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Faculty Directory

James Griffith James Griffith
Leon Yochelson Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine (Secondary)

Office Phone: 202-741-2879
Email: Email
Department: Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


  • BS, Mississippi College, 1972
  • MD, University of Mississippi, 1976
  • MS, University of Mississippi, 1979


James L. Griffith, MD, MS is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the department. He served as the Leon M. Yochelson Professor and Chair at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences from 2011 to 2021. As a psychiatric educator, Dr. Griffith developed a psychiatry residency program at George Washington University that has been distinguished for its curriculum in cross-cultural psychiatry, global mental health, mental health policy, and psychosocial care for medically-ill patients.  In his clinical research, Dr. Griffith has published extensively on family-centered treatment of psychosomatic disorders and chronic medical illnesses, including a book, The Body Speaks: Therapeutic Dialogues for Mind-Body Problems. A second book, Encountering the Sacred in Psychotherapy, articulated methods for engaging the spiritual and religious resources that people bring to clinical settings. His most recent book, Religion that Heals, Religion that Harms, addressed destructive uses of religion and ideology in clinical settings and received the 2011 Creative Scholarship Award from the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture.

Currently, Dr. Griffith provides psychiatric treatment for immigrants, refugees, and survivors of political torture at Northern Virginia Family Services in Falls Church, VA. He has received the Human Rights Community Award from the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area and the Margaret B. and Cyril A. Schulman Distinguished Service Award from the George Washington University Medical Center, both for the training of mental health professionals and development of mental health services for survivors of political torture in the Washington metropolitan area. As an educator, he has received the Distinguished Teacher Award from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He has been selected by the Washington Psychiatric Society as its 2003 Psychiatrist of the Year and for its 2014 Distinguished Service Award.  Most recently, he was selected by Washingtonian Magazine as a 2014 “Top Doctor in Washington.”

Learn more about Dr. Griffith.

Industry Relationships and Collaborations

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the health care related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.

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