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How to Overcome & Become


Board of Scientific & Professional Advisors 


Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D.

Chairman & CEO, The National Center for Emotional Wellness

Clinical & Forensic Psychologist, Author, Speaker, Consultant

Erin B. Doyle

Vice President, Talent Development at First Midwest Bank

Bobby Senn, FDNY, Ret.

9/11 Collapse Survivor

Jeffrey T. Mitchell, Ph.D.

Clinical Professor of Emergency Health Services

University of Maryland Baltimore County

Co-Founder and President Emeritus

International Critical Incident Stress Foundation

Paul J. Rosch, M.D., FACP

Chairman of the Board, The American Institute of Stress

Clinical Professor of Medicine & Psychiatry

New York Medical College

In Memoriam

Jim Dolan

Executive Director, Laurus Foundation


Vincent J. McNally, MPS, CEAP

Ret. Unit Chief for FBI Employee Assistance Program

President, Trauma Reduction, Inc. 

Mary Vietzke, BSN, RN

Nurse Educator

GAGO Center for Fertility, PLLC.


Robert B. Kronenberg, Esq.

Attorney at Law

Former New York City Police Captain


Catherine G. Caronia, M.D., FAAP, FCCP

Chairman, Department of Pediatric Medical Education

Chairman, Department of Pediatrics

Good Samaritan University Hospital  

Lawrence Sherman, FACEHP, CCMEP

President, Meducate Global, LLC

Prova Education


Rick Rader, M.D., FAAIDD

Director Habilitation Center

Orange Grove Center

Editor-in-Chief, Exceptional Parent Magazine


David M. Colen

Director, Ethics & Compliance Investigations

Darryl Whitaker, D.B.S.

Certified Biblical Counselor

Founder, God’s Repair Shop


James T. Reese, Ph.D.

CEO, James T. Reese and Associates

Former Assistant Unite Chief, FBI Behavioral Science Unit

Founder, FBI Stress Management Program


Robert "Trebor" A. McDowell

CISM Team Base Leader, Southwest Airlines

In Memoriam

Felix P. Nater, CSC

Nater Associates, LTD., 

Security Management Consultant

U.S. Postal Inspector, Ret.


Raymond F. Hanbury, Ph.D., ABPP

Clinical & Police Psychologist

NJ State Clinical Director, Trauma Response Team


Rabbi Simcha Lefkowitz

Congregation Anshei Chessed

President of Labor and Industry for Education (LIFE)

Departmental Chaplain, Nassau County Police Department


Sam D. Bernard, Ph.D.

President and Lead Clinician

Bernard & Associates, PC and PAR Foundation


Chaplain David J. Fair, D.Min., Ph.D., CMC

Chairman, American Board of Certified Master Chaplains


Steven Eric Handwerker, Ph.D., D.Div.

Founder and CEO, The International Association for the

Advancement of Human Welfare, Inc.


Raymond D. Shelton Ph.D.

Executive Consultant, Insurance Industry

Clinical Director, Nassau County Fire/EMS Service

Traumatic Stress Program


Tori Bourguignon, M.Ed., NCC

Crisis Response Coordinator

Amberly’s Place


Daniel L. Kirsch, Ph.D., DAAPM, FAIS

President, American Institute of Stress


Allen R. Kates, MFAW

Author of books on Stress, Trauma and PTSD


Laurence Miller, Ph.D.

Consulting Psychologist

West Palm Beach Police Department

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Troop L, Florida Highway Patrol


Judith Greve, LPN

Senior Clinical Education Specialist

Walgreens Specialty


George Rogu, M.D., FAAP

Pediatric Medicine



Robert S. Cook

Sr. Consultant, Emergency Management

LSC Consulting, LLC


Daniel J. McGuire

President, CISM Perspectives, Inc.


Paige Valdiserri, LPC, NCC, RMT

Director of Behavioral Health, 

Comprehensive Health Services, Inc.

President, Paige Valdiserri, LLC

Traumatic Stress & Intuitive Healing Consultant


David M. Diamond, Ph.D.

Professor, Departments of Psychology and 

Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology

University of South Florida

Center for Preclinical and Clinical Research on PTSD

Director, USF Neuroscience Collaborative


Lorie T. DeCarvalho, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry

Loma Linda University Medical Center, Author, Speaker,

International Trauma and Military Consultant


Kathy Platoni, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychologist

Colonel, Medical Service Corp, USAR

Army Reserve Psychology Consultant

Assistant Clinical Professor, Wright State University 

School of Professional Psychology



What is Emotional Wellness?

Today, we are focused on wellness: preventing illness, keeping people healthy, and improving the quality of life. However, our emotional well-being is often overlooked. 


Emotional wellness refers to an awareness, understanding and acceptance of our feelings and our ability to manage effectively through challenges and change.


Consider the following:

•  The United States spends more money to treat mental disorders

than any other disease or medical condition

•  Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health

illness in the United States.

•  Depression is now the leading cause of

illness and disability worldwide.

The National Center is committed to fostering emotional wellness by providing timely information, guidance, practical strategies and support for organizations, corporations, and health care professionals.



Timely Articles


To Foster Your Own Emotional Wellness

by Dr. Mark Lerner 

Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness

1.   Become aware of your feelings and try to label them (e.g., “I’m feeling nervous.”

      “I’m feeling sad.” “I’m feeling frustrated.” etc.).


2.  Try to identify your thoughts and how they are precipitating, or being influenced by,

     a feeling (e.g., “I’ve been thinking about how I responded to her and I’m feeling angry.”).              

3.  Learn to accept that feelings are not right or wrong … they just are.


4.  Slow down and think before you act; make goal-directed choices.


5.  Realize that you have the ability to choose your focus—what you think about.


6.  If you find yourself thinking repetitively about something that is causing you                                   emotional discomfort, identify the thought and try to dismiss it (e.g., “Stop it. This is not              productive.”).


7.  Know that it’s OK not to be OK during challenges and change. Allow yourself to                             experience normal reactions in the face of an abnormal event.


8.  If you are grappling with uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, distract yourself and                    change what you are doing (e.g., Take a walk. Exercise. Listen to music. Speak with a                      friend or loved one. etc.).


9.  Speak with people with whom you can share your thoughts and feelings—people                          who listen more than they speak. Rely on interpersonal face-to-face communication.


10.  Strive to become the person that you would ideally like to be. While this may be a                        hypothetical construct, something that can’t be directly observed and subject to                            influence by the world around you, choose your “bullseye.”



Dr. Mark Lerner

Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness

© 2023 by Dr. Mark Lerner

10 Ways to Reduce the Frequency of Violence in America

by Dr. Mark Lerner 

Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness

There is no single solution to decrease the prevalence of violence in our nation's schools, universities, houses of worship, movie theaters, shopping malls, workplaces, and in our communities.


However, a multimodal approach, incorporating the following ten strategies, would reduce the frequency of violent acts:


1.  Prevention must be a priority. People should learn about the indicators of potential violence and instructed with whom to share information. In nearly every violent attack, there was some form of “leakage”—someone knew something to suggest the realization of violence. 

2. Law enforcement agencies should encourage people to report concerns about potential violent acts and take every report seriously. Investigators should do their due diligence and always err on the side of caution to avert a tragedy. The single greatest predictor of violent behavior, is past violent behavior.  


3. Mental health facilities and programs must be expanded to help people who present a danger to themselves and others. While a relatively small percentage of individuals with mental health problems are violent, these individuals could benefit from evidence-based, anger mangement strategies, and potentially protect others from violent acts.


4. Depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide, and suicide is the leading cause of injury death of Americans—surpassing automobile accidents. There is a strong correlation between suicide and homicide, as evidenced by the fact that most perpetrators of violent acts take their own lives or are killed while engaging in acts of violence. As noted previously (3), mental health programs must be developed and implemented to address anger and aggressivity.


5. As our world becomes increasingly technological, we must be aware of the fundamental breakdown in interpersonal, face-to-face communication. Efforts should be made to bring people together, absent technology, and engage interpersonally. For example, children could be taught social skills, such as empathy and assertiveness. 


6. The media must stop showing the faces and reporting the names of alleged perpetrators. Our increasingly technological world, including internet news sites, social media, streaming video, and television, is providing an indelible "stage" upon which disturbed individuals perform. Focusing inordinate attention on perpetrators and their actions increases the frequency of violent threats and acts. We must turn off the spotlight and stop glorifying and reinforcing maleficent conduct.


7. We must utilize our greatest resources to protect “soft targets,” such as our nation’s schools and universities. Consideration must be given to employing retired law enforcement personnel and our veterans who have demonstrated exemplary performance and are well-trained and experienced in the use of firearms. A calculation could be developed for various venues, such as one armed “protector” per every specific number of people in a school.  


8. We must not rely on arming our teachers and school personnel. Their knowledge, education, skill, experience and training is in teaching, mentoring and providing support for our children. Educators have overwhelming responsibilities, and should not be placed in situations where they are called upon to draw a weapon and make a choice to use deadly force.


9. While it is virtually impossible to eliminate every assault rifle, there are certainly reasonable and responsible mechanisms that could be put into place to prevent these weapons from getting into the hands of the wrong people. This could be implemented by considering variables such as age to purchase and own, and enhanced background checks, including a waiting/processing period.

10. There is considerable focus today on wellness: preventing illness, keeping people healthy and improving the quality of life. Greater attention must be given to a key component of wellness that is often overlooked, Emotional Wellness: an awareness, understanding and acceptance of our feelings, and our ability to manage effectively through challenges and change. It’s time to foster Emotional Wellness in America!




Dr. Mark Lerner

Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness

© 2023 by Dr. Mark Lerner


Identifying People At-Risk for Violent Behavior

by Dr. Mark Lerner 

Chairman, & CEO, The National Center for Emotional Wellness

The best way to prevent a violent act is to identify individuals who are at risk of danger to themselves or others. Immediate action should be taken to investigate whether a potential perpetrator has a plan or the means of harming oneself or others.


Following is a checklist of warning signs. The great the number of endorsed items, the greater the risk for violent behavior.


❐  has engaged in violent behavior in the past

❐  expresses self-destructive or homicidal ideation

❐  has described feelings of hopelessness

❐  has a history of self-destructive behavior

❐  gives away possessions

❐  articulates specific plans to harm oneself or others

❐  appears withdrawn

❐  appears/acknowledges feeling depressed

❐  exhibits signs of antisocial behavior

❐  engages in bullying others

❐  evidences a significant change in mood

❐  has difficulty with impulse control

❐  experiences sleep and eating disturbances

❐  evidences significant changes in behavior

❐  has experienced a traumatic event

❐  engages in substance abuse

❐  has been a victim of child abuse

❐  has become involved with gang activity

❐  has experienced a significant loss

❐  evidences a preoccupation with fighting

❐  has a history of antisocial behavior

❐  frequently watches programs/movies with violent themes

❐  evidences a low tolerance for frustration

❐  evidences a preoccupation with games with violent themes

❐  externalizes blame for their difficulties

❐  evidences a preoccupation with guns and other weapons

❐  has harmed animals

❐  has access to a firearm or other weapons

❐  has engaged in fire-setting

❐  has brought a weapon to school

❐  evidenced frequent disciplinary problems

❐  exhibited poor academic performance

❐  talks about not being around

❐  has been truant from school or work



Dr. Mark Lerner

Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness

© 2023 by Dr. Mark Lerner

Warning Signs



The suggestions on this website are intended solely for informational and educational purposes and not as medical or psychological advice. If you have questions or concerns regarding your health, please consult with your healthcare provider.


© 2023 by The National Center for Emotional Wellness, Inc.

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