Ross Ellenhorn, MSW, PhD

Dr. Ellenhorn is a pioneer and leader in the development and promotion of community integration services, types of care that serve and empower individuals diagnosed with psychiatric and/or addiction issues while they remain in their own communities and outside institutional settings.

Trained as a sociologist, psychotherapist and social worker, he created the first fully operating intensive hospital diversion and wrap-around program in Massachusetts. Ellenhorn later created and led one of the first public Programs for Assertive Community Treatment teams in the state. In 2022, Ellenhorn co-founded CARDEA, a psychedelics based practice that assists those who seek recovery from deep and entrenched psychological anguish, from behaviors that are out of control, as well as those who want a more awakened life and expanded sense of existence.

Dr. Ellenhorn has authored three books on human behavior. Parasuicidality and Paradox: Breaking Through the Medical Model addresses psychiatric hospital recidivism and techniques for diverting hospital use. It was published by Springer Publishing in 2007. His most recent book, How We Change (and the Ten Reasons Why We Don’t), takes a deep dive into the dynamics that influence all human change. Published by Harper Collins, and in seven different languages, How We Change was released in May of 2020. Purple Crayons: The Art of Drawing a Life celebrates our inherent “sacred originality” and establishes a new framework for self-reliance. It was published in 2022. He has authored numerous articles, gives talks and seminars throughout the country, and provides consultation to mental health agencies, psychiatric hospitals and addiction programs.

Dr. Ellenhorn is the founder of the Shifting The Paradigm conferences, a bi‑annual series that addresses humanistic and empowering changes in behavioral healthcare. He is the executive producer of the film, Recovering Addiction: A Public Health Rescue Mission, a documentary on new, less‑oppressive means for understanding problematic substance use and other distressing habits.

Dr. Ellenhorn is the first person to receive a joint Ph.D. from Brandeis University’s prestigious Florence Heller School for Social Welfare Policy and Management and the Department of Sociology.



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