Trauma, Loss, Resilience, Recovery: Religious Perspectives


How can religion impact resilience?

H. Steven Moffic, MD, reviews his session "People, Place and Purpose: Contributions of Faith Traditions to Recovery and Resilience," which he previewed for Psychiatric Times here. In his talk, he covered what he describes as a need for the DSM to include social psychopathologies, and his acronym OY VEH:

O = The Other, not only our historical perceived status, but the Jews have often been the “canary in the coal mine” for other groups to be scapegoated.

Y = Yearning, which in particular relates to 2 historical yearnings: a Zionist return to the Promised Land of Israel and Jerusalem, which indeed came to pass in 1948, and, hopefully, the Messiah to come when the world will be in peace.

V = Vacate, which refers to the Jewish history of forced expulsion from so many places where we have lived.

E = Education, as Jews are known as the “People of the Book,” starting with the Torah.

H = Hope, mystically missing from my prior word processing of this piece; haunted, perhaps, related to my decision to not have my wife sing Israel’s national anthem, HaTikvah (The Hope) in our emotionally volatile and divisive time, but the hope for a better Jewish and world future remains.

Stay tuned for more on this session.

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 1-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.

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