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Shifting the Mental Health Paradigm: Exploring the relationship between psychiatric well-being and the biosphere


Dr. Marni Chanoff

Dr. James Greenblatt

Dr. Brian Wise

Dr. Magda Havas

Dr. Christopher Palmer


February 26, 2021

9:00 am - 5:00 pm EST


General Admission: $75

CE or CME Credits Add-On: $25

(Must also purchase a General Admission ticket)


Refund Policy: If canceled within 24 hours, a full refund will be issued. If canceled after 24 hours, a credit to a future Ellenhorn conference will be awarded. 

Ellenhorn’s Shifting the Paradigm Conferences aim to inform participants about current changes in thinking in the behavioral health fields that reflect the emergence of new perspectives, ones we hope will result in more humane and effective care for people experiencing extreme mood or thought events, or who engage in dangerous habits. These conferences are intentionally humanistic, avoiding a mechanical or systematized approach to care.


Our virtual Shifting the Paradigm conference on February 26, 2021 explores the profound relationship between a person’s environment and extreme experiences of mood and thought.         


Previous conferences focused on the following themes, among others, because they mark a noticeable shift in specific behavioral health paradigms: the brain as a social organ;  the mind as always socially engaged; and the space between self and other as an important site for study, theory and care. 


Conference topics have been chosen deliberately to support a shift from a Cartesian view of the mind as bound within the skull, to one in which we see ourselves as continually and fluidly related to others and our environment; and in which dangers to our well-being are linked to times when our relatedness is threatened.  We want to assist in a clear epistemological shift from an “I-think-therefore-I-am” perspective to one in which “I-am-because-I’m- related” is far more prevalent.  


But related to what?  So far, our conferences have focused exclusively on our relationship to other human beings, emphasizing that the health of individual humans is dependent on the fertility of the social/relational rhizomes in which they exist. While this is a very important tipping point in the current shift -- promising better and more humane treatments -- prioritizing human-to-human interaction as the central element of our psychological health potentially supports another false duality: the one between humans and nature.   


Could it be that our psychological health is connected to the biosphere, the actual—not metaphorical -- rhizome surrounding all of us?  The fact that this question can seem “New Age-y,” and from the fringe (“back to nature” somehow relegated in our minds to hippy communes and star-studded Internet influencers), clarifies how powerfully an atomized approach still dominates the behavioral health paradigm. 


The upcoming conference brings in experts from diverse areas of study to seriously address the question of the symbiosis of self and environment with scientific rigor and thoughtful theory that is down to earth in more ways than one.    


9:00 am - 9:15am: Opening Remarks: Ross Ellenhorn, PhD, LICSW, Ellenhorn, Founder and CEO. Matthew Bernstein, MD, Ellenhorn, Chief Medical Officer

9:15am - 10:30am: Suicide Redefined: A Functional Medicine model for Prevention and Hope. James Greenblatt, MD, Walden Behavioral Care, Chief Medical Officer

10:30am - 11:45am: Role of Electrosmog in Mental Health. Magda Havas, PhD, Trent University, Professor Emerita

11:45am - 12:00pm: Break - Yoga lead by The Wellness Program at Ellenhorn

12:00pm - 1:15pm: Neuroimmune Masqueraders of Psych. Brian Wise, MD, National Jewish Health, Psychiatrist and Integrative Medicine Practitioner, Pediatrics

1:15pm - 1:45pm: Break

1:45pm - 3:00pm: The Ketogenic Diet in Medicine and Psychiatry. Chris Palmer, MD, McLean Hospital, Director of the Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education. Harvard Medical School, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

3:00pm - 3:15pm: Break - Meditation lead by The Wellness Program at Ellenhorn

3:15pm - 4:30pm: Nutritious and Delicious!: Nutritional Psychiatry & Culinary Coaching. Marni Chanoff, MD, Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital, Teaching Faculty

4:30pm - 5:00pm: Discussion Panel moderated by Dr. Matthew Bernstein. Diana Cosmas, LICSW, Ellenhorn, PACT Clinician and Wellness Coordinator. Elizabeth Miller, LCSW, Ellenhorn, PACT Clinician and Wellness Coordinator




Dr. Marni Chanoff is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and Mclean Hospital, and practices and teaches Integrative Psychiatry. She is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Medicine, where she was named the Most Distinguished Graduate in Psychiatry. Dr. Chanoff completed her residency at the MGH/McLean Psychiatry Training Program, receiving the Mel Kayce Award for Excellence in Psychotherapy. She completed fellowships at The MGH Center for Psychoanalytic Studies and Harvard University Health Services. Following her training, Dr. Chanoff joined the clinical faculty at McLean Hospital as Psychiatrist in Charge of the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Program. She then served as an Ellenhorn psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer. She has certifications in Ayurvedic Health Counseling from Kripalu School of Ayurveda and in Culinary Coaching from Harvard’s Institute of Lifestyle Medicine. Dr. Chanoff is founder and senior advisor to the Ellenhorn Wellness Program. She has a private practice in psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, culinary and lifestyle medicine, and provides Ayurvedic consultations.


A pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, Dr. Greenblatt currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, MA, and is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and Dartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine. Dr. Greenblatt received his medical degree and completed his psychiatric residency at George Washington University. He then completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School. An acknowledged integrative medicine expert, educator, and author, Dr. Greenblatt has lectured internationally on the scientific evidence for nutritional interventions in psychiatry and mental illness. Through three decades of practice and research, Dr. Greenblatt is a leading contributor to helping physicians and patients understand the role of personalized medicine for mental illness. In April of 2017, Dr. Greenblatt was inducted into the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame by the International Society of Orthomolecular Medicine. He is author of seven books, including Finally Focused, Nutritional Lithium: A Cinderella Story, Answers to Anorexia, Integrative Medicine for
Alzheimer’s, Integrative Medicine for Binge Eating, and Integrative Medicine for Depression; and is co-editor with Kelly Brogan, MD, of the textbook Integrative Therapies for Depression. Dr. Greenblatt recently released two books: Integrative Medicine for Antidepressant Withdrawal and a second edition update of Integrative Medicine for Anorexia.  He is the founder of Psychiatry Redefined, an educational platform dedicated to the transformation of psychiatry. Psychiatry Redefined offers online CME-approved courses, webinars, and fellowships for professionals to learn about functional and integrative medicine for mental illness. Please visit or for more information.



Dr. Brian Wise has a unique approach to medicine shaped by own life experiences. As a young child, he had severe allergies, asthma, eczema and growth deficiency. He was studied and treated at a major university hospital. Ironically, the only doctor who offered him hope was a revolutionary women's reproductive endocrinologist who taught Brian to think outside of the box. 

Fueled by this inspiration, Brian earned a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University, then a medical degree from the University of South Carolina. He studied adult and child psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He is certified by the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine and the American Board of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Wise completed coursework for the Advanced Fellowship with the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (A4M), and to be a Certified Practitioner by the Institute for Functional Medicine (CPIFM).  

He treats many patients with psychiatric symptoms and medical co-morbidities, including mast cell activation syndrome, Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, fibromyalgia, mold/mycotoxin injury, chronic fatigue, anti-aging/recode Bredesen protocol, and Lyme and co-infections, as well as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, adrenal insufficiency and bioidentical hormone replacement therapies.  Dr. Wise is well-known for offering hope in seemingly untreatable cases. 

Beyond running his private practice, Wise Psychiatry, Dr. Wise is the sole psychiatrist and integrative medicine practitioner in pediatrics at National Jewish Health.  He co-developed Lighthouse Complex Care to treat patients with complex cases, especially autism and significant medical co-morbidities.  He is currently consulting on a neuro-immune pediatric/adult clinic at National Jewish Health anticipated to open in 2021.


Dr. Magda Havas, PhD, is Professor Emerita at Trent University, School of the Environment in Peterborough, Canada.  She is an environmental toxicologist who has studied the effects of chemical pollutants in the environment and more recently the biological effects of electromagnetic frequencies, from extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields to ultraviolet radiation.  She works with people who have developed electrohypersensitivity and is advising the health care/medical community on how to objectively assess this condition and help people heal. She also works on the beneficial effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF), vibrational therapy, and light therapy.



Dr. Christopher Palmer is a psychiatrist and researcher working at the interface of metabolic and mental disorders. He is the director of the Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education at McLean Hospital and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. For more than 25 years, he has worked with people with treatment-resistant mental illnesses using standard treatments, such as medications, psychotherapy, as well as complementary and alternative treatments. Dr. Palmer is pioneering the use of the medical ketogenic diet in the treatment of psychiatric disorders

-- conducting research in this area, treating patients, writing, and speaking on the topic.


Dr. Ellenhorn is not a speaker and will only be delivering opening remarks.

The Ketogenic Diet in Medicine and Psychiatry

Christopher Palmer, MD

It has long been known that people with chronic mental disorders are much more likely to be overweight or obese, have Type 2 diabetes, have cardiovascular disease, and die earlier than people without mental disorders. Most people assume these are due to people with chronic mental illness not taking care of themselves (e.g., overeating and not exercising) or due to the effects of their prescribed medications. Although both of these are true to some extent, neither explanation fully accounts for the observed health disparities. Could problems with metabolism account for some of these observations? And could a metabolic treatment, such as the ketogenic diet, play a role in not only improving metabolic health, but also mental health?

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this presentation, you will be able to:
1. Describe the ketogenic diet and different versions of this diet;
2. Make evidence-based dietary recommendations for weight loss using low carbohydrate or ketogenic diets; and
3. Outline the scientific rationale for using the ketogenic diet in diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

Suicide Redefined: A Functional Medicine Model for Prevention and Hope

James Greenblatt, MD

Suicide is a public health issue of critical importance, one which merits our best, most focused efforts towards treatment and prevention.  This webinar will introduce a biologic framework for suicide prevention, one in which the concept of suicidality as the result of underlying nutritional, genetic, and psychosocial risk factors is explored.  Scientific research supporting significant associations between malnutrition, essential fatty acid deficiencies, lithium deficiency, low cholesterol, and suicidality will be reviewed.  Studies illustrating the benefits of targeted nutritional augmentation to mitigate risk factors will be presented; evidence-based interventions will be described; and a prevention model centered upon objective biologic measurement and a concept of biochemical individuality will be elucidated.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this session the participants will be able to:
1. Identify biologic factors associated with suicide and the pathways through which they alter brain function;
2. Explain how systemic inflammation negatively affects neurotransmission and immune response; and
3. Describe the mechanisms through which lithium confers neuroprotection and explain how lithium may be utilized as part of a biological approach to suicide prevention.

Nutritious and Delicious! Nutritional Psychiatry and Culinary Coaching

Marni Chanoff, MD

Research suggests that the frontier of psychiatry is the mind-body connection. Eastern approaches used globally for thousands of years have honored this connection — through diet and lifestyle — to heal physical and mental disorders. With developing research in nutritional psychiatry, we now have evidence to support the use of food as medicine to help improve mental health and offset the side effects of psychiatric medications and sedentary lifestyles experienced by so many with mental illness. Culinary coaching, using motivational interviewing and SMART goals, can help clinicians translate this promising research into active steps to empower those we serve to learn about nutrition, gain confidence in the kitchen, and take achievable steps toward healthier living. This presentation will introduce an integrative approach that combines nutritional psychiatry and culinary coaching with Western psychiatry and psychodynamic psychotherapy. To illustrate this integrative approach in the real world, a case study will be shared.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this talk, participants will be able to:
1. recognize the evidence supporting the role of nutrition in mental health;
2. describe the gut microbiome’s role in mental health and how to care for it;
3. describe practical steps to help people feel more comfortable and motivated when cooking at home.

Neuroimmune Masqueraders of Psych

Brian Wise, MD, MPH, ABIHM, ABoIM

Most often, patients are referred to us for treatment of their mental health symptoms.  But what about when the cause is not mental in origin?  Or the mental overlay is due to an undiagnosed physical condition?  In medical school, we were trained under the dictum: “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses; not zebras.”  However, the zebras are making themselves known in many ways as they come into our office with a variety of “treatment-resistant” disorders.  When medicine turned to separated silos, our patients got caught without a health home.  Many diseases have been either forgotten, ridiculed as implausible, dismissed as nonsense, or outright relegated to “functional” disorders reserved for mental health providers to manage.  I will provide background on when to think zebras, what some of the more common zebras are, some of the pathophysiology underlying these disorders, and provide cases to illustrate these points -- including mold toxicity, Lyme and co-infections, and mast cell activation syndrome.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this presentation, attendees will:

1. identify warning symptoms that may point to a medical cause of psychiatric symptoms;

2. recognize the inflammatory processes at play associated with psychiatric symptoms; and

3. indicate the role that mycotoxins and Lyme can play in neuropsychiatric symptoms.

The Role of Electrosmog in Mental Health

Magda Havas, PhD

Since the 1950s, with our growing reliance on wireless technology, our exposure to microwave radiation has been increasing exponentially. Thousands of studies have documented the adverse biological and health effects of microwave radiation at levels of exposure well below federal guidelines.  In addition to cancers and reproductive problems, many of the symptoms are neurological and/or hormonal.  Dementia, depression and anxiety disorders are on the rise, as are ADHD, autism and addiction.  All these illness have been linked to microwave exposure in both human and animal studies.  Knowing what generates electromagnetic pollution, how to assess someone who has been injured by this exposure, and how to help them recover are topics covered in this lecture.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this talk, participants will be able to:
1. recognize the sources of electromagnetic pollution (commonly referred to as electrosmog);
2. quickly diagnose someone who is particularly vulnerable and adversely affected by this type of pollution (Monday morning diagnosis); and
3. assess the appropriate types of treatments based on the patient’s history, symptoms, and exposures.

Earn continuing education credits when you attend:

Physicians: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of McLean Hospital and Ellenhorn LLC. McLean Hospital is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


McLean Hospital designates this educational activity for a maximum of five AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


Social Workers: For information about continuing education credit for social workers, please call Leah Kogan at (508) 380-3585.

Target Audience: Behavioral health practitioners, functional medicine practitioners, and anybody interested in learning about these topics.


The course planner for this conference is Matthew Bernstein, MD. All talks will be given in the form of presentations and discussions. They will be recorded and be made available post-conference for viewing.

Inquiries regarding exhibiting and supporting opportunities, please contact Melissa Westerman at or 603-540-6288

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