Rick Underwood

Joy, Kathy, Lee, and Joan,

Here are some additional thoughts and questions in Chapter 2.  I agree with Joy that some of this chapter is out of date. For example, I see a lot of research interest and best practice interest in the nursing literature.  In fact, it seems that nursing researchers are leading the way in research into the impact of spirituality on patients’ lives. Has that been your experience?

I also find more and more research interest in psychiatry on this topic.  I am fortunate to have a close working relationship with several psychiatrists and integrative medicine physicians who are very interested in this whole area.  Wayne Oates had a tremendous influence in this regard with his psychiatrist colleagues at the University of Louisville Medical School during his tenure there.

Swinton argues for a change of paradigm to thinking of mental health caregivers as spiritual healers. What do you think of that as a challenge? Have you seen any evidence of that happening in your experience? I have to keep in mind that Swinton writes from a European perspective.

I have reached out to him to see if he has updates on these two perspectives in this chapter. Will let you know what he says.

Although Victor Frankl was only mentioned once, I found much of what Swinton was arguing for had already been laid out in Frankl’s work.  As a pastoral counselor, pastor, former chaplain intern and resident, and human being who struggles with depression, I found his example about depression to be right on.  In my experience, medicine, insight and expressive therapies can help alleviate depressive symptoms but the hard work is done around the issues of meaning.

What do you all think?