Current Year

Dear Nevola friends:

I’m delighted to give you an update on the 2017 Nevola Symposium on Spirituality and Health, which will be held Tuesday, June 13, again at Colby College in Waterville.

Our theme and focus this year is Pathways to Joy.

“Joy” is a common-language word that most of us use to describe transitory emotional states.  But is it possible that joy may take on qualities of a trait, and become an enduring and persistent part of people’s lives?  If this is possible, it has profoundly important implications for those of us who are in healing professions, for all of our efforts at caring about other people, and for our own personal resilience and well-being.

Some of the questions that we will explore are:

  • What is Joy? 
  • How is it different from happiness? 
  • How does it arise, and how may we invite or encourage joy in ourselves and in other people?
  • What do we know about the science of joy? 
  • What are the spiritual underpinnings of joy? 
  • Can we experience joy in the midst of challenging times and suffering? 
  • Can we experience joy when we see other people suffering?

Our keynote presenter will be Lisa Miller, PhD.  Dr. Miller is a professor of psychology and education in the clinical psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University with a joint appointment at Columbia Medical School.  She is the founder of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute, a graduate training program in a foundational spiritual psychology.  SMBI draws on psychology, global spiritual traditions and science towards preparing students for spiritually guided service, healing, teaching and activism.  She is also a faculty member at the program in Theology of Joy and the Good Life at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.

Dr. Miller is the co-editor-in-chief and co-founder of the APA journal, Spirituality in Clinical Practice and the editor of the Oxford University Press Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality.  She also has a particular interest in developmental approaches to well-being, as reflected in her 2016 book, The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving.  

We are pretty much set on nine exciting breakout sessions that will explore different aspects of the theme of Joy.  I’ll post an update on these details around the beginning of March.  Brochures and registration will be available toward the end of April.

For now, mark your calendars and we’ll hope to see you there.

Best regards,


Frederic C. Craigie, Jr., PhD
Psychologist/Consulting Faculty, Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency
Visiting Associate Professor, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine
Associate Professor of Community and Family Medicine, Giesel School of Medicine at Dartmouth