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Parkinson's Disease & Movement Disorders Support

For those living with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, their caregivers and family members. Live presentations by experts; information exchange & sharing of personal experiences. Meets the second Thursday of each month except August & December.

Special presentation topic, May 9, 2013 : Patient and Care Partner Relationship

With Leon Paparella, MSW, CGP (Certified Group Psychotherapist) and clinical mainstay of The Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area, an extraordinary organization that educates, supports, serves and advocates for the Parkinson’s community and PD carepartners..

At PFNCA, Leon provides psychosocial consultation to individuals, couples, and families who are struggling with the symptoms and impact of Parkinson''s. He also runs a ton of Parkinsons support groups for people with PD and their care partners, with uncommon depth, skill and mastery. He’s introduced time-limited couples’ groups, groups for people without their care partners, and many other much needed services.

In fact, we think it’s safe to say that Leon is the ultimate groupologist, a veritable tuning fork of interactive sensitivity. Furthermore, he has a fearlessness with his own vulnerability and internal process, which he uses ingeniously and strategically in his groups, to catalyze levels of intimacy, honesty and mutual support in sessions, like you’ve never seen.

We know this because, back in the day, BR and Leon used to run groups together, when they were both atThe Woodburn Center for Community Mental Health in Fairfax County, Virginia. BR ran the Consultation and Education Unit, and she would sweet-talk, cajole, beg, harangue and bribe Leon, who was a master clinician even then, into providing training and consultation for her peeps whenever possible. (It was just a magical coincidence that BR ran into Leon again at the time she was researching her new imagery for Parkinson’s.)

What is most impressive about Leon, however, is the fact that this virtuoso psychotherapist has Parkinsons himself - the young onset type. And true to form, Leon uses his own symptoms, frustrations, aggravations and vulnerabilities to help the people in his care. It makes him an extraordinarily invaluable, double-threat resource, and he gives talks and writes papers on the special impact and challenges of being a member of the Parkinson’s community himself and a staffer at the same time.

For his clinical mastery, his creativity and his ability to make multo lemonade out of lemons, we take our hats off to Leon and wish him great continued success!

For questions or comments, you can write him at


Thursday, May 09, 2013 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Grand Oaks Assisted Living Building
5901 MacArthur Blvd. NW,
Washington, DC

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