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Cultural Psychiatry 101: Idioms of Distress

June 14 @ 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Cultural Psychiatry 101: Idioms of Distress

June 14, 2019

1–2:30 pm EDT

1. The Uses of Cultural Concepts of Distress in Research and Clinical Practice


To review the subtypes of cultural concepts of distress (including idioms of distress), their relationship with psychiatric disorders, and their uses in mental health-related research and clinical practice.


Roberto Lewis-Fernández, MD, is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University, Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Hispanic Treatment Program, and Co-Director of the Anxiety Disorder Clinic, at New York State Psychiatric Institute. His research focuses on developing culturally valid interventions and instruments to enhance patient engagement, reduce misdiagnosis, and help overcome disparities in the care of underserved cultural groups.  He is Immediate Past President of SSPC, President of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry, chair of the DSM Review Committee for Internalizing Disorders, and co-chair of the ICD-11 Working Group on Culture-Related Issues.

2. Idioms of Distress: New Directions in Psychological Anthropology

Learning Objective

To describe innovations in research on idioms of distress and their implications for mental health assessment and interventions


Bonnie Kaiser is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Global Health Program at the University of California San Diego. Her research focuses on elucidating cultural models of mental health and illness and exploring their connections to care-seeking; developing and adapting measurement tools for cross-cultural research and interventions; improving cultural adaptation of global mental health interventions; and critically exploring concepts of trauma, risk, and resilience.