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

Psychotherapy & Faith Conference

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Psychotherapy & Faith: Partners in Recovery from Trauma


Now in its 27th year, this one day event is a collaborative effort involving ISH, Baylor College of
Medicine and Menninger Clinic. The theme of the conference changes annually and offers
Continuing Education Hours to clergy, chaplains, theologians, spiritual caregivers and other
professionals in religious communities, physicians, psychologists, social workers, addiction
professionals, licensed professional counselors, and marriage and family counselors. The
purpose of the conference is to provide these licensed professionals a number of new learning
objectives that can be integrated into their practices. The latest cutting edge topics are
presented by nationally acclaimed researchers and practitioners to an annual audience of
several hundred.

Event details

Date: Friday, November 9th, 2018
Time: 7:30am-3:30pm
Location: St. Paul's United Methodist Church
                 Fondren Room, Second Floor
                 5501 Main Street
                 Houston, Texas 77004

Price: $125/person
           $60 for qualified students

*Includes boxed lunch

View Conference Brochure


Keynote Speaker:

James S. Gordon, MD - is Executive Director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM), Washington, DC; former chair of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine; and author, most recently, of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression. Dr. Gordon is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School. 

History of the Psychotherapy and Faith Conference

James W. Lomax, M.D.

In the summer of 1992 Dr. William Cantrell retired as an Adjunct Faculty to the “Institute of Religion” and asked me to take his place.  I agreed even though I knew almost nothing about the Institute, except its location in the heart of the Texas Medical Center.  At my first meeting I met a passionate member of the Institute’s Board of Trustees, Mrs. Loise Wessendorff.  Mrs. Wessendorff wanted to start a new conference with a very clear motivation and mission: “Preachers and Doctors don’t talk to each other enough.  They should.  I want to do something about that!”  Loise knew that when people are hurting with emotional distress they often turn to their faith community with important questions about what is wrong with them and what type of help they need.  For 24 years the Annual Psychotherapy and Faith Conference has been a forum for mental health professionals and faith community leaders (Clergy, Chaplains, Theologians, and religious study academicians) to discuss shared topics of concern.  Topics have ranged from clinical (depression, anxiety, and grief) to powerful emotions and yearnings (faith, hope, and love), to critical activities (child rearing and sanctification--illuminating the sacred in healing relationships).  Neither mental health professionals nor clergy are predictably well informed about their counterpart’s perspectives.  The conference brings together local and regional faith leaders and mental health professionals, interested laity, and distinguished scholars to discuss topics of common concern.  We have the chance to appreciate our diverse conceptual approach in ways that enrich the “practices” of all involved.

It would be hard to say which speakers have been the “most influential.”Loise Wessendorff was especially fond of Gerald May and my beloved mentor Sherv Frazier.Very distinguished mental health professionals like George Vaillant, Ethel Person, and Kenneth Pargament have inspired our audiences on multiple occasions.Richard Kogan’s presentation on Gershwin was a masterful combination of music and narrative that deeply touched and moved the accidence fortunate enough to hear his presentation.