The change from full-time to part-time faculty at the University of Rochester Medical Center more than twenty years ago has allowed me to devote my time to taking care of people. Several years ago I expanded my role at Westfall when I became the medical director of the program. I continue as Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University, and I have a private practice which includes forensic psychiatry.
Addiction and coexisting psychiatric disorders hold my interest as a fascinating interplay between behavior and biologic factors. Any attempt to oversimplify these problems as either nature or nurture falls short of the everyday realities that people must deal with. Addiction is a highly complex behavior with very personal psychological issues, family and social dimensions, as well as brain physiology playing important roles. The challenge is to address all of these concurrently, in an integrated fashion, adjusting treatment to fit the particular circumstances of the person in front of me.
As our understanding of these interactions between biologic and psychosocial factors advances through research, I bring the information to the weekly staff meeting with all our counselors. We strive to remain at the cutting edge of clinically proven treatment strategies integrating them by ongoing staff development programs. I continually learn from our counselors the practical implementation of foundation principles of addiction recovery.
Gary is a founding member of Westfall Associates.