ISSP - International Society for Sports Psychiatry

About ISSP

The ISSP (International Society for Sports Psychiatry) was founded in 1994 to advance the specialty of Sports Psychiatry.  Membership is open internationally to psychiatrists and other clinicians interested in the field.

Some important benefits of membership are inclusion in our referral network, opportunity to communicate and collaborate directly with Sports Psychiatrists, and access to our quarterly newsletter containing original content and select journal articles. 

 Contact us, Media Inquiries


Annual ISSP Scientific Session Program Announced

By David Conant-Norville on May 13th

This year’s annual ISSP Scientific Session will be this Sunday, May 15, 2016, from 1:00-4:00 pm at the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center/ Room: Dogwood B, M1, North Tower. The session’s agenda was recently announced. It looks to be an interesting discussion.

The program is:

Drug Abuse in the Athlete                              Sean Credo MD

Neurobehavioral Sequelae of Concussion           Silvana Riggio MD

Competition rules for the Transgender Athlete     David Conant-Norville MD

Changing Culture in Sports                              Ira Glick MD

Follow up of Athlete with Mood Disorder: Cases Report    Antonia Baum MD

If there is time we may have a recap of the annual Sports Psychiatry Symposium (Event: 4055 - The Athlete: Homosexuality and Transgenderism, presented Sunday May 15, 8:00 am to 11:00 am in the Georgia World Congress Center - Building B - Level 3, Room B308.)

Please mark your calendars if you are attending the APA meeting in Atlanta this year. The annual ISSP Members Meeting will immediately follow the Scientific Session.

ISSP Symposium- The Athlete: Homosexuality and Transexualism

By David Conant-Norville on February 25th

Once again, the ISSP will be presenting a symposium at the APA Annual Meeting in Atlanta. This years topic, The Athlete:Homosexuality and Transexualism,  is very timely and we hope will be interesting to all APA attendees, but especially ISSP members. The Symposium (#4055) will be presented on Sunday May 15, 2016, from 8:00 AM to 11:00 am. You can find the symposium in Building B of the Georgia World Congress Center; Level 3 Room B308.

Abstract: Athletes have long been stereotyped along gender lines: the ultra masculine, Neanderthal proportioned football player, the androgynous femail distance runner or mail gymnast, the ultra femininine synchronized swimmer or the effeminate male ice dancer.  Is gender a state of mind, body, genetics, hormones, politics?  The transgender athlete faces stigma of a new order in the athletic arena.  There are many challenges in striving for the level playoing field, but the concept of altered gender crosses one of the most clearly demarcated lines in the sporting world.  Ibe if tge confounds is the addition of hormonal treatments, and the ensuing, unquantifiable changes to the individual's performance.  What happens when a surgically or hormonally altered man or woman enters the realm of athletic competition, particularly in "combat" sports?  These issures will be discussed both from a historical perspective and through the lens of the contemprary climate, accompanied by a focus on the stressors felt by the athlete, what a sports psychiatrist might anticipate in working with such patients, ad suggested ways of handling these situations.

Antonia Baum M.D.
 and Daniel Begel M.D.

The symposisium is chaired by Antonia Baum M.D. (current ISSP president).  Others presenters will be Daniel Begel M.D. (ISSP founder) and Paul McHugh M.D.  Discussant will be David Conant-Norville M.D. 

We hope to involve the audience in a lively and hopefully interesting discussion.

Please note that this is the morning ISSP activity and the afternoon ISSP activity is the Annual ISSP Scientific Session, followed by out annual ISSP Members Business Meeting.

Annual ISSP Symposium and Scientific Session/Annual Members' Meeting Scheduled at APA meeting in Atlanta

By David Conant-Norville on February 8th

Announcing the International Society for Sports Psychiatry activities during the American Psychiatric Association Annual meeting May 13-18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. Both ISSP events will be on Sunday May 15, 2016 and will start with an ISSP Symposium chaired by ISSP President, Antonia Baum MD. This year’s symposium is Event:4055 - The Athlete: Homosexuality and Transgenderism, from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. The location will be the Georgia World Congress Center - Building B - Level 3, Room B308.

The afternoon event on Sunday, May 15 from 1:00-4:00 pm will be the ISSP Scientific Session followed by our Annual Members' Business Meeting. The location of this meeting will be the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center/ Room: Dogwood B, M1, North Tower.

The Symposium is free to all registered for the APA Annual Meeting. The Scientific Session is free to all members; you need not be registered for the APA meeting to attend the ISSP meeting.

The ISSP board of directors invites all members to present a 10-20 minute scientific talk on sports psychiatry at the Scientific Session. If you would like to present a talk to the group, please send a brief abstract of your presentation topic and content summary to Scientific Session chair, Ira Glick M.D. by e-mail at

We look forward to seeing you at the Symposium and Scientific Session/ Annual Members' Meeting.

Achievement by Proxy Distortion in Youth Sports featured on NPR

By David Conant-Norville on January 6th

Anders Kelto, a reporter for NPR and former collegiate soccer player, presents a 6 minute piece for NPR Morning Edition of September 4, 2015 entitled "How Likely Is It, Really, That Your Athletic Kid Will Turn Pro?."  You can read or listen to this story.  Just click on the link below:

Meet an ISSP Sport Psychiatrist: Carla Edwards MD FRCPC

By David Conant-Norville on January 6th

Dr. Edwards joined the David Braley Sport Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada) in 2012. She completed her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Chemistry at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, where she also competed for five years on their varsity volleyball team in the Atlantic University conference.  She was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sport Hall of Fame in 2015. She obtained her medical degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland before completing a psychiatry residency at McMaster University. She has been an Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at McMaster University since 2005.
At McMaster, Dr. Edwards provides consultation and support for elite athletes and performing artists, with focus on diagnosis and treatment recommendations pertaining to struggles with mental illness, as well as performance enhancement strategies. Special consideration is given to elements specific to the sport or performance art in interpretation of challenges as well as to the development of the treatment approaches. Services are extended to McMaster students, community individuals, as well as varsity athletes from other postsecondary institutions.

Click link to read the latest article featuring Dr Edwards

Dr. Begel's Seminal Article started Sport Psychiatry in 1992

By David Conant-Norville on January 6th

A small group of psychiatric pioneers in the early 1990s gathered to discuss a common interest in understanding more about the role of psychiatry in the world of sport.  This was the genesis of the International Society of Sport Psychiatry.  Now, 24 years after ISSP's first president Daniel Begel M.D., wrote his seminal article for the Journal of the American Psychiatric Association in 1992, we have linked his his article that launched ISSP for you to review. 

The ISSP board of directors recommends that all international sport psychiatrists read and contemplate the wisdon of Dr Begel. His comments continue to be relevant for our field as we work to understand the unique psychiatric challenges for the athlete.  

Click on this link in blue to read about the beginning thoughts of sport psychiatry:
Begel Overview of Sport Psychiatry_May1992.pdf

We hope that you are able to join the ISSP annual meeting at the annual APA meeting this May 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. Watch for more informatiion on this website as it becomes available.

ProjectPlay report highlights challenges and solutions to improve Youth Sports

By David Conant-Norville on May 11th, 2015

The Aspen Institute for Sports and Society Program under the leadership of Tom Farrey, in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine and many other sports, civic, governmental, and professional organizations (including the International Society for Sports Psychiatry) have taken on the task of reviewing the state of youth sports in America with the goal of re-inventing and improving the youth sports experience for all.  After a series of roundtable discussions and review of the literature, the organization issued their report
Sport for All, Play for Life: A Playbook to Get Every Kid in the Game (click link to view the report).  I recommend that all sports psychiatrists and all civic-minded individuals interested in healthy youth development review this document.  The document was presented in Washington DC to an audience of over 350 persons with a stake in improving youth sports.  Attached is a link that will take you to the event page for the summit.  In addition to reviewing the report and supporting data, the website has video links of all of the events that occurred that day. on the site and enjoy the panel discussions, presentations, and the graphic highlights done by graphic artists in real time as the panels were ongoing. 

This project is ongoing.  The next step is organizing groups to make a commitment to develop a project that improves youth sports.  What ideas do sports psychiatrists have?  Should the ISSP take the challenge and create an initiative?  Send in your ideas.  We will post your thoughts and begin this discussion within our community and with other professional and sport groups. Let’s come together and create an initiate for kids that will matter.

Dave Conant-Norville MD

ISSP representative to the Project Play Summit

CHEATING: ISSP Symposium topic for the 2015 APA meeting in Toronto

By David Conant-Norville on February 23rd, 2015

This year’s Sports Psychiatry symposium at the APA/CPA joint annual meeting in Toronto is entitled: Cheating, personality disorders and sports psychiatry. The presentation will be at the Toronto Convention Center South, level 700, Room 701B. , Wednesday, May 20 from 2 PM to 5 PM.


This symposium will discuss cheating in sports, from the ancient Olympics to contemporary times. The psychology of winning at any cost to gain fame, Extreme financial incentives, and success, leads athletes to cheat by using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).  Many athletes feel the pressure to cheat to be highly competitive. An athlete may suffer from a personality disorder with narcissism or antisocial traits and be more prone to cheat with PED's. The psychiatrist who is sensitive to individual and team dynamics can recognize, diagnose and treat these issues

Cheating impacts the integrity and ethics in sports and undermines the value of fair play. Recent events in major-league baseball, football cycling and track and field highlight the issue of cheating with performance-enhancing drugs as well as the increasingly sophisticated efforts to enforce the rules.


Five sports psychiatrists, all board members of the International Society for Sports Psychiatry will discuss the role of treatment and prevention at all competitive levels. A historical perspective of cheating in sports will be cited including other forms of cheating the impact of cheating on the athlete, fan, and society will be addressed. The discussants will clarify the role of a psychiatrist to address these challenges for the individual athlete, the team or sporting organization and for society at large, as sports culture often mirrors the larger societal culture.


Presenters include Thomas Newmark MD, Eric Morse MD, Dan Begel MD, Ira Glick MD, and Ian Tofler MD. 

Presentations will include:

  • Psychodynamic diagnoses and treatment of athletes with personality disorders who cheat
  •   Can we treat the cheat?
  •   Psychology of infamous sports scandals in history  
  • Cheating, personality issues, and the role of the sports psychiatrist on the college level
  • Bullying in the NFL

2015 Annual ISSP Scientific Session and Members' Meeting time and place now set

By David Conant-Norville on February 15th, 2015

The 2015 Annual ISSP Scientific Session and Members' Meeting will be on Sunday May 17, from 9:00 am to noon at the InterContinental Toronto Center at 225 Front Street West, Toronto, in the Kingsway Room. We invite all ISSP members and interested persons to this event.

Members are invited make a 15 minute scientific presentation to the ISSP membership.  If interested please contact Ira Glick MD, scientific session chair, and submit a brief abstract of your talk. Dr. Glick can be reached at iraglick

We hope you schedule time to attend this one event of the year for all ISSP sports psychiatrist to meet in person.

IOC Consensus Statement on Training the Elite Child Athlete

By David Conant-Norville on October 23rd, 2014

The International Olympic Committee has issued recommendations for training the elete child athletein there resent concensus statement, supported by scientific data and with discussions of special issues, including psychological training challenges that are unique to children training as elite performers.  All sports psychiatrists why treat the child athlete should be familiar with this brief and straight forward document.

To read the complete concensus statement clinc on the link below:

IOC Consensus Statement on Training the Elite Child Athlete.pdf


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International Society for Sports Psychiatry

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