers including The Hunger Fix. As Senior Science Advisor for Elements Behavioral Health, she has created integrative nutrition and holistic lifestyle programs at Malibu Vista women’s mental health center in Malibu, Calif., and Lucida Treatment Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.

About Elements Behavioral Health

Elements Behavioral Health is a family of behavioral health care programs that includes Promises Treatment Centers, The Ranch, The Recovery Place, Lucida Treatment Center, Clarity Way, Journey Healing Centers, The Sundance Center, the Sexual Recovery Institute and Right Step. Elements offers comprehensive, innovative treatment for substance abuse, sexual addiction, trauma, eating disorders and other mental health disorders. We are committed to delivering clinically sophisticated treatment that promotes permanent lifestyle change, not only for the patient but for the entire family system. For more information about Elements Behavioral Health, visit

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