Wednesday, October 20, 2021

November 6 - Bizarre Psychological Disorders, Part 2


Presented by Brian A. Sharpless, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London and Adjunct Professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Saturday, November 6, 2021, 1:30 pm
Note: This is the first Saturday of the month
B-CC Regional Services Center
4805 Edgemoor Lane 2nd Floor (West Room)
Bethesda, MD
People are nothing if not confusingly complex, and some end up thinking, acting, and behaving in unusual, odd, and extreme ways. Some of the strangest psychological disorders that they can acquire are not well-known to the public or even many mental health professionals, despite some – such as isolated sleep paralysis – actually being fairly common in the general population.
Dr. Sharpless will focus on five interesting psychological conditions and phenomena.  Some you may have heard of.  For instance, Fear of Missing Out or "FOMO", though not a recognized disorder, has received a great deal of popular attention in social media circles.  Other conditions, such as Body Identity Integrity Disorder (BIID), are a bit more obscure.  People with BIID wish to intentionally damage healthy body parts (e.g., amputate a limb) and/or become physically disabled.  Needless to say, certain treatment options have raised ethical issues.  Dr. Sharpless will not only describe these and other fascinating conditions, but will also place them in historical and cultural contexts and summarize their respective scientific literature. 
This talk will be live streamed.  However, at the request of the speaker, the stream will not be available for viewing after the talk, nor will the talk be posted on YouTube at a later date.  The link to view this talk online will be

Brian Sharpless is an author and licensed clinical psychologist with a practice in the Washington DC area.  He currently holds academic appointments as a visiting research fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London and as an adjunct professor at the Washington DC campus of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology . He was formerly on faculty at Pennsylvania State University, Washington State University, and the American School of Professional Psychology.  He received his PhD in clinical psychology and MA in philosophy from Pennsylvania State University and completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Sharpless has broad interests in abnormal psychology and psychotherapy.  He has over 50 publications on common and lesser-known disorders, psychodynamic therapy, professional issues, and the history/philosophy of clinical psychology.  His three books, Sleep Paralysis: Historical, Psychological, and Medical Perspectives (co-authored with Dr. Karl Doghramji), Unusual and Rare Psychological Disorders: A Handbook for Clinical Practice and Research, and Psychodynamic Therapy Techniques:  A Guide to Expressive and Supportive Interventions are all available through Oxford University Press.  This research been featured on TV, radio, and in other media outlets, and he is a frequent speaker at conferences and public events in the United States and abroad.

Twitter:       @briansharpless

Due to continuing concerns about covid-19, all attendees, whether vaccinated or not, are required to wear masks or other face covering while attending this talk.