Spirituality and religion are fundamental to all human cultures. Yet in the helping professions, whose shared objective is to promote human well being, questions of spirituality have often been avoided.
Now we are increasingly realising that scientific materialism and individuality have failed to meet enduring human needs for meaning and connection. Evidence mounts for the importance of spirituality for prevention and intervention in times of crisis, distress and illness. Many professionals find themselves ill-prepared to respond to the spiritual needs of their clients, and to negotiate encounters with people from unfamiliar faith traditions.
Spirited Practices shows how it is possible for professionals to think critically, and be open to spirituality at the same time. Professionals and teachers from diverse faiths and fields of work, including social work, health, psychology and ministry explain how they have integrated spirituality into their work.
Spirited Practices is inspiring reading for anyone in the helping professions seeking to develop a spiritually aware practice.
'It invites us to look honestly at ourselves and our own practices through learning about those from other professional and faith backgrounds.'
Richard Hugman, Professor of Social Work, University of NSW
'A much needed forum for practitioners from diverse professional and spiritual backgrounds to address the challenges and rewards of spiritually-sensitive practice.'
Leola Dyrud Furman, Associate Professor Emeritus of Social Work, University of North Dakota
Table of Contents
Introduction: Spiritually sensitive helping practices - Fran Gale
1 Disconnection - Veronica Brady
2 Helping practices within a strongly defined faith tradition - Weis Schuiringa
3 Spirituality and displaced persons - Lyn Bender
4 Guilt - Dorothy McRae-McMahon
5 Healing in Hinduism - Shanti Raman
6 Aboriginal healing Dreaming and Western medicine - Esme Holmes and Hilary Byrne Armstrong
7 Illness - Joseph Daniel Toltz
8 Mental health and young people - Michael Dudley with acknowledgments to Dorothy McRae-McMahon
9 Loss and death in Islam - Nooria Mehraby
10 Working with children - Margaret Crompton
11 Buddhism, mental illness and loss - Giles Barton
12 Working against domestic violence - Karen Wilcox
13 Violence - Darri Adamson
14 Islamic faith based counselling - Hanan Dover
15 A hidden dimension of indigenous health - Yvonne Orley
16 Social work group practice - Diana Coholi
Fran Gale is Senior Research Fellow in the Social Justice Social Change Research Centre and lecturer at the University of Western Sydney. Natalie Bolzan is Associate Professor in Social Work at the University of Western Sydney. Dorothy McRae-McMahon has worked as National Director for Mission for the Uniting Church, as a staff member of the NSW Ecumenical Council and as a Parish Minister with the Pitt Street Uniting Church.