The mission of the American Association for Social Psychiatry (AASP) is to study, teach, and promote consciousness of social factors in the psychiatric disorders of our patients and promote an understanding that social factors are core to all behavioral health issues.
The Psychology of Guns: 12 Steps Toward More Safety
March 5, 2013
By H. Steven Moffic, MD | March 5, 2013
It is sexy, it is satisfying, it is manly.
–Stanley McChrystal, retired US Army General, Foreign Affairs1
When insight-oriented psychotherapy stalls, the therapist usually assumes that there are some powerful, often unconscious, forces opposing examination and change. Has there been a parallel process ever since the Martin Luther King, Jr, and Robert Kennedy assassinations prompted gun reform? It is yet unclear whether the overwhelming shock of Newtown (which I focused on in an earlier blog),2 where vulnerable children were killed by yet another mass murderer, will galvanize action not only to prevent future mass murderers, but also to finally reduce the public health and mental health risks of more chronic, common, and routine gun violence in America.
Indeed, normal psychological processes may be partially responsible for this stagnation. It is easier to repress and dissociate individual and collective trauma, and “move on.” However, in the long term, as we see in PTSD in individuals, such trauma can continue to haunt us and limit what we can learn from history to prevent similar trauma in the future.
The First Joint Meeting with the Officers of the World Association for Social Psychiatry in Philadelphia, 2012.
January 20, 2013
Will 2013 Be a Lucky Year for Psychiatry?
January 15, 2013
By H. Steven Moffic, MD
In some expected and unexpected ways, the year 2012 seemed to be a watershed year for psychiatry. Some might even go so far as to say it was a crisis, which in Chinese meaning, would be both danger and opportunity.
Crucial changes occurred that will greatly influence the organization of services, reimbursement, and diagnosis. It even ended in an exclamation point, as the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut (see last month's blog, Mass Murder and Psychiatry) punctuated the need for improved mental healthcare services. That also added the question mark of what the role of psychiatry should be for such societal social issues as gun control. Perhaps this was another confirmation, as unwanted as that may have been, that this decade is indeed becoming the decade of the social for psychiatry, as I tentatively predicted in a earlier blog.
Mass Murder and Psychiatry
December 17, 2012
By H. Steven Moffic, MD
There has been increasing publicity about the imminent end of the world on December 21, 2012, as possibly posited in the Mayan Calendar. What we do know for sure, is that for all the young children and adults who were killed in Newtown, Connecticut, their world ended a week earlier, on December 14th.
As the play of the same name by Thornton Wilder, Newtown Is Our Town.
The perpetrator must be, in some way, everyman. We must be our brother's keepers. Any field that can contribute to the understanding and prevention of the increasing numbers of attempted and successful mass murders in the United States must work on this for the next weeks, months, and years. Psychiatry is surely one of these.
Dr. Robert Jay Lifton Honored
December 4, 2012
Dr. Robert Jay Lifton was honored by the American Association for Social Psychiatry with the Humanitarian Award at the May Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Philadelphia on May 7, 2012.
Medical Students’ Comfort With Pregnant Women With Substance-Use Disorders: A Randomized Educational Study
November 1, 2012
Brittany Albright, M.D., M.P.H.; Betty Skipper, Ph.D.; Shawne Riley, B.A.; Peggy Wilhelm, R.N.; William F. Rayburn, M.D., M.B.A.
Academic Psychiatry 2012;36:457-460.10.1176/appi.ap.11070134
Objective: The study objective was to determine whether medical students’ attendance at a rehabilitation residence for pregnant women with substance-use disorders yielded changes in their attitudes and comfort levels in providing care to this population.
Psychiatric Eulogies for Psychiatrists Who Inspired
September 20, 2012
By H. Steven Moffic, MD | September 13, 2012
It must be my age. . . or retirement. . . or my Rabbi son attending so many funerals. Because I paid especially close attention to the "In Memoriam" list in the August 3, 2012 issue of Psychiatric News-- the APA's official news publication.
Professor RS Murthy Receives Juan José López Ibor Award for 2012
September 16, 2012
We are very happy to inform, our Senior Fellow Professor RS Murthy has been awarded the coveted Juan José López Ibor Award for 2012. [read more...]
Eliot Sorel's "21st Century Global Mental Health" Now Available
September 1, 2012
21st Century Global Mental Health is a comprehensive and authoritative text on the subject of global mental health and its integration with public health and primary care. [read more...]
Steven Moffic's Starts new blog, Sad in Psychiatry
April 16, 2012
Sad in Psychiatry: Affectionately called a "gadfly," and known as "da man in psychiatric ethics," Steven Moffic writes about what makes him sad about modern day psychiatry, and how to "treat" that condition so that we will become glad about what psychiatrists can do to help.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and Integrated Care: Contemporary, American & Global Challenges
April 16, 2012
Professor Eliot Sorel to deliver plenary lecture at the APA's National Institute on Psychiatric Services in New York City in October. Eliot Sorel, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A., is an internationally recognized medical leader, educator, health systems policy expert and practicing physician.
Welcome to Social Psychiatry and socialpsychiatry.org
March 11, 2012
The American Association for Social Psychiatry is very excited and pleased about the inauguration of our web site www.socialpsychiatry.org. AASP, founded by Dr. John Schwab, has been in existence since 1971.
Do We Need a Decade for the Social?
February 18, 2012
Many will recall "The Decade of the Brain," when President George H.W. Bush declared that the 1990s would be dedicated to research on neuroscience. If there were landmark findings from that decade, I'm not sure what they were.
Probably less will recall "The Decade of Behavior." This was the nickname that the American Psychological Association gave for the 2000s. There were 5 major goals: improving health, increasing safety, improving education, increasing prosperity, and promoting democracy. I haven’t been able to find any outcome reports, but it seems obvious that prosperity has decreased for most in the United States, and if the conflict between Democrats and Republican politicians is any indication, maybe promoting this kind of democracy was not such a great goal.
Witness to an Extreme Century: A Memoir
February 18, 2012
Although memoirs have become all the rage, they are rarely written by anyone in the field of psychiatry . . . and for good reason. The nature of our clinical work generally should be quite private.
Witness to an Extreme Century is an exception. Early in his career, the now 85-year-old psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton recognized that regular clinical work took away too much emotional energy from his scholarly projects, so privacy was much less of a concern. Fortunately, though, Dr Lifton was able to maintain the perspective of an ethical and healing clinician in his research interviews.