Our Services

Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures program

Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures program

Lorna Myers, PhD and Marcelo Lancman, MD

Program description:
Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (also known as dissociative or functional dissociative seizures) resemble epileptic seizures but are provoked by emotional dysregulation and/or physical stress rather than abnormal electrical brain activity.  Treatment for psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) at our program is a team effort that includes our epileptologists, clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, and neuropsychiatrist (if needed).  Please note, patients who are admitted to our program must be evaluated by a NEREG epileptologist regardless of whether a diagnosis of PNES has been given previously at another medical practice.  There will be no exceptions. 

NEREG's clinicians have a unique and specialized diagnostic and treatment approach for this condition.  Once the diagnosis has been made by one of our epileptologists following VEEG and other testing procedures, a referral is made for neuropsychological testing.  During neuropsychological testing, the patient is interviewed, questions are asked about current and past history, including social, educational, psychological, and medical background.  A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment also includes a special battery of tests to assess memory, language, attention, and general thinking as well as key emotional factors and personality.  Based on these results, a decision is made between the clinician and patient regarding possible treatment options and, if needed, a referral to psychiatry for medication evaluation is made.

Once it is determined that our program is appropriate for the patient, individual and/or group (12 sessions) psychotherapy can begin. Treatment often targets trauma symptoms, depressive worldviews, anxiety, and problems with anger and stress management.  Treatment can be trauma-focused (e.g., prolonged exposure), hypnotherapeutic, or psychoeducational and skills-based.  Treatment is supportive, but also teaches the patient skills and techniques to learn to reduce or eliminate the non-epileptic events, attain a healthier and adaptive way of functioning, and better stress coping methods.  Once the patient completes the therapy program at NEREG, the patient is invited to attend a monthly virtual support group.  

In-person and virtual treatment (doxy.me) is available

Recent publications on psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES):

• Psychogenic non epileptic seizures webinar: an Introduction for patients and loved ones - Dr. Lorna Myers
• Psychogenic non epileptic seizures: what psychologists need to know - Dr. Lorna Myers
Dr. Lorna Myers, New book: Psychogenic non- epileptic seizures: A Guide
• Crisis Psicogenas no-epilepticas

Other resources:

Make an appointment:

Services are offered in many of our New York and New Jersey offices.  Talk to your NEREG epileptologist about being referred to the PNES Program or call 212-661-7467 and provide your NEREG epileptologist’s name.

If you are new to our epilepsy program (NEREG), please call 212-661-7467 and request an appointment with our epileptology staff to begin the process for admission to the program.

Email Inquiries: lmyers@epilepsygroup.com