James L. Griffith, MD

James L. Griffith, M.D. is the Leon M. Yochelson Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. As a psychiatric educator, Dr. Griffith has developed treatment methods that use cognitive and social science research to mobilize hope, strengthen resilience, and reduce stigmatization and social exclusion, reducing suffering and promoting mental health more effectively. Dr. Griffith has published extensively on family-centered treatment of psychosomatic disorders and chronic medical illnesses, including a book, The Body Speaks: Therapeutic Dialogues for Mind-Body Problems. His most recent book, Religion that Heals, Religion that Harms, addressed destructive uses of religion and ideology in clinical settings and received the Creative Scholarship Award from the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture.

Dr. Griffith provides psychiatric care for immigrants, refugees, and survivors of political torture at Northern Virginia Family Services in Falls Church, VA. He has received the Human Rights Community Award from the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area and the Margaret B. and Cyril A. Schulman Distinguished Service Award from the George Washington University Medical Center, both for the training of mental health professionals and development of mental health services for survivors of political torture. He has received the Distinguished Teacher Award from the George Washington University School of Medicine and the 2003 Psychiatrist of the Year and 2014 Distinguished Service Award from the Washington Psychiatric Society. He was the 2017 recipient of the Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association for his contributions to the field of religion and psychiatry.