Recap: 2021 Pathlight Conference

Our annual Pathlight Conference, presented by the Eating Recovery and Pathlight Foundation, was a success, and we're already looking forward to the 2022 Eating Recovery and Pathlight Conference. If you joined us this year, we hope you gained some tools and tricks that you're already implementing. If we missed you this year, we hope to see you next year!

This year's conference featured nearly 20 leaders in mental health disciplines over two days. Some sessions took place live from our conference center, while others were recorded and available on-demand. Let's take a peek at our speakers and their sessions.

Describing the Conference in Three Words

We asked a few of our presenters to describe the Pathlight Conference and three words, and here's what we heard:

Innovative, exciting, and applicable to thousands of patients that we can improve the quality of their life.

Dr. Howard Weeks

Exciting, informative, and actually fun.

Dr. Anne Marie O'Melia

Courageous, impactful and bold.

Abraham Sculley

Informative, engaging and transformational.

Dr. Lawrence Chatters

Live Sessions


Anne Marie O'Melia, MS, MD, FAAP, CEDS-S, Ken Weiner, MD, CEDS, FAED, and Rebecca Steinfort kicked off our conference with a welcome session. Anne Marie O'Melia, MS, MD, FAAP, and Howard Weeks, MD followed with a session on Neuropsychiatric Treatment Innovation-Current Research Trends.


On Wednesday, we had four live sessions, starting with Clinical Perspectives on Bereavement and Grief: Past, Present and Future with Christopher Layne, PhD, followed by Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher, PhD, CEDS-S, FAED, and Thomas Joiner, PhD, on The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide from a Radically Open DBT Perspective, and then a presentation and role-play with Lawrence Chatters, PhD, and Abraham Sculley on Counseling Strategies to Consider When Working with African American Men*. Sheila Robinson Kiss, LCSW, MSW, wrapped up the Pathlight Conference with a session on Getting Past Overwhelmed: Celebrating the Resilient Edge.

* Conference registrants and attendees of Abraham Sculley's presentation were also invited to a book club post-conference on Abraham Sculley's book, Unlearn the Lies: A Guide to Reshaping the Way we Think about Depression.

On-Demand Sessions

In addition to live sessions, we also had a few on-demand sessions for those who could not attend live or wanted to watch sessions at their own pace. All live sessions are also recorded and available to registrants until December 31, 2021.

This year, we had five on-demand sessions, including Diagnosis and Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder with Charles Brady, PhD, ABPP, Working Clinically with Asian Americans in the Midst of COVID-19 and Anti-Asian Racism: What Providers Need to Know presented by Sherry C. Wang, PhD, and Understanding Barriers and Solving for Access to Care Issues in Mental Health Care-During the Pandemic, presented by Dori Bowling-Walters, LCSW, Cyndi Eddington and Casey Tallent, PhD. Jason James, MD, and Toya Roberson-Moore, MD, gave an on-demand session on Practical Psychopharmacology in Children and Adolescents, and our final on-demand presentation was Getting Back on Track: Treating School Refusal and Failure to Launch Avanti Bergquist, MD, MS, FAPA, DFAACAP, and Elizabeth Stachulski, LCPC, CEDS-S.

Between the on-demand sessions and live sessions, attendees had the opportunity to earn up to 15 CME/CNE/CE credits. They can take the post-tests and revisit the presentations through December 31, 2021 through our conference hub.

Key Takeaways

Tuesday and Wednesday were packed with insightful discussions, thoughtful questions, and tools and tricks attendees could start implementing as soon as they finished the conference.

We enjoyed hearing from the presenters and learned quite a bit ourselves over the two days. Here are some key points we learned from our time at the conference:

"Bereavement poses a double-barreled challenge—it is not only the most common, but also the most distressing form of trauma among both clinic-referred youth and youth in the general population." — Christopher Layne, PhD

"The central issue of overcontrol is loneliness, not emotion dysregulation." - Dr. Astrachan-Fletcher

"African American men are less likely to seek help due to the stigma of mental health, perceptions of weakness and feat of talking to "outsiders." – Lawrence Chatters, PhD, and Abraham Sculley

"We don't respond to what is happening. We respond to what we tell ourselves is happening. You live your narrative." – Dr. Sheila Robinson Kiss

Attendee Feedback

We were proud to be joined by such wonderful and knowledgeable presenters and speakers and are already looking forward to doing it again next year for a hybrid conference approach, both in Denver, CO and virtually online.

If you haven't already, sign up for our 2022 conference alerts. The first 200 alert sign-ups will receive a unique code to attend the 2022 Conference at a discounted rate. You won't want to miss it!