INSIGHTS FROM THREE CORE YOGA TEXTS FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION
Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans), Bangalore, India
Good mental health is not just an absence of mental illness, but also includes high well-being (WHO, 2001). This requires attention to mental health promotion, which would be beneficial for people anywhere on the mental health continuum (Keys & Lopez, 2002; WHO 2004). Although globally such interventions have increased over last one decade, they have often neglected spiritual aspects of human life. Yoga is an applied psycho-spiritual pathway to finding the highest good in life, which also has a physical component to it. However in research the physical aspect of yoga has overshadowed its psycho-spiritual aspect. Therefore the current study was conducted to qualitatively analyze three core yoga texts to gain insights for development of a mental health promotion program. The texts selected were Bhagwad Gita, Patanjali Yoga Sutra and Yoga Vasistha, which are considered to be the most influential texts for generations of spiritual seekers. These texts integrate ideas from multiple Vedic philosophical schools (e.g. Sankhya/ Vedanta) to propose a practical approach for overcoming suffering and finding oneness with the supreme reality. In the analysis it was found that two out of these three texts are based on dialogue between a ‘hero’ and a mentor (guru) figure. The narrative begins with the ‘hero’ having a psychological crisis, whereby the description matches modern criteria for anxiety/ depression. He is then helped by the mentor in terms of finding a meaningful spiritual framework for the existence and one’s place in it. He is further taught a variety of applied techniques, in terms of breath control (pranayama), meditation as well as cultivation of specific virtues and skills. The third text is briefer, without a narrative; however has similar themes for spiritual growth. Details of these themes will be presented along with their implications for development of a mental health promotion program.
MINDFULLY MUSLIM – THE CREATION OF AN ISLAMIC MINDFULNESS GROUP THERAPY PROGRAM
Yusra Naifa Ahmad1, Kenneth Fung2, Ahmed Hassan3, Alan Fung4, Susan Abbey1
1Psychiatry, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada, 2Psychiatry, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Canada, 3Addiction Psychiatry, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada, 4Psychiatry, North York General Hospital, Toronto, Canada
There are 1.8 billion Muslims, comprising 24.1% of the global population. This population can be further sub-divided into the following groups based on geography: (1) Muslims who have resided in the Western world for quite some time, (2) newcomers to the West including recent immigrants & refugees & (3) Muslims living in Muslim-majority countries. There is a clear mental health need in these various populations that is largely unmet due to various factors including stigma & a paucity of culturally & spiritually appropriate services. Mindfully Muslim is a novel group therapy intervention designed to address this need & has the potential to be adapted to each sub-population. The goals of the program include building bridges & cultivating peace through disciplined self-awareness & contacting the present moment. Mindfully Muslim is compassionate, culturally aware, inherently anti-oppressive & trauma-informed.
Inspired by principles drawn from MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) & MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) & grounded in the Islamic tradition, it is currently being delivered in Canada to women who are struggling with mood & anxiety disorders. Because of the impact of the program, Mindfully Muslim has received national media coverage & been granted an award. It is unique for being one of the few group therapy programs that has been spiritually adapted for the Muslim community by a female Muslim psychiatrist. This latter point is important because of the depth of knowledge about Islamic teachings and culture that someone “from the inside” can provide while simultaneously operating within a rigorous clinical framework.
Given the growing size of the Muslim population in Canada, the United States and Europe and the intensity of current geopolitical divides with rising waves of anti-immigrant sentiment, xenophobia, anti-Semitism & Islamophobia, the need for a program like this is not only great, but also pressing.
(Presentation will be 10 minutes, but if organizers permit 20 minutes, data about the impact of the program in Canada can be shared.)
PREVENTING RELIGIOUS DELUSIONS FROM BECOMING DEADLY
Paul Thomas Amble
Yale University, Department of Psychiatry, New Haven, USA
A single woman, separated from her husband and estranged from three of her older children, retained custody of her two children ages 5 and 8. Despite working two jobs, buying a home, and taking good care of her two children she slowly developed the idea that god wanted her to join him in heaven. As these thoughts became more prominent, she incorporated her children into this belief as well and eventually ceramonally drugged and drowned the two in a bathtub in the context of babtizing them.
This talk will briefly outline the case, discuss the topic of matricide conducted in the context of a religious delusion, and outline the pathogenesis of this delusion from the first thought to where the idea of her death and the deaths of her children became formost in her mind.
The talk will conclude by outlining interventions that the public mental health system should consider to reach out to persons with similar afflictions in order to possibly intervene in such cases.
INTEGRATING PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES INTO THE ULTRA-ORTHODOX SCHOOL SYSTEM
Ayol Samuels1, Harvey Kranzler2
1Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, USA, 2Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, USA
This paper will present a model for the delivery of psychiatric services for children and adolescents within an ultra-orthodox chassidic school system. Dr. Kranzler, a Yiddish speaking Child Psychiatrist, will discuss his experience working as a consultant to a New York State funded special needs school in Kiryas Joel for children in this Satmar community with developmental, psychiatric and other disabilities. Dr. Samuels will discuss his experience doing psychiatric consultations within a Chabbad yeshiva in Tsfat. Both will present a brief introduction to the respective Hassidic sects that they serve, the model of psychiatric care delivery, the specific sensitivities and needs in these communities, and some of the challenges of practicing psychiatry within an ultra-orthodox religious institution.
MARTIN BUBER AND THE POSSIBILITY OF HEALING MIND
Gottfried Maria Barth
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Germany
The Philosophy of dialogue is a valuable basis for psychotherapeutic and psychiatric work. Martin Buber indicates in "Ich und Du" (1923) the importance of I-Thou for human existence. "I-Thou" is an holistic encounter beyond all psychological knowledge. He emphasizes the importance for Psychotherapy in many writings but also points out the difference to usual psychotherapeutic work, which mainly works in the I-It relationship. In the Dialogue with Carl Rogers sharing a person-centered approach Buber illustrates the difference of his philosophy of human existence. Only in the I-Thou dialogue there is real encounter between individuals. In the work with serious mentally affected young patients they frequently reject therapeutic approaches. Undergoing true personal encounter can lead them to the experience of serious assistance. This opens the possibility of therapeutic interventions in a mutual and respectful relationship. The practical knowledge of the work in the intensive care unit of a child and adolescence psychiatric hospital shows the I-Thou as the most important key to facilitate therapeutic progress. The trans-therapeutic approach of Martin Buber offers the opportunity of therapeutic work with patients, which are not able to affiliate usual Psychotherapy or Psychoanalysis. Therefore Martin Buber ist the most important teacher for daily psychiatric work and opens the possibility of healing a serious affected mind.
CLINICAL USE OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT WITH FAMILIES AND PATIENTS WITH RELIGIOUS STRUGGLES
Richard F Camino-Gaztambide
Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, USA
The therapist often encounters patients with diverse spiritual struggles, for example, conflicts within families due to differing religious worldviews, parents confronting the dilemma of how to approach and relate to their LGBTQ child, or marrying outside their religion.1 Most of these patients probably will state that the basis of their conflict is related to a moral clash or conflict.2 Therefore, could theories on morality or moral development be a tool to help solve or ease their moral struggles? Initially, pioneers in the field of moral development and moral psychology like Piaget and Kohlberg emphasized that morality occurred within the context of cognitive development and rational processes that were the main drivers of moral thought and action.3 In the last 20 years, research on moral theory and development has been influenced by new discoveries in ethology, evolutionary biology, neurosciences, epigenetics, and the role of culture and religion.3 Specifically, the integration of cognition and emotions as part of the new moral paradigm. The Moral Foundation Theory (MFT) provides a set of five binary foundations of “right/wrong” they believe are innate. These foundations are a. Care/harm b. Fairness/cheating, c. Loyalty/betrayal, d. Authority/subversion, and e. Sanctity/degradation.4 Although, everyone possesses some degree of each foundation, the way that each of these items influence religious worldviews can vary, with white conservatives to be influenced by all five foundations to more or less the same degree, meanwhile, liberal or non-white religious worldviews tend to be more influenced less by the sanctity/degradation or authority/subversion dyads.56 The Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ) have been used in numerous research studies with accumulating N> 100,000, including cross-cultural samples over 30 plus countries.78 As such, the use of the MFQ can be a valuable tool for clinicians to understand how patients and family's values are influencing their moral outlook.9,10 The MFQ provides clinicians an instrument that examines their tenets and ideals, therefore, opening opportunities for alternatives and ponder solutions to bridge/solve their moral conundrum.10,11 The aim of this presentation is to present practical applications of MFQ in the therapeutic process.
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