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).

Published by Alan Fung

Vice-Chair, American Psychiatric Association (APA) Caucus on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry

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