The Institute for Spirituality and Health
Exploring the connections between spirituality and health.


Spirited Words

See below for a collection of reflections, writings, essays, poems, and other contributions that the ISH community has submitted over the years. We hope you enjoy.

If you are interested in submitting a piece to our blog, please contact Anyang Anyang <>. We publish writing that relates to our mission of enhancing well-being by exploring the relationship between spirituality and health.


Psychotherapy & Faith Conference Is Huge Success

By John Graham

November 19th, 2012

ISH held our 21st annual Psychotherapy & Faith Conference on Friday, Nov 16, 2012 with a packed house filling Fondren Hall at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, in Houston.   The theme for the conference was Happiness & Suffering:  What it Means to be Human.  Our speakers were terrific and after every talk people from the audience of 300 expressed to me their raving approval. “I am so glad I came.”  “Just wonderful.”  “I loved every minute.”  

Our Keynote speaker was the nationally-recognized Phillip Shaver, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, David.  He spoke on The Role of Psychological Security in Happiness and Suffering, drawing from his work in Attachment Theory, the findings of Neuroscience, and Buddhism.  Our Next speaker was John Welshons, M.A. who leads retreats throughout the United States and is a marvelous spiritual teacher.  I loved his message and asked if anyone in the audience would like to attend a retreat if ISH brought him back to town.  I think every hand went up.  Next, Robert Emmonds, PhD, also of UC-Davis, who is the founding editor of The Journal of Positive Psychology, spoke on Gratitude as the Linchpin Between Adversity and Delight.  His work has been recognized in the media and he was terrific.  Anne Klein, Professor at Rice U and founding director teacher of Dawn Mountain (Tibetan Buddhist tradition), spoke on Life’s Path:  The Good, the Bad and the Just Plaiine There.   Finally, the last speaker was Kenneth Pargament, PhD, who is ISH’s Distinguished Scholar.  Ken spoke on the Depths of Despair:  Suffering, Spirituality and Psychiatric Illness.  He wrapped all the talks up while emphazing the fact there is not much mention of Suffering in the Psychological Literature.  He feels there should be and in his talked identified spiritual factors that could ameliorate the experience of suffering in the life of people.

Again, the conference was a highlight to those who attended, and we have already begun to plan next year’s Conference.

Sara Moore