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Spiritual Interventions In Bereavement Support Provides growth and new life.

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Presentation on theme: "Spiritual Interventions In Bereavement Support Provides growth and new life."— Presentation transcript:

1 Spiritual Interventions In Bereavement Support Provides growth and new life

2 Grief The majority of people find their own way through their loss without the help of professional counsellors Some people will suffer serious physical and mental health issues if not provided with professional support (Parkes, 2001) Working through grief can provide opportunities for personal growth and strengthened religious beliefs (Calhoun & Tedeschi, 1990)

3 Attachment & Separation The genesis of grief lies in the inevitability of both attachment and separation for the sustenance and development of human life (Mitchell & Anderson, 1983) The despair that emerges in the grief process stems from the knowledge that the relationship is not able to be restored (Weiss, 2001)

4 Case Study Ji Ji’s husband diagnosed with cancer 2004 at the age of 53 4 year period of surgery & chemotherapy Ji Ji was the primary carer Husband died in hospital 2008 2 visits to provide supportive care to Ji Ji in her home

5 Spiritual History Ji Ji was a lapsed Catholic with no connection to the institutional church She had no hope or certainty that her husband would have a resurrected life and be at peace with God The death of her husband challenged her strongly held belief that they would grow old together and this took away her “innocence”

6 Assessment of Spiritual Needs Ji Ji’s spiritual & religious beliefs were reactivated early in the bereavement phase Very spiritual person who found God present in nature and in sacred places Needed support in her quest for meaning Spiritual journey of great importance

7 Formal Support Systems Formal grief counselling provided for a short period of time Regular support from GP providing medication for anxiety Further counselling for extended period of time Recommendation & referral to a Psychiatrist

8 Informal Support Systems 8 week closed bereavement support group Followed by a monthly open support group Ongoing support from a bereavement volunteer Individual supportive care comprising a spiritual component

9 Interventions Spiritual conversations Holding cross given to Ji Ji Anointing with oil Prayer Sacraments Spiritual resources Provision of safe space

10 Spirituality and religious coping Brokenness and togetherness are both part of the human condition Togetherness helps us to feel and believe that we belong The model of companioning goes beyond the medical model of bereavement treatment and can promote meaning-making (Wolfelt, 1998) Spiritual care is about being present so as to allow spiritual questions to be addressed and healing to take place (Harrington, 1995)

11 Infinite Respect


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