The Psychophysiologic Disorders Association is Launched (1)

I am pleased to report exciting news for everyone concerned with breaking down the silos that divide Mind from Body in our health care system.  The Psychophysiologic Disorders Association (PPDA) was incorporated in the U.S. State of Oregon on March 17, 2011 and, two months later, was granted tax-exempt status under Chapter 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service.  This means that donations by U.S. citizens are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

I have already been in touch with a number of potential donors and I pledged to match their contributions up to $5000.  Another member of our Board of Directors (see below) pledged to match an additional $2000.

Readers interested in donating will want to know who will be looking after this money and how it will be used.  Let’s begin by introducing our Board, which is comprised of many of the most experienced PPD clinicians in the U.S., none of whom receives any financial compensation for their considerable work on behalf of the PPDA.  I am the President of the PPDA and you can read about my credentials elsewhere on this site.  Here are the other Directors, listed in reverse alphabetical order to provide a little balance for those at the bottom in the usual ordering:

Peter P. Zafirides, MD, who pledged to match up to $2000 in contributions to the PPDA,  is a Clinical Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Department of Psychiatry and is President & Co-Founder of Central Ohio Behavioral Medicine Inc(COBM) located in Columbus, Ohio. Established in 1997, COBM is a 16-clinician, multidisciplinary private behavioral health care facility. Additionally, Dr. Zafirides is Medical Director of the Homeless Team at Southeast, Inc – the largest community mental health facility in Columbus. Dr. Zafirides has published articles and lectured internationally on the psychiatric treatment of chronic pain.  Dr Zafirides has also spoken nationally on multiple aspects of psychiatry including Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Substance Abuse and Community Mental Health.   He has a weekly radio show called “The Healthy Mind” which focuses on individual empowerment, the mind-body connection and a variety of health & wellness issues.

Eric G. Sherman, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has been treating patients with PPD for twenty-eight years.  Based in New York City, he also provides supervision and training to mental health professionals working with such patients.  He  is currently co-authoring Pathways to Pain Relief with Frances Sommer Anderson, PhD (see below), a book of case studies about treating patients with PPD pain.

Howard Schubiner, MD is board-certified in pediatrics, adolescent medicine, and internal medicine. He was a Professor at Wayne State University for 18 years and now works in the Internal Medicine department at Providence Hospital in Southfield, MI, where he directs the Mind Body Medicine program.  Dr. Schubiner is an active educator, clinician and researcher and has authored over 60 publications in scientific journals and books.  He has been granted several million dollars by the National Institutes of Health to conduct research studies of an emotional expression intervention for individuals with fibromyalgia, which is a form of PPD.

David Schechter, MD is Board Certified in Family Medicine with a certificate in Sports Medicine.  He is also a credentialed Pain Practitioner in private practice in Beverly Hills and Culver City, CA and a member of the clinical staff of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.  He has published articles about Psychophysiologic Disorders in medical journals and for the public.

Rob Munger, MA (economics), MS (mathematics) is an Instructor of Economics at Boston University where he is working on his doctoral dissertation.  He specializes in Health Economics and decision-making.  He has created the largest source of information for the public about PPD in the form of a web-based wiki (under the old term TMS).  As Vice-President of the PPDA he works with other board members on developing educational material for the public and shaping our strategic plan.  His undergraduate concentration in computer science and experience as a trainer, consultant and integrator in the computer industry, enables him to bring technical expertise to our website.

Margaret M. Hanson, RN, BSN, has been a nurse for 30 years in the Boston area with experience in Intensive Care, Occupational Health, Community Nursing and Health Education. As the Secretary and Treasurer of the PPDA, she records minutes of meetings, conducts research, receives invoices, submits all payments, and files the annual tax return.

Alan Gordon, LCSW is a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, CA, specializing in the treatment of chronic pain. Alan is a Professor at the University of Southern California, has authored publications on the treatment of chronic pain, and has presented on the topic of pain treatment at hospitals, mental health facilities, and pain centers throughout California. He served as the chair for the PPDA’s Mind-Body Conference at UCLA in 2010 that attracted nearly 200 mental health professionals.

Frances Sommer Anderson, PhD is a psychoanalyst and psychologist in New York City.  She has worked in the field of physical rehabilitation medicine since 1974 at Rusk Institute at New York University Medical Center on the Psychology Department staff.  She has done groundbreaking research on sexuality and neuromuscular disease and provided diagnostic and clinical services to children and adults with muscular dystrophy.  In 1979, she began treating adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain, a form of  PPD, who were under the medical care of John Sarno, MD, Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Rusk Institute.  On leaving Rusk Institute for  private practice in 1987, she continued to specialize in treating chronic pain in collaboration with Dr. Sarno.  She is known internationally for her teaching and publications about the body in psychoanalysis and her approach to treating chronic pain.   She was a member of the teaching faculty in the Department of Psychiatry–NYU Medical School from 1989 to 2010.  She is currently on the teaching faculty at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies–Training Institute.

The next post will begin discussion of the PPDA’s plans for the future.  To contribute, go to the website or make checks payable to the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association and mail to:


2219 West Olive Ave. #216

Burbank, CA  91506