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Depressed, Bipolar or Borderline

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This event is a part of the Office of Global and Lifelong Learning's Spring 2018 Seminar Series.

April 20, 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
NYU Meyer Hall
4 Washington Place
New York, NY 10003


Clinicians are seeing an increasing number of depressed patients who have been treated with multiple antidepressants, often combined with atypical antipsychotics and other medications. In spite of these polypharmacy regimens, many remain mired in depression and lament that they “have tried every drug there is” without substantial or sustained benefit.

A common, unrecognized reason for this is that a large proportion of these patients are not simply depressed. A National Institutes of Mental Health study revealed that over 40 percent of adults seeking help for symptoms of depression actually had bipolar illness. In the best-designed and largest studies, antidepressants have been proven ineffective in treating acute bipolar depression and in preventing future depressive episodes in those with bipolar illness. They can also cause harm in a substantial minority of patients by provoking more and more mood episodes and, paradoxically, by worsening depression. Even the most skilled therapists often find that their best efforts to help these misdiagnosed and inappropriately treated patients are ineffective over the long term.

This seminar will provide clinicians with a four-part, clinical diagnostic method to distinguish patients with borderline personality and unipolar depression from those with bipolar illnesses. Clinicians will learn about why, despite widespread use, antidepressants, atypical antipsychotics, and lamotrigine (Lamictal) should not form the foundation of treatment for bipolar illness. They will also learn about the medications that work in acute bipolar depression and that have been proven effective in the long-term.

Drawing on research from empirically tested individual and family therapies for bipolar disorder and psychodynamic studies on manic-depressive illness, Dr. Quinn will discuss the many ways psychotherapists can help patients and families struggling with bipolar disorder once patients receive proper pharmacologic treatment.

Fifty to sixty percent of bipolar patients abuse alcohol or drugs. Clinicians will learn simple, straightforward strategies for identifying and managing substance abuse. They will also learn to recognize bipolar patients at the greatest risk of completing suicide and how to intervene in ways to reduce this risk. Finally, participants will learn about potent, non-drug treatments for depression, mania, and rapid-cycling that they can put to immediate use in their practices.


Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to:
  • List the two most sensitive indicators that identify a past history of hypomania
  • Identify the five key features of depressive mixed states
  • Provide two signs/symptoms, course, family history, and antidepressant response markers that indicate bipolar spectrum illness rather than unipolar depression
  • Gain an understanding of three empirically-validated reasons why antidepressants should not be routinely used in patients with bipolar illness and the two classes of medications that have been shown to be effective in either acute or maintenance treatment
  • Describe five critical issues that need to be addressed in psychotherapy with bipolar patients and their families and the empirically-validated psychosocial treatments from which they are derived
  • Describe the benefits and limitations of key non-pharmacologic treatments for bipolar illness


This is an image of BRIAN QUINN.

Brian Quinn, LCSW, Ph.D.  

Brian Quinn, LCSW, Ph.D. author of Wiley Concise Guides to Mental Health: Bipolar Disorder and The Depression Sourcebook, 2nd ed., is a clinical social worker in private practice in Huntington, NY. He has 35 years of experience in mental health and substance abuse treatment.

He earned his master's degree in social work at the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in clinical social work at New York University. He has a post-graduate certificate in psychoanalytic psychotherapy from Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

Dr. Quinn has given seminars on depression and bipolar disorder at hospitals, graduate schools of social work, state societies for clinical social work, and to practicing clinicians across the United States through Professional Education Seminars, Inc (PESI) and Cross Country Education.


Attendance Fees:

  • General Admission: $200.00
  • NYU Faculty and Staff: $150.00
  • NYU Silver Alumni (Graduate and Undergraduate degrees): $150.00
  • NYU Silver Post-Masters Certificate Program Alumni: $187.20
  • NYU Silver Current Field Instructors: $150.00
  • NYU Silver Current Students: $100.00
  • Non-NYU Silver Current MSW and PhD Students: $133.33
  • 3+ from one agency: $150.00/each
  • Veterans: $100.00

All discounts must be applied before the event date.


To register for this seminar, please log in to our Online Portal and select this event from the "All Events & Programs" tab.

If you have not yet used our system, please learn more about creating a user profile by visiting our Online Portal instructions page. It will walk you through the process step-by-step.

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NYSED and ACE approved for 7 CE hours. 


New York University Silver School of Social Work is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers {#SW-0012}.
NYU Silver School of Social Work, 1415 is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. NYU Silver School of Social Work maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 11/11/16 - 11/11/19. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social Workers participating in this course will receive 3 continuing education clock hours.
New York University Silver School of Social Work is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors {#MHC-0083}.
For Mental Health Practitioners: Please check with your state, if you are not licensed in New York, to determine if these credits will be accepted for licensing renewal.


If after registering, you determine that you can no longer attend this event, The Office of Global and Lifelong Learning will issue refunds on the following basis:
Refund requests made on or before April 12 (by midnight): full refund
Refund requests made on or before April 18 (by midnight): 50% refund
Refund requests made on or after April 19: no refund
If the event is cancelled, all registrants will be fully reimbursed. To withdraw from and be reimbursed for this event, please complete the form located here.

Special Accommodations & Grievance Policy

Special Accommodations:
Students requiring accommodations have the opportunity to make these known upon registering or by writing to

Addressing Grievances:
For information on our Grievance Guidelines, please click here. If you have questions or concerns contact (212) 998-9099.


NYU Silver School of Social Work
Office of Global and Lifelong Learning
1 Washington Square North, G08
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212-998-5973
Fax: 212-995-4497