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Health care professionals, clergy, chaplains, social workers, and others who counsel people in medical crisis often find themselves faced with deeply painful questions: Why is this happening to me? Am I dying? Why should I live? I'm just a burden to others.
Here is a workbook that suggests healing verbal responses to such expressions of spiritual pain. The accompanying DVD helps reinforce the lessons and exercises that integrate psychology, psychiatry, pastoral counseling, nursing, chaplaincy, and spiritual direction for whole person care.
The author, an internationally recognized expert in spiritual caregiving, points out that wanting to help is one motivation for learning these skills, but there are also evidence-based reasons: helping patients express their innermost feelings promotes spiritual healing; spiritual health is related to physical and emotional health; spiritual coping helps patients accept and deal with their illness; and patients tend to want their health care professionals to know about their spirituality.
Lessons, tips, and exercises teach how to listen effectively, with guidelines for detecting and understanding the spiritual needs embedded in patients' conversations. Suggestions are provided for verbal responses to patients who express spiritual distress, including tips for building rapport, using self-disclosure, and praying with patients. A FAQ section deals with frequently asked questions and miscellaneous information, such as:
Posted August 23, 2009
I ordered the book with DVD for myself and several for students who desired to learn to have meaning-based conversations with hospitalized persons. The book would be helpful for anyone who wants to learn how to have any kind of serious conversation in the broad area of meaning or personal spirituality. The method applies to individuals who profess no faith as well as helpful in an inter-faith or cross-faith situation.
The method focuses on helpful listening skills and ways in which to quickly and respectfully help others "come to the point" - a real skill for busy health professionals. Helps medical, nursing and tech students with making a rapid psycho-social-spiritual assessment. Helpful in pinpointing spiritual distress. I think it would be a great resource for facilities attempting to comply or correct spiritual assessment issues with the Joint Commission.
In the lay visitation arena, the book helps with helping the conversation move from the superficial social visit to helping the individual reflect and explore spiritual or religious issues.
Easy to read; suggests various exercises to deepen the learning. The DVD is helpful in terms of presenting vignettes for group discussion. The DVD does not substitute for the book's content.
I have been collecting this type of book for over thirty years and this is the first one I have seen that does not have a religious bias, making it helpful for any professional or student who cares for others in a pluralistic setting, as well as applicable for faith-group leaders who make hospital visits with the intention of having conversations about spirituality.
Very practical, easily adaptable. Very patient-centered.