Recognizing Spiritual Needs in People who are Dying

Paperback | April 27, 2004

byRachel Stanworth

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Listening carefully to patients at the end of life is at the heart of good palliative care and this book provides a means of recognizing and talking about spiritual needs even when religious language is not used. The author refers to this as a 'language of spirit'. The book is based oninterviews with patients who are dying and the language that they use to describe their experiences. It deals with death, dying, the experiences of patients and the relief of spiritual pain by looking closely at patient stories, drawings and behaviour. The book explains why it is often easier to recognize than to explain spiritual issues. Part One explores the psychological, spiritual and theological interpretations of human experience. A detailed account is given of how the patients' own stories were collected. Drawing on a broad literaturewhich is grounded in patients' words and deeds, Part Two introduces a non-religious 'language of spirit'. Illuminated by patient art, Part Three shows what patients use this language to 'say' about their situation and how it is mediated through various metaphors. Part Four suggests ways ofresponding positively to patients' spiritual needs. Aimed primarily at palliative care specialists and specialist nurses, this book will also appeal to health care chaplains, pastoral support workers, theologians, social researchers, and psychotherapists. 'The numerous illustrations, given by patients comments as they tell their story, make this book a truly fascinating journey through an important area of end of life care.' Dame Cicely Saunders, OM, DBE, FRCP, Founder/President, St Christopher's Hospice, London 'The emphasis on allowing patients to speak for themselves is striking... the author has presented the topic in a sensitive and refreshing way... I think this book will be well-received and it will be an important contribution to the literature of palliative care.' Dr Odette Spruyt, Head of Painand Palliative Care Department, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, East Melbourne, Australia

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Listening carefully to patients at the end of life is at the heart of good palliative care and this book provides a means of recognizing and talking about spiritual needs even when religious language is not used. The author refers to this as a 'language of spirit'. The book is based oninterviews with patients who are dying and the lan...

Rachel Stanworth is a trained nurse and a Doctor of Pastoral Theology. This book is based on research she conducted over three years in post as Chaplaincy Researcher at St Christopher's Hospice, London. She is also a member of the management advisory committee of The Befriending Network, a charity that trains, supports and supervises...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.52 inPublished:April 27, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198525117

ISBN - 13:9780198525110

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Table of Contents

Dame Cicely Saunders: ForewordIntroductionPart One - Understanding spirituality - how far can story go?1. How stories create and disclose meaning2. Spirituality and psychology: stories with differing limits3. Stories in the 'listening': collecting data4. A story in the making: data analysis and interpretationPart Two - Spiritual concerns expressed in non-religious ways5. Features of a 'language of spirit'Part Three - Nine metaphors waiting to be recognised - how spirituality is mediated in the here and now6. Patients' sources of meaning and sense of self7. Marginality and liminality - metaphors of the edge or the way?8. Metaphors of control9. Metaphors of letting go10. Archetypal hero11. Archetypal mother12. Archetypal stranger13. Recognising life's 'surplus of meaning'Part Four - Implications for spiritual care14. Some inconclusive reflections