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Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures program

Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures program

Lorna Myers, PhD and Marcelo Lancman, MD

Program description:
Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (also known as dissociative or functional seizures) are events that resemble epileptic seizures but are provoked by emotional dysregulation and/or physical stress rather than abnormal electrical brain activity.  Treatment for psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) is a team effort by the epileptologist, clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, and psychiatrist (if needed). 

NEREG's clinicians have a unique and specialized diagnostic and treatment approach for this condition. Once the diagnosis has been made by the epileptologist following VEEG and other testing procedures, a referral is made for a psychological interview by a licensed clinical psychologist.  During this interview, questions are asked about current and past history, including social, educational, psychological, and medical background.  A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment is also completed with a special battery of tests to assess memory, language, attention, and general thinking as well as key emotional factors and personality.  Based on these results, a decision is made between the clinician and patient regarding possible treatment options and, if needed, a referral to psychiatry for medication evaluation is made.

Once it is determined that our program is appropriate for the patient, individual and/or group (12 sessions) psychotherapy can begin. Treatment often targets trauma symptoms, depressive worldviews, anxiety, and problems with anger and stress management.  Treatment can be trauma-focused (e.g., prolonged exposure) or psychoeducational and skills-based.  It is supportive, but also teaches the patient skills and techniques to learn to reduce or eliminate the non-epileptic events, attain a healthier and adaptive way of functioning, and better stress coping methods.  Once the patient completes the therapy program, a monthly virtual support group is available.   

In-person treatment is offered in the following location:

Virtual treatment through Doxy.me is also offered to patients who prefer to be seen through this modality

Recent publications on psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES):

• Psychogenic non epileptic seizures webinar: an Introduction for patients and loved ones - Dr. Lorna Myers
• Psychogenic non epileptic seizures: what psychologists need to know - Dr. Lorna Myers
Dr. Lorna Myers, New book: Psychogenic non- epileptic seizures: A Guide
• Crisis Psicogenas no-epilepticas

Other resources:

Make an appointment:
Services are offered in many of our New York and New Jersey offices.  Talk to your epileptologist about obtaining a referral, or call 212-661-7467.

Email Inquiries: dramyers@yahoo.com