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The 2010 ILADS conference, held at the Westin Hotel in Jersey City, NY on October 15-17th, included a day-long breakout session: “Brain Dysfunction and Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Tick-Borne Diseases.”

I spoke on the topic “Psychotherapy and Family Therapy: Moving Past Traditional Clinical Practice to Creative Treatment.” Included in my presentation were two cases demonstrating the value of a multi-disciplinary team approach. I co-presented on these cases with Charles Ray Jones, MD and Judith Leventhal, PhD.

The Ridgefield (CT) Lyme Disease Task Force, together with the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, sponsored a full day of training for mental health practitioners on September 24, 2010 at the Leir Retreat House in Ridgefield, CT.  I was program chair, and spoke on the topic “Psychotherapy with Lyme Disease Patients: Moving Past Traditional Clinical Practice to Creative Treatment.”

Mental health practitioners who work with chronic Lyme disease patients need to understand the illness in order to provide the most effective help to patients and their families.  My presentation, as well as those of the other speakers, addressed the specific problems and unique needs of patients with tick-borne diseases.

On Friday, October 1, 2010 in Philadelphia, PA, the LDASEPA will hold an Advocates Workshop.  Taking place at the Hyatt on the day before the national Lyme Disease Association/Columbia 2010 Scientific Conference, the Advocates Workshop will provide advocates, new and old, with a wonderful opportunity to network, to learn strategies from speakers, and from each other.

Advocacy training days have been held the past two years, sponsored by CALDA, and have been very well received.  New ideas are shared, and new projects begun, with attendees coming away from it enriched by the experience.

I am privileged to be participating in this year’s Advocates Workshop, speaking on the topic “The Personal Side of Patient Support:  A Guide for Lyme Leaders.”

The Lyme Disease Association and Affiliate groups continue to lead the way in patient advocacy, as they have for two decades.  I look forward to being a part of this important program.

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