North Carolina AHEC Program
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Developer of Transtheoretical Change Featured at 2014 Clinical Update and Psychopharmacology Review

For over ten years, Clinical Update and Psychopharmacology Review has been the premier conference to provide information on the most recent therapeutic and medical approaches to the treatment of mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse. More than 200 participants took part in the Review on February 20 and 21, 2014 at North Carolina State University's McKimmon Conference and Training Center in Raleigh. The event was co-sponsored by the Southern Regional and Wake AHECs.

This statewide multi-disciplinary conference welcomed James Prochaska, PhD, as featured plenary speaker. Prochaska is the director of the Cancer Prevention Research Center and professor of clinical and health psychology at the University of Rhode Island. He is internationally recognized for his work as a developer of the stage model of behavior change. In Prochaska's Transtheoretical Model, behavior change is treated as dynamic, rather than an "all or nothing" phenomenon. This distinction is considered one of the theory's strengths. Prochaska is also the founder of Pro-Change Behavoir Systems.

As the principal investigator on over $70 million in research grants for the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases, Prochaska has won numerous awards including the Top Five Most Cited Authors in Psychology from the American Psychology Society, and Innovator's Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is the first psychologist to win a Medal of Honor for Clinical Research from the American Cancer Society. Prochaska has authored over 350 publications, including three books, Changing for Good, Systems of Psychotherapy, and The Transtheoretical Approach.

Clarke and Prochaska

Photo above: Christina Clarke, MS, HS-BCP, program coordinator for The NC Evidence Based Practices Center, and James Prochaska, PhD, featured speaker at the 2014 Clinical Update and Psychopharmacology Review.

On day two of the conference, North Carolina fiction writer, Lee Smith, talked about her newest book, Guests on Earth. In her discussion of the book, Lee related her own experiences with the NC mental health system.

David Richard, director of the NC Division of MH/DD/SA, was the conference's closing speaker. He addressed the current structure of the state's mental health system, plans for changes in services, and discussed how the consumer will benefit from these changes.

In addition to Southern Regional and Wake AHECs, the conference was jointly sponsored by the Duke Department of Psychiatry, the UNC Department of Psychiatry, the NC Psychiatric Association, the NC Psychological Association, and The Governor's Institute on Substance Abuse.