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Spiritual Needs And Occupational Therapy Essay

1193 words - 5 pages

The importance of considering an individual's spirituality and the confusion over definition have been emphasised by the interest shown in this subject over the past decade. A working definition to help to reduce confusion was presented at the College of Occupational Therapists' annual conference in 2004 and it was felt that it would be useful both to review the attitudes and practices of occupational therapists in this area and to evaluate how they assess and meet spiritual needs. It appeared that practical spiritual needs were often thought of only in terms of religious and cultural traditions or rituals and, as a result, the potential of everyday meaningful occupations was not considered fully. Therefore, the use of occupation was reviewed in relation to meeting spiritual needs. Finally, the perceived barriers to incorporating spirituality into practice were investigated. The review showed that: (1) Although a majority of participants recognise the importance of spirituality to health and illness and the potential benefits to treatment, the number of therapists actually incorporating spiritual needs into daily practice does not demonstrate this recognition; (2) Some occupational therapists feel confident about addressing and assessing spiritual concerns explicitly, but this tends to be situation based and dependent on factors such as client-therapist relationship, therapist awareness of spiritual issues and the expression of spiritual need by the client; (3) Further exploration of the potential of everyday occupations that address the spiritual needs of both religious and non-religious clients needs to be undertaken; and (4) Spirituality needs to be addressed more fully in undergraduate occupational therapy programmes (Johnston & Mayers, 2005).
Occupational therapists are trained to include reflection with in their professional practice. The inclusion of spirituality into occupational therapy has the potential to bring the personal dimension of a therapist's spiritual faith or belief into clinical practice. This opinion piece highlights the connection between spirituality and the shadow and identifies the need for reflection on this dynamic relationship. The shadow is discussed in relation to the need for increased awareness and the development of safe parameters when considering the inclusion of spirituality and the therapeutic use of self in clinical practice (Collins, 2007).
In a study done by Donica (2008) it was defined and illustrated how to apply psycho spiritual integration clinically in occupational therapy practice. An independent single qualitative case study design was used in order to identify problems and occupational concerns of an individual aging after suffering from a stroke. A psycho spiritual integration frame of reference was a template for data collection. This framework is defined and applied to the participant’s life following the stroke. Therapists must have a thorough understanding of spirituality and how to...

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