This book is a thoughtful, informative, and practical guide for anyone involved in caring for the seriously and chronically ill or dying. The connection between spirituality and medicine has been receiving a lot of attention in both the scientific and lay presses recently, but research and anecdotal evidence all indicate that spirituality is central to the care of the chronically ill and dying. It is therefore critical that healthcare providers who interact with seriously ill patients know how to address their spiritual needs. This book presents current thinking on how spiritual care can be integrated into traditional caregiving. Part one discusses aspects of spirituality, such as presence, ethics, and relationships. Part two delves into a number of specific religious and theological traditions. Part three offers practical applications and tools, including storytelling, psychotherapy, dance, music, and the arts. Part four focuses on patients' stories and reflections. The book concludes with appendices that have sample advance directives for Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim patients.
Volume editor Christina Puchalski is the director of the George Washington Institute of Spirituality and Health. She is also an associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center and an active practicing physician and medical educator. Dr. Puchalski is nationally and internationally recognised as a pioneer in the integration of spirituality and healthcare. Chapters are authored by an impressive group of medical and religious experts, and patients' stories also appear throughout, offering real-world examples. The book features a foreword by the Dalai Lama.