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Association for Spirituality and Mental Health - News and Events

Journal Club
The intent of the journal club is to foster discussion about a range of topics and research related to the field of spirituality and mental health. In keeping with the spirit of the international conferences, we want to continue the stimulating dialogue and cross fertilization that results when people with different backgrounds, gifts and insights share with one another.

Meetings of the Journal Club take place in the Spirituality Centre on the 2nd floor of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, 1145 Carling Avenue and are usually held every second month on the third Thursday of the month from 7 - 8:30 pm. 


Upcoming Event at Saint Paul University on March 2, 2012: "Finding God in Earth: Spirituality in a Time of Ecological Crisis"

For more information, click here


2012 Conference: "Sacred Trust: Healing in Indigenous Culture"

The Associates in Psychiatry Audiotorium, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, 1145 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, 9:00 to 4:00 PM

A one-day conference offering a Lecture, Workshop & Panel Discussion with:

Suzanne L. Stewart, Ph.D., C.Psych. Assistant Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto

Lecture Title: "Indigenous Cultural Mental Health: Explopring Integration with Western Psychology Practice and Training"

Workshop Title: "Indigenous Teachings: Practical Applications to Mental Health and Healing"

For more information or to REGISTER NOW, click here


2011 Conference

Mindfulness in Clinical Practice - A workshop and retreat offered by Dr. Patricia Dobkin, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, McGill University.

Presented by : The Association for Spirituality and Mental Health; Spiritual and Religious Care, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre: Psychology, ROMHC and the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic.

When :May 13th (workshop) and May 14th (retreat)

Where: Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, 1145 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON.

Cost: Workshop only : $150.   Retreat only : $75.  Combined workshop and retreat : $200.

(The retreat will be open to individuals who participate in the workshop and/or have had previous meditation experience.)
For information, contact MC Morley at 613-722-6521 ext. 6535 or at
[email protected].
click here.


Fourth International Conference on Spirituality and Mental Health (2009)

The Fourth International Conference on Spirituality and Mental Health was held on  April 23 and 24, 2009, at Saint Paul University , Ottawa . The conference was sponsored by the University of Ottawa Department of Psychiatry, the Ontario Multifaith Council on Spiritual and Religious Care, and Saint Paul University. This Fourth International Conference on Spirituality and Mental Health focused on a variety of perspectives on the theme "In Relation" as they relate to spirituality and mental health.

The two keynote speakers were Dr. Phil Barker and Dr. Hetty Zock. 

A copy of Dr Barker's keynote speech - The Mythical self.  We make ourselves up as we speak - has been published online in the Australian Journal of Pastoral Care and Health. 

Dr. Barker, PhD RN FRCN, author of The Philosophy and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing: Selected Writings (Churchill Livingstone, 1999), is a psychotherapist in private practice, a Director of Clan Unity Mental Health Recovery Consultancy and Visiting Professor at Trinity College , Dublin and an Honorary Professor in the Medical School, University of Dundee. Dr. Barker was the UK’s first Professor of Psychiatric Nursing Practice at the University of Newcastle, England from1993 - 2002. He has published 18 books, over fifty book chapters and over 150 academic papers. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing in 1995, was awarded the Red Gate Award for Distinguished Professors at the University of Tokyo in 2000 and was inducted as Doctor of the University at Oxford Brookes University, in 2001. He has been Visiting Professor at several international universities: Barcelona, Tokyo, Auckland, Adelaide and Sydney .
Dr. Barker and Poppy Buchanan-Barker are known for the tidal model of nursing:

"The Tidal Model is a philosophical approach to the discovery of mental health. It emphasizes helping people reclaim the personal story of mental distress, by recovering their voice. By using their own language, metaphors and personal stories people begin to express something of the meaning of their lives. This is the first step towards helping recover control over their lives". 
From http://www.tidal-model.com/WhatistheTidalModel.htm

For more information see Brookes N (2006) "Phil Barker: Tidal Model of Mental Health Recovery" Ch 32 in AM Tomey and MR Alligood (Eds) Nursing Theorists and Their Work (6th Edition) St Louis , MI : Mosby Elsevier. 

Dr. Zock, Ph.D., is Professor of Spiritual Care on the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Her research interests include: identity, meaning, and imagination and spiritual care in a secularized context. She is a member of the board of the Study Centre for Religion and Mental Health since 1998 and a member of the steering committee of the Person, Culture and Religion group of the American Academy of Religion since 2005. She has published a number of books in Dutch. In English Dr. Zock has published A Psychology of Ultimate Concern. Erik H. Erikson’s Contribution to the Psychology of Religion (Rodopi, 1990).

"Farther Shores"
"Farther Shores: Exploring How Near Death, Kundalini and Mystical Experiences Can Transform Ordinary Lives" has just been reprinted by iUniverse Publishers. Order copies of the 2008 edition now through

    Topics include:

  • Mystical experiences - a multifaith perspective
  • Near Death Experiences
  • NDE-like experiences: Facing-death, death-bed, and death-watch experiences
  • Kundalini awakening / spiritual energy episodes / yogic model of consciousness
  • Psychic awakenings including past-life recall
  • Spiritual Emergencies and Psychosis
  • Grounding strategies
  • Long-term spiritual transformation of consciousness/ the mystical path: physical, psychological and spiritual symptoms
  • Promoting a balanced Spiritual Transformation / Self-realization / God-realization

Highlights from the Association for Spirituality and Mental Health Fall Newsletter

If you are new to ASMH, welcome!  We send out several newsletters each year, with updates on Association news and an invitation to members to share research, advocacy, and educational work. Our aim is to provide our members with regular news from the Executive Committee and to draw attention to relevant and interesting conferences, symposia, lectures, research, and publications.  

We welcome two new members to our Executive Committee: Dr. Thomas Fournier as Treasurer and Dr. Margaret DeCorte as Vice President. Dr. Fournier, a psychologist in private practice, has a research background in neuropsychology and cyberpsychology.  He teaches part-time at the University of Ottawa and Université du Québec en Outaouais. Dr. DeCorte works as a psychologist at the ROMHC and also has a private practice. Her research interests include anxiety, trauma, therapeutic environments, and neuropsychology. Dr. DeCorte’s recent papers include “Sacred Spaces and Healing Places” and “Neuroarchitecture & Health.”  Welcome, Thomas and Margaret!

We are happy to hear from our members and encourage you to get in touch with us. A large part of the ASMH mandate is networking and collaborative projects. As we continue to grow, we hope the newsletter will reflect the experiences, research, publications, and day to day work of members in this field of practice and study. We are still looking individuals to help us with public relations, the newsletter, and fundraising. Feel free to contact me or other members of the Executive Committee at [email protected]

Association for Spirituality & Mental Health Wiki
To facilitate discussion among members, ASMH now has a wiki. We invite you to join by contacting [email protected] Members are invited to join the wiki, http://asmhjournalclub.pbwiki.com, in order to participate in an online discussion of the articles for the next journal club meeting.

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