Addressing existential questions in health care

Kurs og kompetanseutvikling for helsepersonell , 21.10.2018-23.10.2018 , Religionspsykologisk senter

Nordic conference in psychology og religion.

We are happy to invite you to the 11th Nordic Conference in Psychology of Religion. The theme of the conference is Addressing existential questions in health care.

Questions and issues related to the existential domain are often central for patients struggling with mental and physical health problems. Clinicians in different parts of the health care system experience the importance of this domain for how patients understand and handle their life situation. Still, the knowledge concerning how to address existential questions and assist patients in this area has proven to be quite limited.

The focus at this conference is to clarify the concept of existential questions, to provide some experiences in small groups on the topic, and to learn some techniques to work with these issues. Five existential issues will be highlighted: death and loss, loneliness, suffering, meaning, and responsibility. The conference is highly relevant for clinicians, researchers, and professionals working with pastoral care.

The main speaker is Sebastian Murken from Germany. He has extensive experience in teaching on existential questions in psychotherapy. Gry Stålsett will focus on the relation between awareness of existential questions and emotions. In addition there will be group- and plenary discussions and research contributions. As always, there will be time for good talks with old and new colleagues.

Honne Hotel and Conference Center is situated on the hillside above Biri. The view is great, overlooking the lake Mjøsa and the surrounding countryside. There are hiking opportunities to even better viewpoints.


Sebastian Murken teaches extensively on various topics in the field of psychotherapy of religion and regarding existential questions in psychotherapy. Murken has done extensive research in psychology of religion ( His background is both in psychology and science of religion (Religionswissenschaft). He is also a clinical psychologist, licensed psychotherapist, and group analyst in private practice. Murken is an honorary professor in the psychology of religion at the University of Marburg.

Gry Stålsett is a clinical psychologist and consultant at Kildehuset, Modum Bad, and associate professor at MF Norwegian School of Theology where she teaches in the field of psychology of religion. She was central in developing the VITA treatment model at Modum Bad, a model anchored in an existential psychodynamic approach. Stålsett holds highly expertise on existential and emotional interventions related to crisis and trauma. Her research field is especially in clinical psychology of religion.

Hans Stifoss-Hanssen is a professor at VID Spezialized University in Oslo. His research areas is in pastoral care and psychology of religion.

Christina Lloyd is a licensed psychotherapist with a PhD in clinical psychology of religion, working at Stockholm’s City Mission’s Therapy Center/Young Health.

Peter LaCour is a clinical psychologist and leader of the Knowledgecenter for functional diseases in Copenhagen. His research areas is mainly in psychology of religion.

Hilde Hanevik is a psychiatrist with a PhD in clinical psychology of religion, working at Jæren outpatient clinic (DPS) in Norway.

Lars Danbolt is a professor at MF Norwegian School of Theology and leader of the Center for psychology of religion in Innlandet Hospital Trust. His research areas is in pastoral care and
psychology of religion.

Sigrid Helene Kjørven Haug is a psychiatric nurse with a PhD in clinical psychology of religion, working at Center for psychology of religion in Innlandet Hospital Trust and Hedmark Univeristy College of Applied Sciences.


Sunday 21 October
19.00 Dinner - Social evening

Monday 22 October
09.00 Registration and coffee

10.00 Opening, Lars Danbolt

10.15 What do we mean by existential questions [EQ]?
Sebastian Murken

11.15 Small group discussion along a guideline on the topic,
Sebastian Murken

12.15 Lunch

13.30 Awareness of EQ and emotions,
Gry Stålsett

14.30 The big 5 EQ
1) Death and loss
2) Loneliness
3) Suffering
4) Meaning
5) Responsibility
Sebastian Murken
Discussion with plenum on both talks

16.00 Parallel sessions with presentation of relevant research

19.00 Dinner

Tuesday 23 October
09.00 Short plenum meeting Parallel workshops to the 5 EQ
Moderators: Christina Lloyd, Peter la Cour, Hilde Hanevik, Hans Stifoss-Hanssen and Sigrid Helene Kjørven Haug

11.00 Bringing workshop results to the plenum
Moderators: Sebastian Murken and Gry Stålsett

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Putting knowledge into praxis:
Skilful means to address clients’ EQ
Sebastian Murken

14.45 Closing
Lars Danbolt


Relevant research will be presented in parallel sessions (15 minutes). We hope you will present your project. An abstract of maximum 200 words can be sent to Sigrid Helene Kjørven Haug at before 12 September 2018. A committee will evaluate the abstracts.

Participation fee

Conference fee 2950 NOK/Students 1950 NOK
For one day 1750 NOK/Students 1200 NOK


Registration deadline October 10th. 2018
If canceling after 17 September the full amount will be charged.
For updates and information, please visit

OBS! Påmelding for deg som ha faktura og for ansatte i Sykehuset Innlandet bruker lenken nedenfor

Påmeldingslenke med faktura


The payment is settled with the hotel at the time of departure.

Sunday evening – Tuesday
1770 NOK per person in single bedroom
1470 per person in double bedroom

Monday – Tuesday
885 NOK per person in single bedroom
735 per person in double bedroom


The course has been certified as elective course for doctors, psychologists, nurses, occupational therapists and pastors (12 hours). See updated information:

Conference comittee

Gry Stålsett, Hans Stifoss-Hanssen, Lars Danbolt, Ingvild Engh Vattø, Tor-Arne Isene, Torgeir Sørensen, Valerie DeMarinis and Sigrid Helene Kjørven Haug.

Når og hvor

Honne Hotell & Konferansesenter
Honnevegen 60, 2836 Biri
Religionspsykologisk senter
Center for Psychology of Religion 
Sigrid Helene Kjørven Haug
Mer informasjon  

Center for Psychology of Religion

Center for Psychology of Religion (RPS) at Innlandet Hospital Trust in Hamar was established in 2008. The center conducts research on exi-
stential and cultural issues related to health and treatment. We are pleased that the conference has become a gathering place for professionals, researchers, and students with different academic backgrounds, sharing a common interest in psychology of religion

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