Alternative Paths in Psychiatry & Psychotherapy An Intimate Look at Non-Diagnostic Practices


A Live Webinar Conversation

Moderated by Lois Holzman, Ph.D.

Sunday, October 28, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Eastern Daylight Time (US)

119 West 23 Street, Suite 902, New York, NY 10011

Institutional Rate: $125

Registration fee: $45; Student/Retired $25; Low Income $15


Carina Håkansson and Hugh Polk are not your typical clinicians. She is a social worker and psychotherapist from Sweden influenced by Open Dialogue and other humanistic, collaborative approaches. In her career, Dr. Håkansson has founded alternative treatment centers and initiated the founding of the Institute for Psychiatric Withdrawal. He is an American psychiatrist with years of experience as a community organizer. Trained by Fred Newman in Social Therapy, Dr. Polk helped establish social therapy centers in the New York City area. He has decades of experience running social therapy groups and supervising young therapists.

Breaking out of the medical model and diagnostic paradigms, each of them has pioneered and developed therapeutic approaches that empower people to build community with their emotional pain, to touch others and create new possibilities.

Join Carina, Hugh and Institute director Lois Holzman for an intimate conversation about their work and their discoveries.

For more information contact: Ann Green –


Carina Håkansson is a social worker, licensed psychotherapist, lecturer and “activist.” She is the co-founder and on the faculty of International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal (IIPDW). She founded and was Managing Director at the Family Care Foundation(1987-2015) and recently created The Extended Therapy Room Foundation. Her books include: The Extended Therapy Room – Coming from an Authentic Placeand Ordinary Life Therapy: Experiences from a Collaborative Systemic Practice.

Hugh Polk, M.D. is a psychiatrist and social therapist practicing in New York City. He is on the faculty of the East Side Institute and has led numerous workshops and presentations on social therapy at conferences in the U.S. and around the world. Hugh is co-author of the Institute’s blog, Talkin’ Therapy with Hugh Polk and Ann Green and a former medical director of a number of community mental health centers in NYC. He completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University, received his M.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and did his psychiatric residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Lois Holzman, Ph.D. is the co-founder of the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy. For more than 30 years, Holzman has led the way in developing a new psychology that understands our ability to perform – to be who we are and other than who we are – as key to our emotional, social and intellectual growth. She is a founder and the chair of the Performing the World conferences, which support the emerging social change approach known as performance activism. Holzman is a mentor and coach to hundreds of scholars, educators, artists and community activists around the globe. She is the author of 10 books – including her latest, The Overweight Brain – and hundreds of chapters, essays and articles, a selection of which are featured in the recently published Big Ideas and Revolutionary Activity. Holzman received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and was recently appointed Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Vygotskian Practice and Performance by the Lloyd International Honors College at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.