Antioch University Los Angeles’s MA in Clinical Psychology program and the Spiritual & Depth Psychology Specialization were proud to welcome Brazilian physician, neuroscientist, and neuropsychiatrist Dr. Sergio Felipe de Oliveira to campus on July 21st. Dr. Sergio’s presentation focused on the intersectionality of science and spirituality in the mental health field.
Faculty member Marli Kakishima, MFT became familiar with Dr. Sergio while researching schizophrenia diagnostics and treatment and found patients in “trance” states where they dissociate from reality but otherwise present no other “psychotic symptoms.” In Western medicine, psychotic disorders are diagnosed and treated under the DSM guidelines which promote pharmaceutical therapy. However, the transdisciplinary guidelines for medical treatment suggest that these disorders can be treated with a combination of western medicine and spiritual healing.
During his presentation, Dr. Sergio explained: “There are three phases [of studying spirituality in psychiatry]: finding spirituality in psychology, how spirituality works in the brain, and lastly how spirituality reacts with the body.” He proposes that scientists need to re-examine modern psychiatry and evaluate its shortcomings to be integrated more with a holistic, spiritual look into the brain and how it operates.
AULA students in the MA in Clinical Psychology program have been able to visit Dr. Sergio’s clinic in Sao Paulo to study his practice. The students who have returned from Dr. Sergio’s practice have asked for Antioch
to have a clinic to be able to practice what they learned from their time abroad. What Kakishima hopes is that with enough interest, Antioch will be able to open a clinical practice within the next five to ten years.
Dr. Sergio is the clinical director of Pineal Mind Instituto de Saude, founder of Uniespirito
(Universidade Internacional de Ciencias do Espirito) and Professor at the Medical School of the University of Sao Paulo.