Psychiatrist recognized for work on worldview in clinical psychiatry

Allan Josephson, M.D., to receive the Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association
Psychiatrist recognized for work on worldview in clinical psychiatry

Allan Josephson, M.D.

In recognition of his work on understanding the importance of both the patient’s and the clinician’s worldview in clinical psychiatry, Allan Josephson, M.D., chief of child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology in the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics, will be the 2015 recipient of the Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association.

This award recognizes individuals who have made professional contributions to the interfaces of psychiatry, religion and spirituality in research and clinical practice.

"The Department of Pediatrics is honored to have Dr. Josephson leading our Division of Pediatric Psychiatry and Psychology,” said Charles Woods, M.D., interim chair of the UofL Department of Pediatrics. “This award recognizes his longstanding personal efforts and excellence in advancing the quality of mental health services for children and families both in the Louisville area and nationally."

For more than a decade, Josephson coordinated workshops, symposia and lectures on religion, spirituality and psychiatry at the annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association. These events resulted in several publications, including the “Handbook of Spirituality and Worldview in Clinical Practice,” co-edited by Josephson and John Peteet, M.D., of Harvard Medical School. The work is now used in the teaching programs of many psychiatry residencies throughout the country.

“Are there people who come in to a psychiatrist’s office who really have spiritual issues, concerns about life in a broader context? We think there are,” Josephson said. “What we tried to do is bring these ideas in front of the psychiatric community. Some of my work and that of others has been directed toward helping psychiatrists say this may be an important part of your patient’s life.”

Josephson will receive the award at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Toronto May 16-20, and will deliver the 33rd Oskar Pfister Lecture in New York in October at the American Psychiatric Association’s Institute of Psychiatric Services meeting.


About the award:

Oskar Pfister was a Protestant minister who regularly corresponded with Sigmund Freud on matters of psychiatry and religion. Award recipients are selected by representatives of the American Psychiatric Association, the Caucus on Religion and Psychiatry and the Association of Professional Chaplains.