Draft minutes – May 16, 2016 meeting

APA Caucus on Spirituality, Religion and Psychiatry

Minutes of the Meeting on Monday, May 16, 2016


TIME: 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

LOCATION:  Hotel Omni, Atlanta, Georgia


Chair: John Peteet, MD


Attendees: Clark S. Aist, Mary Lynn Dell, Maggie Douglas-Bailey, John Forbes, Alan Fung, George Harding IV, Tim Jennings, James Griffith, Veronique Haymon, Allan Josephson, Lee Lawrence, Tim Lee, Jim Lomax, Francis Lu, Alexander Moreira-Almeida, Michael Norko, Tom Okamoto, Mario F.P. Peres, Russell Pet, Puneet Sahota, Om Prakash Singh, Sam Thielman, John L. Young, Theresa Yuschok



  1. Minutes from Oct 2015 meeting in New York City were read and approved.


  1. Dr. Francis Lu provided the attendees a brief overview of the history of the Oskar Pfister Award, as well as the nomination process. He stated that the deadline for nomination for the award would be June 30 of each year. The nomination package would consist of a nomination letter and CV of the nominee. The package could be submitted to Brandon Batiste at the APA at bbatiste@psych.org. Caucus members are welcome to contact Dr. Lu should they have any questions. The 2016 recipient of the Oskar Pfister Award is James W. Lomax, M.D., who had delivered the Oskar Pfister Award Lecture this morning at the APA Annual Meeting.


  1. Dr. Peteet provided an update on the book project ‘Ethical Considerations at the Intersection of Psychiatry and Religion’ – to be published by Oxford University Press. The book is co-edited by Caucus executive members Dr. Peteet, Dr. Dell and Dr. Fung. Most chapters for the book have been submitted to the editors. The book is tentatively scheduled for publication in 2017. In addition, two symposia consisting of presentations by chapter authors have been made so far – one in the 2016 Conference on Medicine and Religion (March 2016 in Houston, Texas) and the other in the present 2016 APA Annual Meeting – titled “Ethical Challenges at the Interface Between Psychiatry and Religion/Spirituality”, chaired by Dr. Peteet.


  1. Two other Caucus-sponsored symposia at the present 2016 APA Annual Meeting are titled “Curricula on Religion, Spirituality, and Psychiatry in Psychiatric Residency Programs: A Longitudinal Perspective” (Chair: Francis Lu, M.D.) and “Forgiveness, Trauma, and Psychiatry: The Clinical Relevance From Diverse Faith Perspectives in the Wake of the Charleston Church Tragedy” (Chair: Chris Winfrey, M.D.).


  1. Dr. Peteet provided an update on the Spirituality and Religion (S/R) in Psychiatry Residency project. The first step of the project focuses on defining S/R competencies for psychiatry residents. The project is led by Dr. Peteet and co-led by Dr. Fung – with international collaborations. Application for funding support is in progress.



  1. Dr. Lu reminded meeting attendees about the logistics of submissions for the 2017 APA Annual Meeting to be held in San Diego, CA. The deadline for symposia or workshop submission would be September 2016. Further questions on the submission process can be directed to Dr. Lu. Dr. Peteet led a discussion for potential symposium/workshop submission ideas. The key ideas are summarized below:


– Collaborations between traditional faith healers and psychiatrists/mental health professionals


– Physician assisted dying (John Peteet, Jim Lomax)


– The role of S/R for burnout prevention of mental health professionals (and potentially, burnout  prevention of spiritual care professionals)


– Mental health issues of spiritual care professionals (e.g. nuns)


– Mental health teaching in seminaries


– A joint presentation with College of Professional Chaplains (suggested by Clark Aist)


– Harm of religion/spirituality (James Griffith)


– Different models of collaborations between spiritual care and mental health professionals


– S/R issues in treatments (psychopharmacology; psychotherapy)


– LGBT issues in S/R and psychiatry


– S/R issues in correctional psychiatry and forensic psychiatry


– S/R issues in disaster psychiatry (Sam Thielman)


– S/R issues in military psychiatry



Dr. Peres from Brazil had suggested the development of resources on S/R & different faiths for hospital physicians/healthcare providers of different specialties.



  1. Dr. Alexander Moreira-Almeida, Chair of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry, provided an update of the Section. The section sponsored the First Global Meeting on Spirituality and Mental Health which was held in Nov2015 during the 33rd Brazilian Congress of Psychiatry in Florianópolis, Brazil. Dr. Peteet and Dr. Fung from the APA Caucus were among the invited speakers. The WPA Section has also developed a Position Statement on Religion/Spirituality and Psychiatry, which was published in February 2016 in the journal World Psychiatry (Moreira-Almeida et al, 2016). The full text of the Position Statement is available from http://www.wpanet.org/detail.php?section_id=8&content_id=1821. The Second Global Meeting on Spirituality and Mental Health will be held during the 2016 WPA International Congress in Cape Town (Nov 18-22, 2016), with the tentative plan of having the Third Global Meeting being held during the 2017 WPA World Congress of Psychiatry in Berlin, Germany (October 2017). The WPA Section has also recently launched a redesigned website: http://religionandpsychiatry.org


  1. The next Caucus meeting will be held in Washington DC during the 2016 Institute on Psychiatric Services meeting (October 6-9, 2016).

Summer call

Our Executive Committee is continuing to explore plans for the APA Annual Meeting, in particular proposals for sessions on spiritual aspects of trauma and recovery, and on depression and spirituality. We’ve contacted some interested presenters (including a psychologist from Division 36 of the psychological APA, but would love to hear from any of you who would like to participate. We’re also moving forward on a newsletter, and would like your input about what it should contain and look like. Thanks!

Summer 2013

Summer Greetings!

Our Executive Committee has begun monthly conference calls, and would like to encourage your ideas and participation. This week we discussed ways to collaborate with Division 36 of the American Psychological Association, the Royal College of Psychiatrists Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group, and the WPA Section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry, including through newsletters. We are also discussing potential topics and speakers for submissions (due the beginning of September) for next spring’s APA Annual Meeting in New York, and so welcome all input. It would be great to see many of you at our next meeting at the IPS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia this October.



Upcoming San Francisco Meeting

The APA Annual Meeting is rapidly approaching, and our Caucus will be meeting on Sunday, May 19th from 2:30 to 3:30 PM, in the SanFrancisco Marriott Marquis Yerba Buena Ballroom 3, Lower Level B2. Our agenda includes election of officers, review of the first year’s activities, and plans for the future. Feel free to bring specific additional items for the agenda. I hope to see you there!

October 2012 Meeting


I wanted to report to you all after this Fall’s IPS meeting. A small but engaged group of us convened at the meeting on Saturday the 6th, and Harold Koenig gave a wide-ranging and well-received Oskar Pfister address to at least 60 in attendance at 8 AM Sunday morning. A few items of note from the Caucus meeting: We decided to have those in attendance on Saturday constitute a Nominating Committee charged with presenting a slate of officers to members in attendance at the May meeting. Some of you have already indicated to me a willingness to serve, but we want to invite anyone to suggest additional names. For simplicity, we agreed to revise the draft bylaws to state that officers will be elected at the May meeting and will begin serving as of the end of the meeting. We also discussed funding for the Oskar Pfister Award Lecture, and agreed to do more research on this before the May meeting in preparation for a possible plan to raise funds through the Foundation. The deadline for submitting proposals for the Scientific Program of the IPS, to be held next October in Philadelphia, is December 14th. Theresa Yuschok from Duke, Mike Norko from Yale and I have some interest in developing a workshop proposal on educating psychiatry residents in religion/spirituality and psychiatry, and would live to hear from anyone interested in joining us.  Let me know if you have questions, or comments about any of this. Thanks.