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Editorial introductions

Editor(s): Rief, Winfried; Isaac, Mohan

Current Opinion in Psychiatry: September 2014 - Volume 27 - Issue 5 - p v-vi
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000094
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Current Opinion in Psychiatry was launched in 1988. It is one of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The field of psychiatry is divided into 13 sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Journal's Section Editors for this issue.


Winfried Rief

Winfried Rief

Winfried Rief, Ph.D., is currently chair of the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, head of the Outpatient Clinic of Psychotherapy at the Philipps University, and head of the Postgraduate Ph.D.-Program for Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, Marburg, Germany. After completing his training in psychology at the University of Trier (Germany) he passed his postgraduate training and Ph.D. program at the University of Konstanz, the Psychiatric Hospital Reichenau, and the Psychiatric Hospital Rottenmünster (Rottweil, Germany). Afterwards, he was head of the Psychology Department of the Psychosomatic Hospital Roseneck, Prien am Chiemsee, Germany. From 1991 to 2000, he was lecturer at the University of Salzburg, Austria. He is a licensed psychotherapist (cognitive behavior therapy) and supervisor. In 2001, Dr Rief moved to the University of Marburg.

Dr Rief has contributed significantly to the field of medically unexplained symptoms. He published more than 250 articles, book chapters and books on aspects of classification of somatoform disorders, psychobiological and psychological features of medically unexplained syndromes, training of general practitioners, how to manage this patient group, and cognitive behavioral intervention trials. Just recently he also published in the field of placebo research and side effect ascertainment strategies in clinical trials. His studies were supported by the German Research Foundation DFG as well as the German Ministry of Education and Research BMBF. In 1997, Dr Rief chaired the first international symposium on somatoform disorders under the auspices of the World Health Organization and the World Psychiatric Association. This meeting was repeated in 2002 in Marburg, again chaired by Prof. Rief.

Dr Rief was invited guest professor at Harvard Medical School/Harvard University in Boston, USA from September 2004 to January 2005. He was also visiting professor of the Medical School of the University of Auckland, New Zealand from September to October 2002 and at UCSD San Diego, USA from September 2009 until January 2010. He received the award of excellent scientific contribution from the Biofeedback Foundation of Europe (Winterthur 2004). Dr Rief has also been active as a member of the editorial board or reviewer of more than 30 scientific journals. He was head of the German Society of Behavioral Medicine from 2001 to 2005.

In 2006, he was nominated as invited expert for the conference on “somatic presentations of mental disorders” under the auspices of the American Psychiatric Association APA, the National Institute of Health NIH, and the World Health Organization. He is also IASP representative for the revision of pain diagnoses in ICD-11.

Mohan Isaac

Mohan Isaac

Mohan Isaac, M.B.B.S., D.P.M., M.D., F.R.C.Psych., is currently Professor of Psychiatry and Population Mental Health at the School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, The University of Western Australia, Perth and Consultant Psychiatrist, Fremantle Hospital and Health Services, Fremantle, Australia.

After completing his medical training at the Bangalore Medical College, Bangalore, India, Dr Isaac obtained postgraduate training and qualifications in psychiatry (Diploma in Psychological Medicine and Doctorate in Medicine –Psychiatry) from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore. He joined the teaching faculty of NIMHANS in 1979 as a lecturer and subsequently worked there for twenty five years in various capacities till March, 2005. He chaired the Department of Psychiatry at NIMHANS from 1997 to 2001. Dr Isaac has contributed significantly to the development and implementation of the ‘National Mental Health Programme’ in India.

Dr Isaac has assisted the World Health Organization (WHO) as a temporary adviser on numerous occasions in different parts of the world, and has worked as WHO consultant in Afghanistan. He has also worked in the capacity of “medical officer” with WHO's Division of Mental Health in Geneva, from 1993 to 1995. Dr Isaac assists numerous international organizations on matters related to mental health and has assisted the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) as a consultant, based in Jordan. Dr Isaac's most recent Consultancy assignment is with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila, on a project on ‘Psychosocial Health of Conflict Affected Populations in Sri Lanka’.

Dr Isaac holds a number of positions with various non-governmental organizations. Currently, he is the President of the Medico-Pastoral Association ( in Bangalore and the “Society for Community Health Awareness, Research and Action” (, India. He has held various positions with the Indian Psychiatric Society. He has more than 135 publications on Community Mental Health in developing countries and other related topics.

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