Dr. Amador is the founder of the LEAP Institute. He is an internationally sought-after speaker, clinical psychologist and author of eight books, including the international best-seller, “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” (available in 15 languages), “I’m Right, You’re Wrong, Now What,” “When Someone You Love is Depressed,” “Break the Bipolar Cycle” and “Being Single in a Couple’s World.” Dr. Amador’s expertise has made him a regular contributor to the Today Show and a featured guest on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, 60 Minutes, CNN, ABC’s World News Tonight and many others. He was a featured psychologist on the PBS series, “This Emotional Life.” Previously, Dr. Amador was on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Director of Psychology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Amador is also a well-known forensic psychologist who has worked on numerous high-profile cases, including the Unabomber, the Elizabeth Smart Kidnapping and 9/11 conspirator cases. Dr. Amador broke new ground by appearing on PBS Nova conducting couples’ therapy and then for three years on an NBC Bravo program as Bethenny Frankel’s psychotherapist. He was the first psychologist to allow the viewing public, together with his clients, access to real-life therapy sessions. The depiction of real-life therapy resulted in thousands contacting Dr. Amador and LEAP Institute to ask for help: “I never saw myself as going to therapy, but after watching…” Born in Cuba, he escaped with his mother and siblings after his father’s murder shortly after the revolution. Dr. Amador is a longtime advocate for the mentally ill, their families and the professionals (healthcare, law enforcement, legal) charged with helping them.
Harry Cunningham is the Director of Consultation and Education at The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester (MHCGM). His duties include providing consultation and training services to assist human service agencies to implement various effective practices, especially as they relate to Evidence Based Practices. He received degrees in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Connecticut. He is a licensed clinical social worker in New Hampshire.
Harry has worked in many clinical and administrative positions in the mental health field for 30 years. He previously worked for Riverbend Community Mental Health Center in Concord, NH, and at the Psychiatric Research Center of Dartmouth College from 2002-2007 as a consultant and trainer for the development and implementation of major Evidence-Based Practices including: Evidence-Based Supported Employment (EBSE), Motivational Interviewing, Illness Management and Recovery (IMR), Integrated Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders, Family Psychoeducation (FPE), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). He has led hundreds of trainings in 20 states and in Denmark.
Harry is also currently the Director of the Research Department at MHCGM. He has been a site coordinator in many research efforts including partnerships with the Dartmouth College- Geisel School of Medicine, the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Copenhagen University, the Feinstein Institute of Medical Research, Janssen Pharmaceutical, and the US Social Security Administration.
Tess has a long and successful healthcare employment history. Beginning her education at SCCC, she specialized in Early Childhood & Adolescent. Moving forward in her academic endeavors, Tess received a Specialty Certificate in Social Work at Stony Brook University while maintaining an Advanced Standing in Social Work LMSW upon graduation.
Tess has a long-standing affiliation with Peconic Bay Medical Center, dating back to 2000. She is also acting LMSW & Consulting Clinical Social Worker for LEAP Institute, working alongside Dr. Xavier Amador.
Dr. Jason Camu is a nationally recognized TV psychologist, working behind the scenes for such hit programs as, Undercover Boss, Wife Swap and the Marriage Ref. But the central fuel that drives his work is with individuals in private practice. His work as a clinical psychologist includes specialization in the treatment of anxiety, ranging from in-patient hospital settings to work with high-profile professionals to the U.S. Navy. Dr. Camu has contributed scholarly articles including such topics as What is Intuition? Dr. Camu is the founding creative thinker behind “The Aggregate Model of Anxiety,” suggesting that anxiety typically develops as a buildup of many small contributing factors.
Emma Dore, General Manager of Supporting Families in Mental Illness Auckland, has 25 years experience in the field of mental health. For several years she has been teaching LEAP throughout New Zealand and supervises others who offer LEAP trainings. Ms. Dore works closely with consumers, family caregivers and policy makers/government officials and understands the importance of trusting, respectful relationships that lead to partnerships. In addition to being a LEAP Faculty member and veteran trainer, she is LEAP Institute’s representative in New Zealand and in the Asia/Pacific Region.
Dr. Fix is a licensed clinical psychologist and has served as the Executive Director of the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) in San Diego, CA since 2006. In addition to overseeing the clinical and administrative functions of the PERT teams, Jim is the lead instructor and coordinator for all Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trainings held in San Diego. Jim also provides CIT training throughout the United States as a consultant to various different law enforcement agencies. As both a professional and a family member, Jim has a unique understanding of the effects of mental illness on the individual, family, and community. Jim has served on the Board of Directors for NAMI-North Coastal San Diego and is currently serving on the Board of Directors at The Meeting Place Club House in San Diego.
Rokus’ experience in Mental Health stretches over a period of 35 years. Rokus is a social psychiatric nurse and was Head of the Rehabilitation Team for Homeless Individuals in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, for 18 years. Nowadays he is a trainer for ACT (Assertive Community Treatment), Meddle Care, Housing First and LEAP. He organizes learning experiences to the United States for Mental Health professionals, peers, policy makers, consumers and family members. The study experience has a strong focus on consumer-run and oriented programs. More than 250 people joined his Experience, with amazing results. Rokus is a strong believer that recovery is very possible. Check his website for more information: www.rokusloopik.com.
Dr. Pajonk is an experienced specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Göttingen, Germany. He is renowned for both his clinical and scientific work. One of his special areas of expertise—and an area in which he has published extensively—is schizophrenia, in particular the use of antipsychotic drugs and psycho-social interventions in long-term treatment. He is dedicated to integrating psychoeducation and family intervention with clinical practice according to the needs of the patients and their caregivers.
In 1991, at the age of 21, Sanjeet suffered his first episode of mental illness. In 1998, Sanjeet became a patient of the LIfe Adjustment Team (LAT) in southern California where, according to Sanjeet “I finally was offered a relationship in which someone treated me like a close friend and not a mentally ill person.” With the help of LAT, Sanjeet was able to get back into the real world and in 2003 Sanjeet finished his Bachelor’s degree in psychology at UCLA. He then completed his Master’s in Social Work at USC specializing in recovery for people with serious forms of mental illness. In 2007, Sanjeet established his own company, PeerCoach, and works in collaboration with many of the top psychiatrists from UCLA and southern California area providing evidence based psychosocial rehabilitation. He is also very involved with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Steven S. Simring, MD, MPH is associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is an attending physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He was vice chair for education at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and director of the Columbia/Cornell residency program in psychiatry and law. Dr. Simring is an experienced clinical psychiatrist with special experience in addiction. Dr. Simring is on the faculty of the LEAP Institute; SEAK (expert witness training); and the Neuroscience Education Institute. He is a consultant for NBC and MTV Networks. Dr. Simring has been a frequent guest on Montel Williams, Oprah, Regis and Kelly Live, Court TV (TruTV) and CNBC. He has written six books, including Making Marriage Work for Dummies, which he co-authored with Dr. Sue Klavans Simring, his wife and mother of his three children.