Spirituality and social work, a group intervention

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Rocke, Catherine Ruth
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Spirituality is gaining increasing public attention and interest. The profession of social work is also beginning to acknowledge the spiritual dimension of clients. This practicum report is an attempt to integrate spirituality with social work practise. To begin, a review of the psychological, nursing and social work literature on the understanding of spirituality was completed. The Hatcher (1982) and Danesh (1994) paradigm of spirituality was introduced as a framework for addressing the spiritual dimension with clients. This paradigm includes an understanding of human nature incorporating the spiritual aspects, defines an understanding of spirituality and further elaborates on a process for developing spiritual growth. Using the above paradigm of spirituality, a group intervention was implemented with a young Mother's support group in a legislated child protection agency. It was hypothesized that encouraging group members to explore their spirituality could result in increased psychological health. The group sessions examined how spirituality is unde stood, the impediments to practising our spirituality, the concept of love, ways to practise our spirituality and educating our children about spirituality. The group was evaluated with both quantitative and qualitative methods. Although the quantitative measures suggested little change in the participants' scores, the qualitative analysis indicated that participants were interested and engaged eagerly in exploring the topic of spirituality. The Hatcher (1982) and Danesh (1994) paradigm offers an unique and stimulating framework for acknowledging the spiritual dimension of clients that can easily be applied across different social work settings. This practicum is part of the beginning exploration of spirituality within social work practise, promising to be an exciting endeavour with the potential to discover innovative healing interventions for the people social work serves.