13th Emirates Society Mental Health International Congress
20-22 March 2019
Metropolitan Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Power of 3P: Psychiatry, Psychology & Philosophy



Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy
Wednesday, 20 March 2019, 08:30AM – 09:30AM

Speaker: Prof. Hiromi Willingham (UAE)

American licensed psychotherapist, Certified Hakomi Therapist and Trainer at the Hakomi Institute.

Adjunct Professor at Zayed University

Chairperson: Dr. Eman Amari (UAE)

Clinical Psychologist –  Executive Director,  The Art of Family and Marriage Therapy Center,

Dubai, UAE


Introduction to the Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy
“A visionary contribution to mindfulness in psychotherapy”. Daniel Siegel, M.D., Author of The Mindful Brain.
“Hakomi presents some astounding methods for getting to core material. It is well-grounded in theory and revolutionary in its results.” – Association of Humanistic Psychology
“Hakomi is an excellent system for developing key emotional intelligence skills.” – Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author of “Emotional Intelligence”.
Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy integrates mindfulness and somatics into the psychotherapy process with uniquely effective results: The dynamic, active use of mindfulness is a foundation of the Hakomi Method. When integrated with other Hakomi techniques, it creates a rapid, experiential access route to the unconscious “templates” and implicit memories, which invisibly shape our lives. When unconscious, this material creates projections, conflict and disharmony in our self-perceptions, relationships and behavior.
In this workshop, the participates will be introduced to Hakomi through lecture and experiential exercise.


Psychotropic Medication Prescription and Supervision During Pregnancy & Lactation
Wednesday, 20 March 2019, 09:30AM – 10:30AM

Speaker: Dr. Karuna Anand (UAE)

Consultant Psychiatrist, Al Hayat Medical Center in Sharjah and at Canadian Specialist Hospital,


Chairperson: Dr. Kenneth Mitchell (UAE)

Consultant Psychiatry, the American Center for Psychiatry and Psychology (ACPN), Dubai


Psychiatric conditions (including substance misuse disorders) are serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses that can be successfully treated by psychotropic drugs, even during pregnancy. Until recently, the default clinical recommendation had been to discontinue them, especially during the first trimester. However, in the past decade, as more evidence has accumulated, it seems that most psychotropic drugs are relatively safe to use in pregnancy and that not using them when indicated for serious psychiatric illness poses a greater risk to both mother and child, including tragic outcomes like suicide and infanticide.

This will be a session where the audience will be introduced to information surrounding risks of treating versus not treating mental health conditions during pregnancy and perinatal period, risks of medicating verses not medicating in pregnancy and perinatal period, the risk of relapse and risk of stopping medicines suddenly. The session will have a strong clinical focus where general principles of psychopharmacological management and principles of prescribing in perinatal period will be learned and in the end, one will be able to summarize medications use in pregnancy, identify lower risk medications and challenges prescribing during breastfeeding.

This review will present an up to date and careful examination of the most rigorous scientific studies on the effects of psychotropic drugs in pregnancy and identify lack of evidence in several areas where definite conclusions cannot be made.

Real life cases will be discussed and learned from.


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Wednesday, 20 March 2019, 10:30AM – 11:30AM

Speaker: Dr. Sarah AlMarzooqi (UAE)

Clinical Psychologist, Al Jalila Children’s Hospital, Dubai

Chairperson: Dr. Mazin Awad (UAE)

Specialist Psychiatrist, Rashid Hospital, Dubai health Authority, Dubai


Learning Objectives
•Defining Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
•Understanding the main goal of ACT.
•Understanding the main difference between CBT and ACT.
•Describe the six processes that underline psychological flexibility.
•Understanding the evidence from research for using ACT with parents and children.
•Introducing ACT, historical development and theory
•ACT definition, suffering is normal.
•Component of ACT.
•Psychological flexibility
•ACT Hexaflex
•Exercise: audience will participate in an exercise to one of the strategies (Role play)
•ACT Strategies , video
•Evidence based
•ACT with children
•Formulation a case based on the ACT model (group exercise)
•Exercising applying one ACT strategy with children


Are Personality Disorders Treatable?
Wednesday, 20 March 2019, 11:30AM – 12:30PM

Speaker: Dr. Shaju George (UAE)

Specialist Psychiatrist, Lifeworks Holistic Counseling Centre, Dubai

Specialist Psychiatrist, Al Zahra Hospital, Sharjah

Specialist Aeromedical Examiner

Chairperson: Dr. Michael Hamarneh (UAE)

Senior Clinical Psychologist, Rashid Hospital, Dubai health Authority, Dubai


Personality disorder (PD) prevalence in the community has consistently found to be 6% and it is estimated that 40–50% of psychiatric inpatients have a personality disorder, with borderline personality disorder the most prevalent. The evidence base for the effective treatment of personality disorders is insufficient. Most of the existing evidence on personality disorder is for the treatment of borderline personality disorder, but even that is limited. Psychological or psychosocial intervention is recommended as the primary treatment for borderline personality disorder and pharmacotherapy is only advised as an adjunctive treatment. The amount of research about the underlying, abnormal, psychological or biological processes leading to the manifestation of a disordered personality is increasing, which could lead to more effective interventions. Considerable progress has been made in the psychotherapeutic treatment of patients with personality disorders. Once engendering a pervasive therapeutic nihilism, PDs are starting to be viewed as treatable with a much better prognosis than previously thought.


Psychometric Testing
Wednesday, 20 March 2019, 01:00PM – 02:00PM

Speaker: Dr Shazya Lakadawala (UAE)

 Clinical Psychologist, Rashid Hospital, Dubai health Authority, Dubai

Chairperson: Dr. Haseeb Rohilla (UAE)

Specialist Psychiatrist, Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital, Dubai


Psychometric tests are standard, reliable, valid, and scientific tools used to identify and measure individual’s mental/cognitive abilities and personality traits/style. The aim of psychometric test is to obtain test score and suggest a hypothesis. Along with the test scores, clinical interview and behavioral observation are important data collection strategies. This integrative evaluation is required in assessing an individual’s situation and problem. The most frequently used psychometric tests are Wechsler Intelligence Scales, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Rorschach, bender Visual and Motor Gestalt Test, Thematic Apperception Test. Other useful tools for treatment planning and monitoring outcome are Beck and Hamilton Depression and Anxiety inventories.

Spirituality in Childhood

Wednesday, 20 March 2019, 02:00PM – 03:00PM

Speaker: Dr. Fady Serry (UAE)

 Psychologist, Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, Dubai

Chairperson: Dr. Mona ElQedrah, (UAE)

Specialist Psychiatrist, Rashid Hospital, Dubai health Authority, Dubai


This workshop will cover an introduction to proposed theories of spiritual development in children, with specific review in the context of more widely accepted theories of childhood moral and cognitive development. Spirituality is defined as a “personal internalized set of beliefs and experiences” that includes the belief in a Supreme Being – whether or not that is in the context of a religion (Haug, 1998). With such a definition, the workshop will investigate and challenge if such beliefs can be found in childhood. Research within the last 25 years will be reviewed, integrated with findings on chronic illness and spirituality, the construct of optimism, spirituality and healing – and ultimately – the relationship between spirituality and optimism. Original research will be presented – with future directions for the region being proposed. Overall, the workshop will aim for its attendee to: 1. Have a developmental framework of spirituality in children 2. Understand how spirituality may play a role in the lives of children 3. Understand research being conducted 4. Develop an educated opinion on the matter.

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