Soul Matters: The Spiritual Dimension Within Healthcare
In recent years, many have come to believe that Western medicine has lost contact with 'holistic' conceptions of health as encompassing physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual dimensions. 'Spiritual' may imply religious or faith-based values or experience, but also non-material factors such as an appreciation of natural beauty, art, music, moral values or beliefs from which a person draws meaning and a sense of transcendence. Equally, many people are unaware of a spiritual dimension to life and health until illness or trauma strikes. However, coming to terms with life events, deriving meaning from them and incorporating them into their life philosophy may then be experienced as a deep spiritual crisis, with ramifications in their wider health, and implications for the health professionals who treat them. This book considers the meaning of holistic health care, and explores the spiritual dimension of health through the narratives of fictional and non-fictional patients. It discusses how to discern when a patient's distress has a spiritual dimension, the implications of this for health professionals, and ways in which spiritual factors can be addressed and discussed within healthcare. 'When it comes to questions about meaning and purpose, such as what is the point of all this?A", or why is this happening to me?A", when we meet patients in the depths of despair at the prospect of imminent death, when we ourselves feel hopeless and overwhelmed in the face of an avalanche of human suffering, then we begin to struggle. We do not know what we could do, nor even what we should do. Our professional training doesn't help. We are stuck. With this beautiful book, Mabel Aghadiuno comes to our rescue.' - Christopher Dowrick in his Foreword
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