Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry

CHAIR: Alexander Moreira Almeida Alexander Moreira-Almeida Address: School of Medicine,
Universidade Federal de Fora (UFJF),
Juiz de Fora, Brazil
Phone: +55 32 3211 8557/ +55 32 9123 4564 

CO-CHAIR: Avdesh Sharma

Avdesh Sharma

Address: ‘Parivartan’ Center for Mental Health,
C-7/225-226 Safdarjung Development Area,
New Delhi, India

SECRETARY: Bernard Janse van Rensburg Bernard Janse van Rensburg
Address:  C/O HEALTHMAN, Unit 16, Northcliff Park,
203 Beyers Naude Drive, P. O. Box 2127,
Northcliff, Johannesburg 2115, South Africa
Phone: +27 11 340 9000
Fax: +27 11 782 0270

>> Please click here to see the Report on the "2nd Global Meeting in Spirituality and Mental Health" at the Cape Town 2016 WPA International Congress

>> Please click here to see the Position Statement

The WPA Section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry is preparing a Training Course for psychiatric Residents on Religion, Spirituality and Mental Health in clinical practice across cultures. The program is organized into several modules.

Module 1: Overview of fundamental aspects of Religion, Spirituality in psychiatric practice

Module 2: Addressing Religious and Spirituality issues in patient interview

Module 3: Integrating Religious and Spirituality issues in different types of psychotherapy

Module 4: Different practices across cultures

Each module contains: pre and post test, slides, lecture notes for trainers, handouts for participants and reference list to be held by the Section Committee: Peter Verhagen, Prof. Nahla Nagy, Prof. John Cox, Prof. Simon Dien, and Prof. Alexander Moreira-Almeida.

The Section participated in the WPA International Congress 2013 held in Vienna with the first workshop for training psychiatric residents in the field of religion, spirituality and mental health carried out by Prof. Nahla Nagy and at the XXXI Brazilian Congress of Psychiatry, Curitiba, Brazil in a 2-hr sympo- sium “Research in mental health, spirituality and religiosity: methodological challenges”. The Section also submitted several contributions for the 3-7 May 2014 APA Annual Meeting, New York, and the 14-18 September 2014 16th World Congress of Psychiatry, Madrid in collaboration with other Sections as well.

The Newsletter of the Section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry (current issue) could be read via .

Action Plan for 2014-2017

1. Expand Section’s international profile

(1) Contact all national psychiatric associations, informing about the Section and asking contact of potentially interested psychiatrists

(2) Collaboration with Religion and Spirituality (R/S) sections of national psychiatric associations (e.g. USA, UK, Brazil, South Africa)

2. Improve Section’s website

3. Improve the content and circulation of the newsletter Psyche and Spirit

4. Fostering transcultural research on spirituality and mental health

(1) Disseminate information about research methods and R/S scales in several languages

(2) Network of researchers from different countries

5. Organizing conferences, symposia and workshops (including joint activities with other WPA’s Sections) in national and international psychiatric conferences, especially at

(1) Global meeting in Spirituality and Mental Health (Florianópolis, Brazil 4­7 Nov 2015)

(2) WPA International Congress (Cape Town, South Africa 18­22 Nov 2016)

(3) 17th WPA World Congress of Psychiatry (Berlin, Germany 8­12 Oct 2017)

6. Development of a WPA position statement on R/S

7. Publication of papers on R/S and mental health

8. Preparation of guidelines for

(1) Clinical implications of spirituality

(2) Including R/S in medical schools and psychiatry residences


Inquiries and other correspondence are welcomed and can be forwarded to the Secretary ­ Bernard Janse van Rensbsurg, at:


Section Newsletter:

>>Vol. 4 Issue 2 December 2015

>>Vol. 4 Issue 1 September 2015

>>Vol. 3 Issue 2 December 2014

>>Vol. 2 Issue 1 February 2013

>>Vol. 1 Issue 2 August 2012

>> Vol. 1 Issue 1 January 2012

1st Global Meeting in Spirituality and Mental Health




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