Speakers & Presenters

Our elite speakers and presenters share cutting-edge methods, techniques, and the latest information to improve patient care. Here are some of our featured speakers from our past conferences. 

Check back in the coming months for the 2023 faculty.

Previous Evolution Faculty

Dan Siegel, MD
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Mindsight Institute

Dr. Siegel has published extensively for both professional and lay audiences. His five New York Times bestsellers are: Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, and two books with Tina Payne Bryson, PhD: The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline. His other books include: IntraConnected, The Developing Mind, The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight, The Mindful Brain, The Mindful Therapist, and Becoming Aware. He has also written The Yes Brain and The Power of Showing Up with Tina Payne Bryson, PhD. Dr. Siegel also serves as the founding editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology, which currently contains more than 80 textbooks. For more information on Dr. Siegel's newest book, visit: wwnorton.com/intraconnected.

Helen Fisher, PhD
Senior Research Fellow
The Kinsey Institute

Helen Fisher, PhD, Biological Anthropologist, is senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute and chief science advisor to Match.com. She uses brain scanning (fMRI) to study the neural systems associated with the sex drive, romantic love, attachment, rejection, love addiction, and long-term partnership happiness. She has written six books on lust, romance, and attachment now sold in 25 countries—among them: Why We Love; Why Him, Why Her?; and Anatomy of Love (2nd Ed). She also studies courtship trends in the digital age, using a representative sample of 50,000 single Americans to examine hooking up, friends with benefits, video chatting, and why today’s dating patterns may lead to decades of relative family stability—due to a trend she calls “slow love.” Using data collected from her biologically based questionnaire, the Fisher Temperament Inventory, now taken by 15+ million people in 40 countries, she is also studying the biological basis of personality and is a pioneer in examining the neurochemistry of team-building, innovation, and leadership to explain how people of different biological styles of thinking are predisposed to work, buy, innovate, and lead. Fisher appears regularly on national and international TV, radio, print, and podcasts. She is a TED All-Star with over 12 million views of her TED talks and a recipient of the American Anthropological Association’s Distinguished Service Award for her work at presenting anthropological data to the public.

Otto F. Kernberg, MD, FAPA
Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College
Weill Cornell Medical College

Otto F. Kernberg, MD, FAPA, is director of the Personality Disorders Institute at The New York Presbyterian Hospital, Westchester Division and professor of psychiatry at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Kernberg is a past president of the International Psychoanalytic Association. He is also training and supervising analyst of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. His latest books are: The Inseparable Nature of Love and Aggression, American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington, DC, 2011; Transference-Focused Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder, A Clinical Guide, (with Frank E. Yeomans and John F. Clarkin), American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington, DC, 2015; and Psychoanalytic Education at the Crossroads, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.

Stephen Porges, PhD
Distinguished University Scientist
Indiana University

Stephen W. Porges, PhD, is Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. He is a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and professor emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He served as president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award.

He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers across several disciplines including anesthesiology, biomedical engineering, critical care medicine, ergonomics, exercise physiology, gerontology, neurology, neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, psychometrics, space medicine, and substance abuse. He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton, 2011), The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe (Norton, 2017), and Polyvagal Safety: Attachment, Communication, Self-Regulation (Norton, 2021), and co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018). He is the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol™, which currently is used by more than 2,000 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement. He is a co-founder of the Polyvagal Institute (polyvagalinstitute.org).

Diane Ackerman, MA, MFA, PhD
Bestselling author of 26 books of prose and poetry

Poet, essayist, and naturalist Diane Ackerman is the author of more than two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry, including The Human Age, The Zookeeper’s Wife, and A Natural History of the Senses, books beloved by millions of readers all over the world. In prose so rich and evocative that one can feel the earth turning beneath one’s feet as one reads, Ackerman’s thrilling observations urge us to live in the moment, to wake up to nature’s everyday miracles.

Erving Polster, PhD
Gestalt Training Center, San Diego

Erving Polster, PhD in Clinical Psychology, is a veteran teacher of gestalt therapy and has authored six books. In his current writings, he offers perspectives and designs for a communal application of psychotherapy principles. He also describes and celebrates a powerful contemporary momentum for people-at-large to join together in the search for personal and social enlightenment.

Jeffrey K. Zeig, PhD
The Milton H. Erickson Foundation

Jeffrey K. Zeig, PhD, is the founder and director of the Milton H. Erickson Foundation. He has edited, co-edited, authored or co-authored more than 20 books on psychotherapy that appear in 14 foreign languages. Dr. Zeig is the architect of the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conferences, the Brief Therapy Conferences, the Couples Conferences, and the International Congresses on Ericksonian Approaches to Hypnosis and Psychotherapy. A psychologist and marriage and family therapist in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Zeig conducts workshops internationally (40 countries). He is president of Zeig, Tucker & Theisen, Inc., publishers in the behavioral sciences.

Steven Hayes, PhD
Foundation Professor of Psychology
University of Nevada, Reno

Steven C. Hayes, PhD, is a Nevada Foundation Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada. An author of 47 books and over 675 scientific articles, he is especially known for his work on "Relational Frame Theory," a comprehensive empirical research program on human language and cognition, and for its application to "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy," or ACT, which is one of the most widely used and researched new methods of psychological intervention over the last 20 years. Dr. Hayes has received several national awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy. His popular book Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life was for a time the best-selling self-help book in the United States, and his recent book A Liberated Mind was released to wide acclaim. His TEDx talks and blogs have been viewed or read by over 3 million people. Research.com lists him as among the top 10 clinical psychologists in the world.

Lynn Lyons, LICSW
Lynn Lyons

Lynn Lyons is a social worker and psychotherapist in Concord, New Hampshire. She has been in private practice for 30 years specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders in adults and children.

Lynn travels internationally as a speaker and trainer on the subject of anxiety, its role in families, and the need for a preventive approach at home and in schools. With a special interest in breaking the generational cycle of worry in families, Lynn is the author/co-author of several books and articles on anxiety, including with co-author Reid Wilson Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous & Independent Children, and the companion book for kids, Playing with Anxiety: Casey’s Guide for Teens and Kids. She is the author of the award-winning Using Hypnosis with Children: Creating and Delivering Effective Interventions.

Lynn’s latest book, The Anxiety Audit: 7 Sneaky Ways Anxiety Takes Hold and How to Escape Them was released in October 2022.

She is the co-host of the popular podcast Flusterclux and a sought-after expert, appearing in The New York Times, NBC, NPR, Psychology Today, and other media outlets.

Donald Meichenbaum
Retired Professor
University of Waterloo Ontario

Donald Meichenbaum, PhD in Clinical Psychology, is currently research director of Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention, Miami (www.melissainstitute.org). He is one of the founders of cognitive behavior therapy. He was voted one of the most influential psychotherapists of the 20th century. Latest books include Roadmap to Resilience (www.roadmaptoresilience.com) and Evolution of Cognitive Behavior Therapy: A Personal and Professional Journey.

Scott Miller, PhD
International Center for Clinical Excellence

Scott D. Miller, PhD, is the director of the International Center for Clinical Excellence—an international consortium of clinicians, researchers, and educators dedicated to promote excellence in behavioral health services. Dr. Miller is the author of scores of research articles and 15 books, including the most recent, Better Results: Using Deliberate Practice to Improve Therapeutic Effectiveness (APA, 2020). He conducts workshops and training in the United States and abroad, helping hundreds of agencies and organizations, both public and private, to achieve superior results. His engaging presentation style, and command of the research literature, consistently inspires practitioners, administrators, and policymakers to make effective changes in service delivery.

Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT
PACT Institute

Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, is a clinician, researcher, teacher, and developer of A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® (PACT). He has a clinical practice in Calabasas, California, and, with his wife, Dr. Tracey Tatkin, co-founded the PACT Institute for the purpose of training other psychotherapists to use this method in their clinical practice.

In addition, Dr. Tatkin teaches and supervises family medicine residents at Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills, California, and is an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine. He is on the board of directors of Lifespan Learning Institute and serves as a member on Relationships First Counsel, a nonprofit organization founded by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt.

Dr. Tatkin was a primary inpatient group therapist at the John Bradshaw Center, where among other things, he taught mindfulness to patients and staff. He was trained in Vipassana meditation by Shinzen Young and was an experienced facilitator in Vipassana. He was also trained by David Reynolds in two Japanese forms of psychotherapy, Morita and Naikan. Dr. Tatkin was clinical director of Charter Hospital’s intensive outpatient drug and alcohol program and is a former president of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Ventura County chapter. He is a veteran member of Allan N. Schore’s study group. He also trained in the Adult Attachment Interview by way of Mary Main and Erik Hesse’s program through UC Berkeley.

Michele Weiner-Davis, LCSW
The Divorce Busting Center

Michele Weiner-Davis, LCSW, is the founder of The Divorce Busting® Center in Boulder, Colorado. She is recognized for her groundbreaking work with couples on the brink of divorce. Michele is a bestselling author of eight books including the best-selling DIVORCE BUSTING and THE SEX-STARVED MARRIAGE. Her most recent book is titled HEALING FROM INFIDELITY.

She is also a sought-after speaker whose TEDx talk (The Sex-Starved Marriage) has garnered nearly 8 million views to date. Her websites, www.divorcebusting.com, healingfrominfidelity.com, and themarriageintensive.com, offer valuable information for people in troubled marriages. Michele is the creator of online programs for both therapists and couples.

Michele has received several prestigious professional awards including the Outstanding Contribution to Marriage and Family Therapy award from American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

Michele's work has been widely featured in major newspapers such as the USA TODAY, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, and magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, and others. She has made countless media appearances on shows such as 48 Hours, CBS This Morning, 20/20, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, The Today Show, and Oprah.

Terry Real, LICSW
Relational Life Institute

Terry Real is a nationally recognized family therapist, author, and teacher. He is particularly known for his groundbreaking work on men and male psychology as well as his work on gender and couples; he has been in private practice for over 30 years. Terry has appeared often as the relationship expert for Good Morning America and ABC News. His work has been featured in numerous academic articles as well as media venues such as Oprah, 20/20, The Today Show, CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, and many others.

In 1997 he published the national bestseller I Don't Want To Talk About It, the first book ever written on the topic of male depression. That was followed by How Can I Get Through To You? an exploration of the role of patriarchy in relationships, and most recently, The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work, a practical guide for couples and couples therapists and Us: Getting Past You & Me to Build a More Loving Relationship.

Terry founded The Relational Life Institute. The Institute offers a training program for therapists as well as workshops for couples and individuals.