Presentation by Harvard Professor Richard McNally

"What is Mental Illness?"


The Harvard Club of Virginia invites you and your guest(s) to join us for dinner on Wednesday, May 18 from 6:00 till 9:00pm at Brio Tuscan Grille at the Stony Brook Fashion Park in Richmond.  We welcome noted Harvard psychology professor and researcher, Richard McNally who will speak on "What is Mental Illness?"  Professor McNally's books include "What Is Mental Illness?", "Panic Disorder: A Critical Analysis", and "Remembering Trauma".  He is an expert on anxiety, including social anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), complicated grief and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).        

When:  Wednesday, May 18, 2016 from 6:00 till 9:00pm

Where:  Brio Tuscan Grille, 9210 Stony Point Pkwy, Richmond, VA  23235; (804) 272- 2255          

Reservations:  Dinner will be off Brio's group dinner menu and will be ordered from and paid directly to Brio.  Dinner includes Brio Chopped Salad, plus choice of Pasta BRIO (gluten free) or Chicken Milanese.  Cost is $25.95 plus tax and gratuity. Drinks can be ordered off the drink menu.  The Harvard Club does not charge admission for this event, but you must RSVP by Sunday, May 15 at midnight at our Eventbrite website: .  We need to know how many meals to order.         

Questions?  Email Kim Chaffee at: 



"What is Mental Illness?” abstract from Professor McNally:

The fifth edition of the “bible” of American psychiatry, the DSM-5, appeared two years ago amidst a swirl of controversies.  Critics claimed that psychiatry was colonizing ever more of everyday emotional life, erasing the distinction between normal emotional distress and psychiatric disorder.  Others objected to the categorical medical model embodied in DSM, arguing that disorders differ more by degree than by kind.  The purpose of my talk is to probe these controversies, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the social constructionist, evolutionary, and genomic approaches to resolving them.  Finally, I close by discussing network analysis, a radically new approach to conceptualizing psychopathology that promises to transform our understanding of mental illness.

Richard J. McNally received his B.S. in psychology from Wayne State University in 1976, and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1982. He completed his clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Behavior Therapy Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Temple University School of Medicine. In 1984 he was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School where he established the Anxiety Disorders Clinic and directed the university counseling center. He moved to the Department of Psychology at Harvard University in 1991 where he is now Professor and Director of Clinical Training. He has over 380 publications, most concerning the cognitive aspects of anxiety disorders (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder). He has conducted laboratory studies concerning cognitive functioning in adults reporting histories of childhood sexual abuse.  Among his current projects are network analyses of psychopathology.  His research has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health. He is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, winner of the 2005 Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for the Science of Clinical Psychology, and the winner of the 2010 Outstanding Mentor Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.