New work for the new year…
PSYCHIATRIC VIEWS ON THE DAILY NEWS
In this series, Resolutions, we asked clinicians about their New Year’s resolutions. What are our contributors resolving to do in 2023? Here’s how they answered.
Greetings to you all, as we all get ready to increase the output of psychiatric knowledge for 2023.
More specifically, I was not sure what I would like to resolve to do in 2023, other than to be healthy enough to do more of the same. However, on the eve of Winter Solstice, I found out the proposal that I wrote as potential lead editor for the book The Eastern Religions, Spirituality, and Psychiatry was accepted by Springer International. Springer had published the first 3 volumes in this series from 2019-2021: Islamophobia and Psychiatry; Anti-Semitism and Psychiatry; and Christianity and Psychiatry, all of which received positive reviews in Psychiatric Times™, with a recent comment by a prominent cultural psychiatrist:
“Your books foretold the future.”
Well, they did and they did not. As the COVID pandemic continued and Asians were hit with scapegoated blame and harassment on and off, we realized that we were missing Eastern religions and spiritual approaches and thereby decided to pursue this opportunity.
It will potentially be the first book that tries to cover all the major Eastern religious and spiritual traditions from a psychiatric perspective. Given the global variety and need for a variety of expert chapter writers, it will be a challenge to put together.
I personally am excited to explore this because these Eastern religions have had a much lower incidence of anti-Semitism, and that does not seem to be because of a lack of exposure to Jewish people, but rather a lack of competition with Judaism due to a distant and historical parallel process, as well as a particular faith open-mindedness.
Moreover, Eastern approaches have been well-received in the United States, and people who have combined Judaism and Buddhism here have been quite common. Interfaith relationships may be a key to global cooperation.
As took place in the first Islamophobia and Psychiatry volume, the question of “does it take one to know one” came up as to who should be the lead editor. In cultural psychiatry, we know the importance of cultural humility and that both professionals who are of the same culture as the patient or reader, and those who are different, have potential blind spots. Although again the editorship was offered to someone of one of the Eastern traditions, there were no takers, so here I am again. That worked out with Islamophobia and Psychiatry, and usually seemed to work out with my patients of different backgrounds—so be it for now.
Therefore, as lead editor, I will do whatever I can to produce a manuscript of quality and educational value in 2023, and not to stop doing anything else I love in the process.
Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues related to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times™.