Journal for Christian reflections in the context of social sciences and humanities


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Spiritual Sensitivity in Caritas Services: Why and How to Work with the Spiritual Dimension of the Life Situation of Clients
Doležel Jakub
In a society where traditional churches have lost their monopoly on def ning the conditions of human spiritual life, Caritas facility workers, as well as workers in other church-operated helping organisations, can feel bafled as to how they are to fulf l the postulate of a holis- tic approach to the life situation of their clients and patients, not confound the concepts of spirituality and religion, and make use of their professional competences framework also with respect to the spiritual dimension of the life of the service recipients. This paper presents prac- tical incentives to this end. First it legitimates the ef ort of Caritas workers to incorporate work with the spiritual dimension of their clients by means of reference to discourses conducted in practical theology, healthcare and social work. Then it presents a processual model of the preparation and practice of Caritas workers, comprising five phases: (1.) mastering the con- cepts of spirituality and religion, (2.) mastering the concept of spiritual needs, (3.) acknowl- edging and accepting own spiritual support system, (4.) mastering the concept of spiritual assessment, and (5.) mastering a spectrum of possible spiritually sensitive interventions. The individual phases of the model are interpreted and illustrated by means of reference to the sphere of healthcare and social work.

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