Spirituality SIG Conference

Provided by Royal College of Psychiatrists

About the course

View the draft programme via: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/SPSIG%20April%202017%20-%20Draft%20Programme%20-%20250117.pdf

Audience: This meeting is open to members and non-members.
It will be especially relevant to psychiatrists, students, trainees, chaplains, spiritual directors, academics and researchers interested in spiritual and religious experiences

Programme Overview
Sacred scripts of all faiths are peppered with talk of sinners, heretics, infidels, apostates, witches, the unclean, lepers, and 'fallen women'. In modern times the Jungian Shadow has manifest in the form of mental health stigma, anti-Semitism, 'Islamophobia', homophobia, and many other examples of judgmentalism, intolerance, and institutionally-promoted division.

In our clinics the fallout from this is present, real, and palpable. Vulnerable minorities suffer poor mental health, with their issues being both cause and effect. A vicious cycle can perpetuate their suffering, as judgment of difference progresses into the stigma associated with the psychiatric symptoms to which such judgment can give rise.  How do you hold onto your faith, preserve your dignity, and truly believe in the unconditional love of a compassionate God when your own religious institution is directly implicated in causing your original trauma? Conversely,  frustration with the human frailty of religious institutions can result in outright rejection of all that they stand for, with damaging consequences? The Church, for example, continue to face a barrage of criticism for their treatment of minorities, despite strides having been made to heal the past and express heartfelt regret for 'the sins of the fathers'.

This one-day conference will explore these difficult issues and will bring together doctors, psychiatrists, service users and faith leaders, to explore how best to promote healing and provide spiritual support to those who suffer mental distress due to prejudice masquerading as faith.

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