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DR. XAVIER AMADOR
Dr. Amador is the founder of the LEAP Institute. He is an internationally sought-after speaker, clinical psychologist and author of eight books, including the international best-seller, “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” (available in 15 languages), “I’m Right, You’re Wrong, Now What,” “When Someone You Love is Depressed,” “Break the Bipolar Cycle” and “Being Single in a Couple’s World.” Dr. Amador’s expertise has made him a regular contributor to the Today Show and a featured guest on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, 60 Minutes, CNN, ABC’s World News Tonight and many others. He was a featured psychologist on the PBS series, “This Emotional Life.” Previously, Dr. Amador was on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Director of Psychology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Amador is also a well-known forensic psychologist who has worked on numerous high-profile cases, including the Unabomber, the Elizabeth Smart Kidnapping and 9/11 conspirator cases. Dr. Amador broke new ground by appearing on PBS Nova conducting couples’ therapy and then for three years on an NBC Bravo program as Bethenny Frankel’s psychotherapist. He was the first psychologist to allow the viewing public, together with his clients, access to real-life therapy sessions. The depiction of real-life therapy resulted in thousands contacting Dr. Amador and LEAP Institute to ask for help: “I never saw myself as going to therapy, but after watching…” Born in Cuba, he escaped with his mother and siblings after his father’s murder shortly after the revolution. Dr. Amador is a longtime advocate for the mentally ill, their families and the professionals (healthcare, law enforcement, legal) charged with helping them.
BILL BOND, MINNESOTA
Bill Bond is President of the NAMI-MN Board of Directors. Bill’s late father had bipolar disorder which had a large impact on Bill. Dr. Amador’s LEAP methodology deeply impacted Bill’s understanding of his father’s lack of awareness of his mental disorder and also explained the ineffectiveness of Bill’s relentless efforts to convince his Dad of his mental illness. During Bill’s leadership in NAMI-MN, he encountered numerous family members with experience similar to Bill’s, such that he vowed he would work tirelessly to assist family members and others to heal and build their relationships and trust through the LEAP method.Bill has a BA in Sociology and an MA in Public Administration.
DR. JASON CAMU, CALIFORNIA
Dr. Jason Camu is a nationally recognized TV psychologist, working behind the scenes for such hit programs as, Undercover Boss, Wife Swap and the Marriage Ref. But the central fuel that drives his work is with individuals in private practice. His work as a clinical psychologist includes specialization in the treatment of anxiety, ranging from in-patient hospital settings to work with high-profile professionals to the U.S. Navy. Dr. Camu has contributed scholarly articles including such topics as What is Intuition? Dr. Camu is the founding creative thinker behind “The Aggregate Model of Anxiety,” suggesting that anxiety typically develops as a buildup of many small contributing factors.
EMMA DORE, NEW ZEALAND
Emma Dore, the National Executive Director of Supporting Families with Mental Illness, New Zealand, has 25 years experience in the field of mental health. For several years she has been teaching LEAP throughout New Zealand and supervises others who offer LEAP trainings. Ms. Dore works closely with consumers, family caregivers and policy makers/government officials and understands the importance of trusting, respectful relationships that lead to partnerships. In addition to being a LEAP Faculty member and veteran trainer, she is LEAP Institute’s representative in New Zealand and in the Asia/Pacific Region.
DR. JAMES FIX, CALIFORNIA
Dr. Fix is a licensed clinical psychologist and has served as the Executive Director of the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) in San Diego, CA since 2006. In addition to overseeing the clinical and administrative functions of the PERT teams, Jim is the lead instructor and coordinator for all Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trainings held in San Diego. Jim also provides CIT training throughout the United States as a consultant to various different law enforcement agencies. As both a professional and a family member, Jim has a unique understanding of the effects of mental illness on the individual, family, and community. Jim has served on the Board of Directors for NAMI-North Coastal San Diego and is currently serving on the Board of Directors at The Meeting Place Club House in San Diego.
ROKUS LOOPIK, NETHERLANDS
Rokus’ experience in Mental Health stretches over a period of 35 years. Rokus is a social psychiatric nurse and was Head of the Rehabilitation Team for Homeless Individuals in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, for 18 years. Nowadays he is a trainer for ACT (Assertive Community Treatment), Meddle Care, Housing First and LEAP. He organizes learning experiences to the United States for Mental Health professionals, peers, policy makers, consumers and family members. The study experience has a strong focus on consumer-run and oriented programs. More than 250 people joined his Experience, with amazing results. Rokus is a strong believer that recovery is very possible. Check his website for more information: www.rokusloopik.com.
DR. FRANK-GERARD PAJONK, GERMANY
Dr. Pajonk is an experienced specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Göttingen, Germany. He is renowned for both his clinical and scientific work. One of his special areas of expertise—and an area in which he has published extensively—is schizophrenia, in particular the use of antipsychotic drugs and psycho-social interventions in long-term treatment. He is dedicated to integrating psychoeducation and family intervention with clinical practice according to the needs of the patients and their caregivers.
SANJEET SIHOTA, CALIFORNIA
In 1991, at the age of 21, Sanjeet suffered his first episode of mental illness. In 1998, Sanjeet became a patient of the LIfe Adjustment Team (LAT) in southern California where, according to Sanjeet “I finally was offered a relationship in which someone treated me like a close friend and not a mentally ill person.” With the help of LAT, Sanjeet was able to get back into the real world and in 2003 Sanjeet finished his Bachelor’s degree in psychology at UCLA. He then completed his Master’s in Social Work at USC specializing in recovery for people with serious forms of mental illness. In 2007, Sanjeet established his own company, PeerCoach, and works in collaboration with many of the top psychiatrists from UCLA and southern California area providing evidence based psychosocial rehabilitation. He is also very involved with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
DR. STEVE SIMRING, NEW JERSEY
Steven S. Simring, MD, MPH is associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is an attending physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He was vice chair for education at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and director of the Columbia/Cornell residency program in psychiatry and law. Dr. Simring is an experienced clinical psychiatrist with special experience in addiction. Dr. Simring is on the faculty of the LEAP Institute; SEAK (expert witness training); and the Neuroscience Education Institute. He is a consultant for NBC and MTV Networks. Dr. Simring has been a frequent guest on Montel Williams, Oprah, Regis and Kelly Live, Court TV (TruTV) and CNBC. He has written six books, including Making Marriage Work for Dummies, which he co-authored with Dr. Sue Klavans Simring, his wife and mother of his three children.