INSTITUTE OPENING PLENARY SESSION
Saturday, February 13, 2021 9:30AM-10:15AM Eastern
Finding Home in an Unprecedented and Online World
Featured Speaker: Alexis Abernethy, PhD, CGP, FAGPA
Dr. Abernethy will share her experience of Institutes over time highlighting experiences of connection. She will address the challenges we bring with us to our Institutes this year related to COVID-19, plunging into an online world, a reckoning around racism, and national polarization. She will also highlight the promise and hope for connection and finding “home” as a deeper desire. Lastly Dr. Abernethy, will share insights that may help attendees to benefit from their Institute experience.
Dr. Alexis Abernethy is faculty at the Department of Clinical Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy, Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Abernethy’s primary research interest is the intersection between spirituality and health, and she has received grants from the following grantors: California Cancer Research Program; the National Cancer Institute; the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts; Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; and the Templeton Foundation. Her current research includes a project on the scientific study of worship and studies on the relationship between religiousness and prostate screening among African American men and cultural factors among African American men that facilitate and impede colorectal and prostate cancer screening. She has also researched religious coping and depression among spouses of people with lung cancer, as well as the subjective experience of worship within and across ethnic and denominational groups and the connection of worship to behavioral and health-related outcomes. While at the University of Rochester Medical Center, she and her colleagues developed a new eight-item scientific measure of spirituality called the Spiritual Transcendence Index (STI).
Dr. Abernethy has published articles in journals such as Health Education and Behavior; Multicultural Counseling and Development; Mental Health, Religion, and Culture; Academic Medicine; Psychosomatics; International Journal of Group Psychotherapy; Journal of Psychosocial Oncology; and the Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research. She edited the book Worship That Changes Lives: Multidisciplinary and Congregational Perspectives on Spiritual Transformation (Baker Academic, 2008). Her clinical specialties include adult individual and group psychotherapy, and she frequently serves as a research consultant to projects seeking to utilize a culturally competent approach.