James Lamont Griffith

James Lamont Griffith
George Washington University | GW · Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

MD

About

69
Publications
11,960
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1,020
Citations
Citations since 2017
10 Research Items
369 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080
2017201820192020202120222023020406080

Publications

Publications (69)
Article
Background Evidence-based pharmacological treatments for PTSD are few and of limited efficacy. Prior work suggest that angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R) inhibition facilitates fear inhibition and extinction, important for recovery from PTSD. This study tests the efficacy of the AT1R antagonist losartan, an antihypertensive drug, repurposed for the...
Article
The COVID‐19 pandemic has transformed healthcare for both clinicians and patients. This conceptual article uses ideas from the moral distress literature to understand the challenges MedFTs and physicians face during the COVID‐19 pandemic. The authors highlight earlier themes from the moral distress literature and share current reflections to illust...
Article
Families and carers can play an important role in helping prevent suicide. Unfortunately, silence and secrecy within the family environment have sometimes prevented family members from intervening to potentially change the course of suicide intent. This article describes a family‐oriented assessment process that can facilitate family‐involvement in...
Article
Testimonial psychotherapy is a therapeutic ritual for facilitating the recovery of survivors of human rights violations that focuses on sharing the trauma narrative. Originally developed in Chile as a method for collecting evidence during legal proceedings, testimonial therapy has been widely applied transculturally as a unique treatment modality f...
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This article discusses demoralization in patients with chronic pain and the role of psychotherapy at combating chronic demoralization associated with chronic pain. The advantages of the biopsychosocial conceptual framework for the understanding of chronic pain are highlighted. Demoralization may be viewed as a combination of distress and subjective...
Article
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Mental health professionals are often reluctant to label the religious and spiritual lives of their clients as “unhealthy” or “harmful.” Indeed, professional codes of conduct require that clinicians respect the religious and spiritual values of their clients and at the same time provide clients with ethical and efficacious mental health care. Accor...
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The ability to predict a person’s risk of acute suicide is one of the most important skills in the practice of psychiatry. This article reviews the essential components of suicide assessment in a concise format meant to be learned and taught to psychiatrists at various levels of training. Strategies for assessing a person’s existential state, immin...
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Ministries of churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues are a potential resource for individuals with chronic psychoses. Church attendance is highest in states with the least mental health funding, suggesting a role for community religious groups to aid over-extended mental health systems. The American Psychiatric Association has initiated new eff...
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Psychiatric education is confronted with three barriers to managing stigma associated with mental health treatment. First, there are limited evidence-based practices for stigma reduction, and interventions to deal with stigma against mental health care providers are especially lacking. Second, there is a scarcity of training models for mental healt...
Chapter
Re-Visioning Psychiatry explores new theories and models from cultural psychiatry and psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and anthropology that clarify how mental health problems emerge in specific contexts and points toward future integration of these perspectives. Taken together, the contributions point to the need for fundamental shifts in psyc...
Chapter
The interventions of couple therapy typically target problematic interactional patterns that hinder emotional and sexual intimacy. Family and couple therapies rely upon these common factors similarly to individual psychotherapies. However, family and couple therapies also introduce four additional common factors that extend their reach beyond that...
Chapter
Introduction As psychiatric discourse continues to spread throughout the world, there is a need to ask how psychiatric knowledge is generated, what forms of psychiatric knowledge hold power in different settings, and what determines how knowledge is transformed into practice. In this chapter, we explore the issues of knowledge and practice at the i...
Chapter
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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia are both illnesses for which suffering is amplified by stigmatisation. People with these illnesses often feel judged, devalued, marginalised, or discriminated against by employers, family members, friends and, most of all, health care professionals. Stigma often contributes to social alienation, lonel...
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Mistaking psychogenic nonepileptic paroxysmal episodes (PNEPEs) for epileptic seizures (ES) is potentially dangerous, and certain features should alert physicians to a possible PNEPE diagnosis. Psychogenic nonepileptic paroxysmal episodes due to factitious seizures carry particularly high risks of morbidity or mortality from nonindicated emergency...
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Research studies have repeatedly found hope to be a major determinant of effective coping with the distress and uncertainty of a cancer diagnosis. Hope may also have direct salutatory physiological effects that extend upon positive psychological effects. Psychotherapeutic strategies for building hope are most fruitful with cancer patients when hope...
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Psychiatry residencies with a commitment to humanism commonly prioritize training in psychotherapy, cultural psychiatry, mental health policy, promotion of human rights, and similar areas reliant upon dialogue and collaborative therapeutic relationships. The advent of neuroscience as a defining paradigm for psychiatry has challenged residencies wit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Stokes Lecture Program - Prof. Vincenzo Di Nicola - April 25, 2013 by Prof. James L. Griffith
Article
Should the secular psychotherapist be prepared to explore a client's spiritual life? Psychotherapists since Freud have traditionally been suspicious of spirituality and religion as at once unscientific and psychologically harmful. More recently, spirituality has come to be viewed more positively as an often necessary component of psychotherapy. Ack...
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Background and Objectives: Existential inquiry is a focal psychotherapy tailored to address crises of demoralization. Demoralization refers to the helplessness, despair, and subjective incompetence that people feel when perceiving themselves to be failing their own or others´ expectations for coping with adversity. Methods: Existential inquiry revi...
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Addressing mental health needs of 100,000 ethnic Nepali Bhutanese refugees relocated from Nepal is a new challenge for mental health clinicians in the receiving countries. A limitation of current services is the lack of knowledge about cultural understandings of mental health. Ethnopsychology is the study of emotions, suffering, the self, and socia...
Article
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It is often difficult to discern whether the suffering of a medical patient should be regarded as a spiritual, psychological, or psychiatric problem. A further challenge is to determine whether consulting a chaplain, psychotherapist, or psychiatrist will best aid the patient. We present a four-step assessment for determining which perspective and w...
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The second edition of Persuasion and Healing (Frank 1973) defended the radical assertion that people seek psychotherapy largely because they feel demoralized, not because they have a mental illness. "Demoralization" referred to the distress felt by people aware of their failure to meet their own or others' expectations, while seeing themselves as p...
Article
This chapter describes the first community mental health center opened in Gjakova, Kosovo in 2001, following 10 years of conflict in the region from 1989 to 1999. The design and training for the services at the Gjakova Center for Mental Health grew out of an ongoing collaboration between U.S. and Kosovar mental health professionals, known as the Ko...
Article
More than 300,000 sudden coronary deaths occur annually in the United States, despite declining cardiovascular death rates. In 2000, deaths from heart disease left an estimated 190,156 new widows and 68,493 new widowers. A major unanswered question for emergency providers is whether the immediate care of the loved ones left behind by the deceased s...
Article
There is emerging evidence that treatment of comorbid mood and anxiety disorders can improve headache treatment outcome when implemented within a comprehensive program. Effective treatment for comorbid mood and anxiety disorders requires screening headache patients and accurately diagnosing specific psychiatric disorders when present. Specific dual...
Article
Family processes of communication, mutual support, and sustenance of cultural values can play vital roles in recovery from psychological and material damage in societies afflicted by terror. This is particularly the case when a campaign of terror has specifically targeted family life and its traditions, when the culture is one whose identity has be...
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Full-text available
Bedside psychotherapy with medically ill patients can help counter their demoralization, which is the despair, helplessness, and sense of isolation that many patients experience when affected by illness and its treatments. Demoralization can be usefully regarded as the compilation of different existential postures that position a patient to withdra...
Article
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This study describes the effects of a psychoeducational multiple-family group program for families of people with severe mental illness in post-war Kosovo that was developed by a Kosovar-American professional collaborative. The subjects were 30 families of people with severe mental illnesses living in two cities in Kosovo. All subjects participated...
Article
The decade of the 1990s brought increasing acknowledgment by mental health clinicians of the importance of spirituality in many clients' and patients' lives. This acknowledgment has opened therapy to healing resources that spirituality can offer. However, it also means that a clinician must address how spirituality can be expressed destructively. W...
Article
Fourteen videotaped family interviews of patients with diagnosed pseudoseizures were studied to determine the relationship of the symptoms to unspeakable dilemmas as forced choices imposed by family or social circumstances under conditions that also require the ensuing distress to be hidden. An unspeakable dilemma was evident in 13 of 14 interviews...
Article
In order to learn how psychiatry residents use family therapy training from residency in their clinical practices after graduation, the authors interviewed graduates from a large program in the metropolitan Northeast and a small program in the rural South. Graduates from both programs were using family therapy theory and skills to a greater extent...
Article
Reviews the book, Medical family therapy: A biopsychosocial approach to families with health problems by Susan McDaniel, Jeri Hepworth, and William Doherty (see record 1992-98536-000). This text is the most sophisticated elaboration of the biopsychosocial paradigm yet to be offered to clinicians. Its prime audience is the family therapist who wants...
Article
Discusses ways in which therapists can deal with patients' psychosomatic symptoms. Questions about the relationship ecology of somatic symptoms can be experienced as confrontative when the family's story of the illness puts to shame nonphysiological explanations for bodily symptoms or when discussion of nonphysiological explanations would evoke pai...
Article
Explored the difficulty of engaging a family in therapy when a family member has been referred by a physician for treatment of a somatic symptom for which medical evaluations have failed to find evidence of disease. Coding of family communications was conducted in initial interviews with 12 families, using L. L. Humphrey and L. S. Benjamin's (1989)...
Article
Using detailed case examples, we contrast first- and second-order cybernetics approaches to family problems involving somatic symptoms in a family member. A second-order cybernetics approach views the reality of the problem as linguistically shaped by those interacting around it, including the therapist and observing team members. This co-construct...
Article
Describes 7 mind–body patterns of symptom generation as an ecosystemic diagnostic system for classifying symptom mechanisms in pseudoseizure patients. These symptom patterns were evaluated in 27 pseudoseizure patients (aged 9–57 yrs), using operational diagnostic criteria. 24 Ss had either a mimicry pattern (MP) or a captured symptom pattern (CSP)...
Article
Effective ways for joining family therapy with other treatment modalities are becoming increasingly important as the efficacy of family therapy gains acceptance in the medical and mental health community. When one interfaces family therapy with medical and psychopharmacological treatments, which find the sources of symptoms within individuals, rath...
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Full-text available
Münchausen syndrome by proxy is a factitious disorder of childhood in which a parent fabricates medical history or produces signs of illness in a child to keep the child in a sick role. Since approximately half of all cases of Münchausen syndrome by proxy are presentations of central nervous system illness, such as excessive daytime sleepiness and...
Article
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy describes a parent who fabricates the appearance of physical illness in a child. Previous descriptions of the syndrome have focused exclusively upon medical or psychiatric assessments of the involved child and perpetrating parent. The family evaluations of two cases presented here suggest that Munchausen Syndrome by Pro...
Article
This study sought to better detail the clinical profiles of long-term glioma patients suffering from anorexia and emaciation. The markedly anterior distribution and right-hemisphere distribution of tumors was unexpected.
Article
A strong argument can be made that the family rather than the individual patient is the appropriate unit of treatment for the repercussions of chronic illness. Family structures can be assessed in the light of boundaries, hierarchy, alliances and coalitions, and repetitive behavioral sequences organized around the symptom, so as to enable the famil...
Article
In many religious families, God functions as a crucial family member, stabilizing interpersonal relationships and engaging in daily family transactions. In the psychological role of a transitional object, God can be usefully employed by the family therapist in therapeutic interventions, when the therapist keeps the focus upon the interpersonal rela...
Article
In selected patients with episodic behavioral disorders, rapidly absorbed benzodiazepines can be given orally to abort paroxysmal symptoms in their prodromal stages or to disrupt a cycle of continuous, serial symptoms. A case example illustrates each use.
Article
Clorazepate frequently can control symptoms in complex partial seizure disorders with psychic symptomatology at dosages less than those recommended for its use as an adjunctive anticonvulsant. Four case examples illustrate this use. These beneficial effects may reflect a heightened response by limbic seizure foci to the anticonvulsant effects of no...
Article
Suggests that family therapy can be the optimal model for treating a neuropsychiatric patient when the patient is cognitively impaired or when a systemic treatment model is needed to sort out complex interactions between neurological and psychiatric symptom components. Five system diagnoses, each based on the pathophysiology of symptom formation, a...
Chapter
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a sensitive measure of brain function. It detects not only the effects of structured stimuli, but also the effects of adventitious endogenous and exogenous events on regional blood flow and metabolism. As a result, the “normal” PET study, both at rest and in response to activation procedures, may be more diffic...
Article
Consistent inhibition of cord nociceptive neurons was obtained at low levels of stimulation (5 V or 50-100 micro A) within raphe magnus. Less consistently and with higher stimulus intensities, inhibition was observed on stimulating raphe pallidus. Still less frequently, and generally only with stimulation in the 20 V or 500 micro A range, inhibitio...
Article
Typescript. Thesis (B.S.)--Mississippi College, 1972. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 56-57).

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Projects (3)
Project
Trauma is a major connecting thread winding throughout my career from my earliest work with Holocaust survivors to my consultations with migrant and refugee families to my work with the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma which led to my philosophical investigations on trauma and event.
Project
As Chair of the APA Caucus on Global Mental Health and Psychiatry, I am bringing together people, institutions, and resources to promote GMH within academic psychiatry.
Project
Cultural Family Therapy (CFT) is a synthesis of two approaches pioneered in the McGill University Dept. of Psychiatry: family therapy and transcultural psychiatry. Key influences include Maurizio Andolfi, et al. (1989) and Mara Selvini Palazzoli (1988) in family therapy and Raymond Prince (2010) and Henry Murphy (1982, 1986) in transcultural psychiatry. In numerous publications and international workshops over the last 30 years, Dr. Di Nicola has elaborated a model of CFT, beginning with a monograph published while he was a Fellow in Family Therapy at the Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry (Di Nicola, 1985) and a key article while he was Chief Resident at the AMI (Di Nicola, 1986). A model of CFT was presented in greater depth in his book, "A Stranger in the Family: Culture, Families, and Therapy" (1997), elaborated (Di Nicola, 1998) and updated in "Letters to a Young Therapist" (2011) and applied to the social determinants of health (Di Nicola, 2012). CFT weaves together family stories that express their mental and relational predicaments and conceptual tools for conducting clinical work. CFT is an ongoing update of our notions of “family” and “therapy,” on one hand, and of “culture” and “psychiatry,” on the other. From the beginning, CFT was constructed to deal with threshold people undergoing rapid cultural change. References: Andolfi, M., Angelo, C., de Nichilo, M. (1989). The Myth of Atlas: Families and The Therapeutic Story. (V.F. DiNicola, ed. and translator). New York: Brunner/Mazel. Di Nicola, V.F. (1985). Family therapy and transcultural psychiatry: An emerging synthesis. Parts I & II. Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review, XXII(2&3): 81-113, 151-180. Submitted as thesis for the Diploma in Psychiatry, McGill University, 1986. Di Nicola, V.F. (1986). Beyond Babel: Family therapy as cultural translation. International Journal of Family Psychiatry, 7(2): 179 191. Di Nicola, V.F. (1997). A Stranger in the Family: Culture, Families and Therapy. Foreword by Maurizio Andolfi, MD. New York & London: W.W. Norton & Co. Di Nicola, V.F. (1998). Children and families in cultural transition. In: Opkapu, S.O. (ed), Clinical Methods in Transcultural Psychiatry. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, pp. 365-390. Di Nicola, V. (2011). Letters to a Young Therapist: Relational Practices for the Coming Community. Foreword by Maurizio Andolfi, MD. New York & Dresden: Atropos Press. Di Nicola, V. (2012). Family, psychosocial, and cultural determinants of health. In: Sorel, E. (ed.), 21st Century Global Mental Health. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, pp. 119-150. Murphy, H.B.M. (1982). Comparative Psychiatry: The International and Intercultural Distribution of Mental Illness. Berlin: Springer. Murphy, H.B.M. (1986). The historical development of transcultural psychiatry. In: Transcultural Psychiatry (John L. Cox, ed.). London: Croom Helm, pp. 7-22. Prince, R.H. (2010). Why This Ecstasy? Reflections on my Life with Madmen. Montreal: Avmor Art and Cultural Foundation. Selvini, M., ed. (1988). The Work of Mara Selvini Palazzoli (Arnold J. Pomerans, trans.). London: Jason Aronson.