Events & News


Epilepsy and Seizure Star: Our March 2023 Star is Lorna Myers, Ph.D. who has been dedicating herself to help people living with seizures as a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist.

For our March issue, we have selected Dr. Lorna Myers as our Epilepsy and Seizure Star. We sat down to ask her about what it is like to be a psychologist at an epilepsy program, how she came to work with epilepsy and seizures, her day-to-day life in this role and her research interests, and lastly, what she hopes to see in the future in the field of epilepsy and seizure care.

How did you decide to become a clinical psychologist?

Psychology, mental illness, and how to treat it interested me from an early age so it was only natural to decide to study Psychology when I went to college.  I attended the Universidad de Belgrano in Argentina and then traveled to New York City to complete a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at City University of NY. 

How did you come to work with epilepsy and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures? 

I came to my first epilepsy program in 1999 after I earned my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and chose to pursue a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology. I was accepted to an epilepsy program in NYC. There, I learned to administer neuropsychological batteries to children and adults, in both English and Spanish and also ran therapy and support groups and treated patients individually. I learned a great deal about people with epilepsy and another group of patients who come to epilepsy programs for diagnosis; ones with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (conversion disorder). I really enjoyed working and helping these patients and being in a multidisciplinary epilepsy program; as a result, I never left. Now that I look back on it, I have been in the world of epilepsy and PNES for 24 years!

What is your life like as a clinical psychologist in an epilepsy program? 

Currently, my day-to-day work involves providing individual psychotherapy for adults with epilepsy who are experiencing depression, anxiety or need help problem-solving and adjusting to life with seizures. I am also the director of the Psychogenic Non-epileptic Seizures (PNES) Program and provide individual psychotherapy to adults who are diagnosed with PNES.  Since 2020, I have been the principal investigator of a randomized controlled trial in which adults with PNES and post-traumatic stress disorder are offered one of two treatments for these conditions and followed for up to a year afterwards. We have almost completed this study and should be reporting results in the next couple of years. A big chunk of my time is also spent writing up my research and publishing it in peer-reviewed journals, writing book chapters, books and traveling to scientific conferences to present my research.

Some of my other duties include writing a weekly email letting our readers know about upcoming events and news, running a monthly epilepsy support group for adults and their loved ones and a monthly support group for patients with PNES who have completed their treatment at our program. I also help organize the Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group and Mid-Atlantic Epilepsy and Sleep Center Wellness Program which includes a virtual epilepsy book club that meets every 3 months. Online chess lessons were also offered over the summer as part of this program. Before the pandemic, our Wellness Program was amazing. It included Paint-the-Pumpkin Purple events, knitting, learning to crochet, art, drumming, computer 101 classes, yoga, and much more. It also offered chess lessons and a book club back then too. We hope to bring back a lot of those activities or come up with new ones in the next few years. It would help to hear from our readers as to what wellness activities they might like to see offered.  

How have you been working to make the life of those who live with epilepsy better?

In addition to my clinical work, over the last 10+ years, I have participated in many epilepsy walks in New York, New Jersey, and even Washington, DC as part of our NEREG team. I even went on some bike-a-thons in New York City and New Jersey.  These walks and rides are important because they help raise much needed funds for the epilepsy not-for-profits that help fight stigma, offer necessary services, and support research. 

Another thing that has kept me busy is putting together epilepsy and PNES conferences and webinars for patients and loved ones throughout NY and NJ and also through virtual platforms. In fact, we have an upcoming virtual PNES conference on April 29.

One hundred percent of the royalties from my book "Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures: A guide" are donated to the Epilepsy Alliance America to support a scholarship for students diagnosed with PNES.

What would you like to see in the future for those who live with seizures?

Ahhh, what a question! There is so much I would like to see change and improve.  For my patients with epilepsy and their families, I would like to see all patients achieve complete seizure-freedom through new medications or some of the more novel devices that are being researched and produced. For my patients with PNES, I would also like to see them achieve complete seizure-freedom. I would also like for the general public, educators, employers, and health professionals be properly educated on epilepsy and PNES, what they are, how to respond to urgent situations, and how to behave respectfully with someone who has seizures. Especially, as a psychologist I wish stigma, prejudices, and biases associated with seizures would become a thing of the past.  

From a practical viewpoint, I would like to see services provided to those living with seizures including transportation options for when someone cannot drive, more educational scholarships, more support at workplaces and in school, and support for the families. Anyhow, I could keep going forever but these are the main ones that pop up for me.


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