058 SPECT Brain Evidence Dr Joseph Annibali

SPECT, temporal lobe, brain imaging,

SPECT Brain Evidence – Measured Functional Challenges 

I realized that practicing psychoanalysis and psychotherapy without having a firm grasp of how the brain works significantly interfered with my ability to help patients.
~ Joseph Annibali

Dr. Annibali’s Bio

Ed Note – Added 5-27-18: It came to my attention yesterday that Dr. Annibali, an old friend who took over my role as Chief at Amen DC, passed away suddenly two days ago. Our prayers go out to his family and the excellent Amen DC team – he was a warm, thoughtful and very competent psychiatrist who will be missed by the many he touched with his understanding and compassionate care.


The previous notes: He serves as Chief Psychiatrist, Amen Clinics, Washington, DC. A psychiatrist, brain imaging expert, trained psychoanalyst, and author of a new, very interesting book, Reclaim Your Brain–How to Calm Your Thoughts, Heal Your Mind, and Bring Your Life Back Under Control. Dr. Annibali brings an exciting, broad experience from some of the same paths he and I have traveled together over the years.

In this engaging CBJ/058 Episode, we discuss behind the scenes observations on multiple, diverse mind perspectives from SPECT brain imaging, to psychoanalysis, the dramatic evolution of mind science, and his personal interest in Lyme Disease.

He’s an engaging guy with reliable insights – you’ll enjoy our revealing conversation as friends on the same brain evidence mission.

Dr. Annibali’s  SPECT Perspective   SPECT, Brain imaging, Annibali

“Earlier in my psychiatric career, I was often stumped because I found that some patients markedly improved with treatment, whether rewriting their stories, implementing mindfulness approaches, talk therapy, psychiatric medications, or other treatments, while other patients didn’t get better at all, or they had a response opposite to what I expected.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. After all, I was a well-trained psychiatrist, and I wanted to help my patients. But despite my professional knowledge and experience, and my sincere attempt to be of assistance, I wasn’t always helping my patients as much as I’d hoped to. I wondered why this was so. I was prescribing the newest medications; I kept up with the advancements in the field.”

Dr. Annibali’s Changed Clinical Experience With SPECT

“But few of the basic scientific discoveries had yet been translated into the field of psychiatry, and my treatments continued at times to fall short. What I was missing became clearer when I met Bill, a patient who came to me for treatment shortly after I started working at Amen Clinics. Bill first came to see me after attempting suicide in his dorm room. A 20-year-old college student, Bill was brilliant and had always been self-motivated, even as a kid.

Antidepressant medications – and we tried several with Bill – never altered his fundamental negativity and his proneness for severe depressive dips. Psychotherapy didn’t work either. Bill’s treatment failure in the context of good standard psychiatric care encouraged more careful brain review.

Bill’s SPECT findings showed me why antidepressants hadn’t helped him; antidepressants don’t fundamentally address brain injury, especially injury in the temporal lobes. Specific treatment for that hidden brain injury changed his life. Bill was treated for left temporal lobe injury [similar to the white arrow on the header of this Episode], returned to college the following semester, and ultimately graduated with honors. Following college, Bill attended and graduated from a top-notch law school, and now works as a fourth-year associate for a large law firm.

SPECT brain imaging changed our clinical perspective, explained his treatment failure, and changed his life.”

Dr. Annibali Discusses His Freshened Perspectives

  • People do ask: why did you go into psychiatry [2:00]
  • More about why I switched to improved brain evidence [7:02]
  • More specifically about my turning point with my patient Bill [7:39]
  • There’s an Eastern saying – When the student is ready the master appears [10:38]
  • A patient in psychoanalysis with ADD [13:38]
  • For far too long nurture was emphasized, nature neglected [18:00]
  • The advantage of SPECT scan evidence [19:50]
  • My personal experience with Lyme Disease [20:48]


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Dr. Annibali’s Complimentary Book Drawing – Closes Nov. 8, 2016

Reclaim Your Brain

– Enter Drawing Here –



Dr. Annibali’s Worksite And Additional Interviews

Dr. Annibali’s Book:


Next CoreBrain Journal Episode

059 Marc Hoberman Seizure Recovery to Mentorship. Marc has worked as a Rockland County, New York teacher for over 32 years. The principle of Grade Success Tutoring and Staff Training for over two decades. – Is an author of his memoir Search and Seizure: Overcoming Illness and Adversity. Marc is also a Parent Educational Consultant – and his organization offers tutoring services in all subjects, speed reading, and study skills, tutoring for all ages and informed college counseling. He’s dedicated and experienced, and in this interview shows his passion for managing educational speed bumps based upon his personal recovery.


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1 Comment

  1. G on 05/09/2017 at 8:13 AM

    You gotta have this guy on again.

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