Dubrovnik, September 8-11, 2022


Dear colleagues,


We warmly welcome you and invite you to participate in the jubilee 10th Croatian Congress on Clinical Psychopharmacology, which will be held in Dubrovnik from 8 to 11 September 2022, organized by the Croatian Society for Psychopharmacotherapy and Biological Psychiatry, the Croatian Academy of Medical Sciences and the Croatian Institute for Research and Education in Mental Health. The congress is dedicated to the culture of empathy and new possibilities of increasing therapeutic efficiency in psychiatry.  Along with our national congress, the 1st Chinese-Croatian Conference on Psychiatry and Psychology will be held on the topic "Global Mental Health, Applied Psychology and Psychiatry: Emerging Challenges of the 21st Century".

 A greater number of new antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, anxiolytics and hypnotics, as well as new psychotherapeutic techniques and methods, and paradigms of building a therapeutic doctor-patient relationship, have significantly contributed to therapeutic optimism and growing expectations in the treatment of mental disorders. As it usually happens, after great expectations come great disappointments, in such a manner that modern psychopharmacotherapy is still the subject of many, both unfounded criticisms and challenges, as well as justified ones, such as, for example, the neglect of the culture of empathy, both in scientific research and in clinical practice.

Empathy is an invisible force that connects people, which is extremely important for individual and collective mental health, for cooperation, therapeutic communication and the success of treatment. Human beings are biologically programmed in a way that they need attachment and connection, respect, understanding, compassion and support. Empathy in interpersonal relationships in general, and especially in the doctor-patient relationship, is not something ready-made, but the good news is that it can be developed and shaped through the art and practice of a learning organization. It begins as a transforming idea or principle which human being must somehow develop and live up to in their behavior and communication. Empathy associated with mirror neurons and neuroplasticity of the brain has its cognitive, emotional, behavioral and narrative dimensions, so that we can talk about cognitive empathy, emotional empathy and behavioral empathy. Cognitive empathy is the ability to recognize and understand how and what other people think and feel, that is, to see a problem from their perspective. Emotional empathy is the ability to feel what and how other people are feeling. Behavioral empathy refers to the desire and willingness to help other people deal with their problems and emotions. Trust is established when people understand, empathize, wish and try to help each other. Empathy is an essential determinant of moral behavior and a cornerstone in creating the therapeutic and ethical relationship between doctor and patient.  

At the congress, distinguished psychiatrists and neuroscientists from our country and the region will present the latest knowledge about the culture of empathy, the current state and new possibilities in the treatment of mental disorders. The congress will be a unique opportunity to enjoy professional communication at a high level and to exchange your ideas and experiences on important topics and challenges, along with enriching your knowledge and therapeutic skills. The organizing committee wishes you a warm welcome and promises an educational and very valuable professional experience.


On behalf of the Organizing Committee

Professor Miro Jakovljević, MD, PhD