Three waves of psychotherapeutic approaches have been distinguished, based on historical and theoretical considerations. Growing evidence supports the use of a fourth group therapies that aim beyond insight, mastery and problem-solving toward the achievement of positive well-being. These more explicitly value based approaches include positive psychology interventions (PPI), loving kindness and compassion meditation, dignity and gratitude promoting, meaning centered, forgiveness oriented, and spiritually informed therapies. Fourth wave approaches raise practical and ethical questions related to both conceptual ambiguity about their goals, and to differing values held by patients, clinicians and the treatment culture. Given that values reflect core assumptions, therapists' worldviews have implications for how they decide the direction of a value-based treatment should proceed. Fourth wave therapies challenge practitioners to remain alert to both their patients' values, and to their own understanding of what it means for humans to flourish.
Speaker: John R. Peteet, M.D. After receiving his M.D. degree at Columbia University, he completed a medical internship at UNC in Chapel Hill, a residency in psychiatry at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, and a fellowship at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, in Boston. For over 30 years he has been a psychiatrist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. A Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, he has received several teaching awards and published numerous papers in the areas of psychosocial oncology, addiction, and the clinical interface between spirituality/religion in psychiatry. He is authored or co-edited 6 books, including Doing the Right Thing: An Approach to Moral Issues in Mental Health Treatment, Depression and the Soul, and The Soul of Medicine: Spiritual Perspectives and Clinical Practice. He serves as president of the American Psychiatric Association's Caucus on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry.