Viewing 12 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #5252

      David
      Participant
      @Chaplain Brinker

      Preeminence of Feeling in Spiritual Care: A Response

      This article was a breath of fresh air, bringing a message of confirming insight. I come to Chaplaincy from 37 years as an ordained clergy with a background in congregational ministry. In those early years I also started with a problem -solving approach to relationship with parishioners and even my roles of administration. Quickly I found the limits and problems caused by an approach built exclusively on problem solving.

      I appreciated the articulate way the work of spiritual care by chaplains was distinguished from other therapeutic disciplines. This article was clear, concise and grounded in the best traditions of CPE.

      I had a personal response to the authors words: “Wounds persons experience are not merely cognitive distortions but are the result of interpersonal experiences that injure us at a feeling level.” Like many others, I have been wounded. At times by my family of origin, my spouse, my church leadership, supervisors, etc. I could identify with all the wrong approached to feelings mentioned in the article. “Feeling are not to be overcome, conquered, stuffed or solved. I tried all of these with destructive results. As a result, I have sought out different therapists for help in understanding and dealing with this trouble. My experience has often been a mixed bag. This article clarified some of the reasons. Many of the counselors were from a problem- solving discipline. What would have been more helpful would have been to find a safe human being who made respectful space to explore my feelings describing my relationship to various hurtful experiences and persons. In most cases, while I came away from counseling experiences with some positive insights, I see that spiritual care as described in this article was what I was looking for.

      This has caused me to reflect on my motivation in my work as a chaplain. There is some truth to the idea that we pursue those things which feed us in some way. I recognize that this can have hidden aspects which can move me into unintended areas, or it can be a positive gifting.

      This is where the positive value of self-awareness rings true for me. Self-awareness is a growing edge in my journey. I don’t believe I will ever be finished becoming more self -aware. I first encountered this concept and began intentionally practicing it when my journey in life included years with the Center for Spiritual Direction as a Board member and Dean of the School of Spiritual Direction. In that setting I received and then eventually oversaw a two- year training program in spiritual direction. In comparison, spiritual direction was more life-giving for me than counseling.
      As I reflect on my work of spiritual care as a chaplain in a long term setting, growing in self-awareness and gaining skill in effectively recognizing residents feels continues to be a significant goal.

      I have used CPE to work on these issues in the past, but the work is never done.

      David Brinker

    • #5259

      David
      Participant
      @Chaplain Brinker

      Forever Young, Elledge-Volker: Response

      I appreciated how this article was filled with positive practical steps which can be taken as a response to the physical changes which accompany the aging process. What a helpful remind of what can be done.

      The article stated that the second most predictive factor of aging well was having an adaptive coping style. I find this born out among the most well adjusted residents. I have observed that those who are flexible in how they approach each new challenge thrive most often, whether they are facing a physical move, loss of driving privilege, health concerns, loss of faculties, or social changes.

      I have also found great value in responding to the visual and auditory needs of an aging population. In my setting I offer three worship services on Sunday and multiple settings for devotional time. Printing the worship bulletin in 14 point font and the hymn numbers in bold 16 point allows some of the visually impaired to continue to participate. I also encourage residents to bring illuminated magnifying glasses which can greatly aide seeing printed material.
      One of the unique settings for worship is with those who have memory care needs. After receiving training from a consultant, changed the format for this worship experience. I still use a printed sheet because I have found residents enjoy when I stop in front of them, greet them individually by name, and then ask them if they want a song sheet, (what I call the worship material in memory care). I find this simple exchange treats them as persons with the power to choose and determine an aspect of their life, even if it is small and momentary. Previously, I discovered how residents with cognitive challenges and second to third stage dementias were getting lost in a typically folded and formatted worship bulletin. The format I use now is a vertical, portrait style with one column, instead of a landscape layout with multiple columns. This new format used 16 point font, the words for one verse of a familiar song is in a box with a bright blue boarder. I include successive bold numbers down the left side of the song sheet to help reference where we are in the flow of the service. Additionally, I include a 3”x”4” picture on each side of the song sheet. The first one introduces the theme of the sermon or an aspect of the Christian year. The picture on the back ties into the one verse of a Psalm which we share together. We discuss the first picture as we being the service. Then the Psalm- picture anchors everyone in a second discussion time when we turn the page over.

      Some of the residents they participate by receiving the song sheet, listening, looking at the picture, and being present. Others read, sing, and share in the prayer response: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.” With this new format I observe residents participating more, tracking better, offering more appropriate responses to each part of the simple service.

      We have memory challenged residents in all levels of care. Because of the effectiveness of this format I now use it the nursing care setting as well.
      To facilitate better hearing in my Bible study session, I have purchased a small portable amplifying system. One resident who can not hear much in normal conversations, sits next to the portable speaker. Now she can hear everything that is said.

      David Brinker

    • #5266

      Jennifer Gingerich
      Member
      @JenniferGingerich

      Beautiful reflections, David.  Thank you for sharing your adaptations in the memory care service.  Your inclusion of pictures is a neat way to engage resident non-verbally.

    • #5269

      llawhon
      Member
      @llawhon

      David, thanks for sharing with us the way that you present the worship material to your folks, especially those living with dementia.    I wonder if you would mind sending an electronic file of that material to the group.  I, for one, would like to look at as a resource for our service.  We have two services on Sunday, one being a brief morning prayer service with no bulletin/worship material other than the hymn book we use which is a spiral bound book with about 40 hymns in large bold print, text only, not music.  Our afternoon service uses a bulletin printed in 16 point, front and back on 8.5 x 11 paper.  In both services, particularly the full service in the afternoon, we have a blend of residents from all levels.  The residents from our memory care community who want to attend are in both services.  I’m interested in why you do a separate service for memory care and how that works for their unique set of needs.  Folks with more advanced dementia can present a challenge – I don’t see it as a problem but some of our IL folks do see it that way occasionally.  Our view here is that our services are open to everyone but it may be that folks living with dementia may benefit from a service uniquely designed with their needs and abilities in mind so I am curious about how your service works, what works, etc.

    • #5270

      llawhon
      Member
      @llawhon

      My review of the “Forever Young” article

      I know that Volker is addressing pastoral/spiritual care givers in this article as talks upfront about “our understanding of aging needs to be reconsidered, reconstructed and re-viewed” and she is talking about our work in health care settings.  I want to expand the argument for just a moment to say that in the broader society the needs to be some work on re considering, reconstructing, and re-viewing our understanding of aging.  This, too, is an area where we can be advoacates, educators, and leaders in helping with this task even beyond our work in our respective healthcare settings.

      Back to the article,  Volker presents the argument of “only labor and sorrow” versus “new adventures of grace.”   At the point she presented this discussion I wrote to the side : “What about meeting people where they are?” because I wondered if she was going to present this as being either one or the other or would it be more of a process of moving from one to the other.  She seems to have chosen the later in that later she talks about moving from “only labor…” to “new adventures in grace.”  I like the phrase “new adventures in grace” and pretty well like how she presented it using the 7 factors that help predict healthy aging.  However, it seems to me that people being as complex and we are that this process of moving from one to other is not necessarily going to be a smooth, easy process.   That is where it becomes important that we meet people where they are in the process.

      I don’t think that she is presenting an either/or argument.  I have to say that at one point her argument struck me as sounding a bit like a marketing plan for a CCRC – “Shady Grove Retirement Community where you can find new adventures in grace.”     Actually, as she continued to present her material it occurred to me that her 7 factors for health aging would be a pretty good framework to build a wellness concept around.   When I first read those 7 items it occurred to me that none of them were specifically spiritually oriented and all seem indicate personal lifestyle choices.  I feel that because she did not present a specific spiritual component and chose, instead, to present the spiritual component of each of the 7 factors that she is getting at the reality of our work.  In LTC chaplaincy we have the opportunity to become somewhat integrated into peoples lives and walk with them or help guide them in the process of integrating the spiritual component into living the 7 factors.  I do like how she presented for each factor various ideas and insights into how chaplains can bring the spiritual dimension into their lives.  We have the opportunity to be some of the “good people” who come into the lives of our residents as she states in her closing sentence.

       

       

    • #5271

      David
      Participant
      @Chaplain Brinker

      llawhon wrote: I wonder if you would mind sending an electronic file of that material to the group. I, for one, would like to look at as a resource for our service.

      Certainly! I need help knowing how to do this. Can you explain?

      I’m interested in why you do a separate service for memory care and how that works for their unique set of needs. Folks with more advanced dementia can present a challenge – I don’t see it as a problem but some of our IL folks do see it that way occasionally. Our view here is that our services are open to everyone but it may be that folks living with dementia may benefit from a service uniquely designed with their needs and abilities in mind so I am curious about how your service works, what works, etc.

      Admittedly, there are residents living with various stages of dementia and cognitive challenges at all levels of our facility: independent, personal care, memory care, long term nursing and rehab. I think we would all agree that dementia is more than a memory issue. Our memory care unit is a secure unit for 18 persons. The working care concept behind this unit is to offer a serene setting for residents with a diagnosis of stage two or three dementia. We seek to provide a variety of experiences in a structure that follows the same pattern of five components and sequence each day. Spiritual care is one of the five components and occurs at approx 11:00 am each day. I provide training and materials for the staff, but I lead on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. I eat breakfast with the residents at least once a week as well as part of our culture change goal. This setting affords me some one on one time and personalized spiritual care focusing on the power of story as a meaning making activity. Today, for example, one resident told me the story that she had been on a grey blimp ride and invited to sit upfront when the pilot discovered she was a retired pastor. (There was no blimp ride…) But we talked about the story in small pieces of a few sentences, discovery the meaning for her of how she is proud of having been a female pastor, she enjoys being recognized for this accomplishment. I sought her out this morning because she was sad in appearance and tearful. When we were finished she was laughing, smiling, and engaged with others in the room. …

      Back to my point. While memory residents may leave with family or staff, the unit is considered a protected space. The fewer people who are perceived as strangers who enter this area the better. The way we work and engage the residents is designed to not increase their anxiety, or acting out behaviors. This is the primary reason I lead a format for devotions and worship designed to maximize successful engagement of a spiritual experience. However, nothing works all the time for every resident every day. Success will look differently for each resident. Many sing, some who can speak do others listen, some are only engaged by the pictures. Others respond most positively to the personal blessing and prayer I offer individually. I should note, our general service is open to anyone who wished to attend as well. In that light, two residents from memory care are brought from this unit to the general worship service upstairs at 1:30pm. The sit quietly, but are unable to navigate a hymnal, or follow the standard bulletin. They also are prone to wander off unless the family member is present. This illustrates several of the reasons why I provide a service specifically designed around the needs of those with cognitive challenges.

      My printed spiritual care materials are based on the following concepts: 1) use a simple format which can be followed successfully by most cognitively impaired persons present. 2) rely on skills learned very early in life, the earlier the better because these are the skill likely to remain functional the longest. I use colors, numbers, shapes, colors, pictures, top-to-bottom, front-to-back, pictures, story vs preaching, familiar hymns songs, short printed passages of text, offer options to read, listen, or follow along, any responses or answers given during the conversation about pictures are affirmed-never corrected.

      I find it interesting that using this approach in memory care, I have a 90% or greater attendance/participation from the residents on annualized basis. Attendance/participation in the other component areas of the day are less than spiritual care. This memory care unit is licensed under personal care, so when residents need a higher level of nursing care they are transferred to the nursing care unit. These residents often progress to stage four dementia.

    • #5274

      David
      Participant
      @Chaplain Brinker

      llawhon wrote: When I first read those 7 items it occurred to me that none of them were specifically spiritually oriented and all seem indicate personal lifestyle choices. I feel that because she did not present a specific spiritual component and chose, instead, to present the spiritual component of each of the 7 factors that she is getting at the reality of our work. In LTC chaplaincy we have the opportunity to become somewhat integrated into peoples lives and walk with them or help guide them in the process of integrating the spiritual component into living the 7 factors.

      I understand what you are saying and your response to this article. My basic assumption is that everyone is spiritual in some way. I look at spirituality as a source beyond the person which provides meaning, hope, and purpose helping them to cope with new challenges in life. Creativity, values, lifestyle may also be expressions of spirituality. For people who identify as religious God, scripture, church may fulfill some of these spiritual roles. But I have found that even those who self-identify as religious or part of a denomination may,from time to time, anchor their spiritual meaning and purpose in something other than God. Functionally, some religious persons look to family roles and relationship to find basic meaning and identity in life. I think this is why ageing is so existentially difficult. I agree the potential in ageing is to discover the adventure of grace in this new phase. But this is truly hard work. Many are not equipped to do the work alone–to find the adventure or to discover a new source of meaning, hope or purpose. I think I enjoy the work of a chaplain because from time to time I have the privilege to walk beside someone who is engaged in this and we find the adventure together.

    • #5286

      Orlow
      Member
      @Orlow

      The Forever Young article surprised me.  A quick overview didn’t dig out the gems of wisdom

      For me the gems were mined by a slower reading and really letting the author speak out that word of grace in the midst of lifes hard times.  And making a perspective change of expecting life to just get less valuable when things get tougher.

      Maybe it was the adventures of grace phrase that through me off a bit too.  I thought this did not ound very scholarly and yet after reading it twice I can’t think of another phrase that works as well.

      This article puts some real flesh on the bones of how aging can be an adventure and in fact can be the time when we really put things together, when we discover new things, try new things, and get different outcomes than we have before.  My experience in chaplaincy has see a lot of those, “I or you are the exception to the rule” individuals.  In fact my organization has singled out a few of these and helped to film their story and the project will be aimed at encouraging others in care, or just older to rethink how they view and practice life.

      I like this quote from the auther, “using the fear, tears, anger, pain and loss as gateways into birthing deeper self-understandings and enriching relationships.  CEElledge-Volker, page 63, second paragraph under Personal location.   This voices a similar theme to the author of the second article on getting to the deep feelings and beginning healing or acceptance through that process.

      This first article takes a bit of a left turn with the next section and I found this turn took me a bit to absorb.  I liked the philosophical and this swings into the practical strategies of aging well, through support by Pastoral Care.  I think all of us in Pastoral Care have found ourselves sharing with someone about a wholistic approach to their aging and so the question asked about how faith communities and pastoral care providers positively influence the seven factors of being Healthy/Well.

      The talk these days in churches seems to be a lot about Outreach.  What is said here of churches certainly would provide a lot of venues with programming.  And within that programming as we know from the Addictions groups there is certainly a lot of potential for relationship and growth–some of which might lead to individuals experiencing freedom and a healthy future.

      My favorite part of this article was on page 62 that a diminished physical function does not need to equal a diminished sense of self(my paraphrase)   Therefore the movement from a healthy life with everything going for you doesn’t need to end in a despairing life with nothing left to live for.  This is a major tenet of ministry with seniors and not new, but it sure is good to hear it again in a different context.

      I am 66 and thinking I might stop this type of work and change to a different model of ministry.  So I thought the page 71 offerings on retirement were right on time. I am going to copy this page and put it into my daytimer.  There are things I better be looking into; and things to cherish while I am still engaged and excited.

       

      The second article is a real good read.  I had so many “replay the video” thoughts jamming into my mind about my training days in CPE, memories of residents, challenges faced, times when I entered into the deep, and times when I ran from my feelings and the feelings of others.

      I like how the two articles work well together in terms of application to our work as chaplains and addressing the aging population that makes up a large portion of our residents.  I found myself breathing out a yes, yes, yes.  And I also talked in a meeting about the importance of this and with a colleague about how important getting through the layers of our feelings is, so we can begin to experience the turning point moment toward healing.

      I admit feeling some pride in being a part of such a feeling focused profession.  And thinking again and again how important our roles are in our venues.  If not us then who is a phrase comes to mind.  This is indeed our emphases.  And its so much needed in our work, lives and world.

      • #5296

        llawhon
        Member
        @llawhon

         

         

        Jennifer, thanks for sharing the info about the book you’ve used  I look forward to reviewing it for possible use here.  I’m very much OK with folks with dementia being included in our regular services.  I’ve never had anyone complain or question the use of Jesus Loves Me.  We use it occasionally and as I think about it I recall that it is our dementia folks who really respond positively to it.We do a Bible study on Wednesday afternoon just for our dementia care folks.  It is a self contained program just as David mentioned about his setting.  I think it is pretty common in communities that offer dementia/memory care to have it as a separate program.  I find with our dementia care folks that those things most familiar from childhood (songs, prayers, Scripture) tend to be well received as these things are most easily accessed in the memories and do bring a sense of comfort or encouragement to them, even if they can’t say so.  I am interested in learning from David or any of you who do specifically designed worship or other spiritual care for people living with dementia, specially in memory care programs.  We partner with our music therapist in a program we call Spirit Song where we use songs, quotes, poems, scripture, etc. to try to facilitate some discussion or some memory work around specific topics.  Recently we’ve done things like forgiveness, friendship and dignity/self worth just to give you an idea of our topics.  It is very hit or miss as to engagement from the residents.  I should say that most of the participants are health care, assisted living or memory support and many have some level of dementia.  We need to develop more use of tactiles objects, art work, etc. so that we might have more tools to use for engaging people.

        Orlow, thank you for your insights particularly related to physical losses not leading to loss of sense of self. For guys, so much of our sense of self is tied up in our careers. Not uncommon as we get acquainted that we ask “what do or did you do for a living?” Less common are the conversations about who we are as a person, what gives us meaning apart from the work we do? I’m 63 and know that as I look forward to retirement one thing that does linger in my mind is the question of what I am going to do when I retire. It helps me to thing about “being” questions related to my faith and my purpose in retirement. Perhaps just being a child of God will be important for me to come to terms with as I prepare and actually do retire. Also from your reflection, I found the term “adventures in grace” to be interesting to ponder. Wasn’t sure about it at first but like it more and more as I think on it. Maybe that phrase will be a key concept to grasp as I work on simply being a child of God.

        I am off for the 4 day labor day weekend and will rejoin you all on Tuesday.

    • #5287

      Jennifer Gingerich
      Member
      @JenniferGingerich

      Wonderful reflections, all!

      David, to share your service format, you can email it to Lindsay Spencer at [email protected].  She can get it added to the lesson for the rest of us to see.

      Several years ago when I was working in a nursing facility, colleagues and I used a book called Full Circle: Spiritual Therapy for the Elderly to develop a service geared specifically toward residents with dementia.  We didn’t follow their model exactly, but adapted this concept into a simple worship service centered around a theme each week.  Here’s a link to the book, I hope: https://www.amazon.com/Full-Circle-Spiritual-Activities-Management/dp/0789006065/ref=sr_1_16?keywords=full+circle+dementia&qid=1567042265&rnid=2941120011&s=books&sr=1-16

      I would echo David’s thoughts that while individuals with dementia can certainly be included in a general service, having a smaller setting allows for interaction specifically designed for their needs and limitations.  For example, in independent living this past Sunday I thought about using “Jesus Loves Me” as a hymn, but my piano player (a resident) thought some attendees might see that as childish.  In contrast, that’s exactly the kind of song that residents with dementia often enjoy singing.

       

    • #5297

      Orlow
      Member
      @Orlow

      Hi

      I am enjoying reading all of your comments.

      On the issue of music I have a couple of reflections.

      We needed another hymn sing according to my residents in a 200 bed facility.  One a week was not enough.  But where to find the time in a busy recreation, physiotherapy, and meal driven calendar.  Well we decided to start a half hour early on Sunday morning and sing hymns while people are gathering for worship; it has worked really well for over three years now.  The hymn seekers come early and other come in when they are ready or able to get downstairs using the elevators.  We are so greatful to our volunteers for coming in earlier to facilitate this change.

      Then the second service on the dementia unit also started singing 15 minutes earlier.  My pianist(wife) loves the people and has a real relationship with them.  She started by asking the residents and a few family members what they wanted to sing.  Seems Amazing Grace and Jesus Loves Me came up every week.  So she just incorporates those two in everyweek, kind of like the Intro and then asks for hymns.  The residents light up and stay lit up for most of the 45 minutes from start to end of the service. Then she plays two closing songs, which she knows they like.  Well those who nodded off or lost focus brighten right up to be able to sing, “You are my sunshine” and “How much is that doggie in the window.”

      I think we are going for inclusion, relationship and familiarity as a base and helping these clients ease into and out of a worship service.  Overall the attendance has been great and the participation levels are way up too.  The families enjoy the atmosphere and the building of community this experience encourages.

      The message and the other three hymns in the service are adapted for length and ability to intake information.  We go for a lot of the positive encouraging message of the gospel.

       

      Which reminds me.  I would like to start a conversation about how the readings we have done thus far in the course seem to encourage a call for Christian chaplains to share about the foundation of their work and reference to the Scriptures behind the concepts.  Example someone wrote imago dei and of course we know in Scripture where that is found; but I would like to hear more about how any of us might be using scripture, sharing and proclamation to address our clients getting into their deepest feelings, finding their deepest sense of meaning and joy, and moving from despair to adventures in grace.

      In my context I have never pushed a person to believe something they didn’t want to believe.  But I feel it is important to point out there is access to resources from our Christian tradition that they may not ever heard about.  And I’m not talking about just quoting the Bible, but addressing their issues from the psychological, social and cultural perspectives and Also from the spirituality from the specific passages and overarching message of the Bible.  Example I have a long term relationship with a client who has both Aboriginal spirituality and a Roman Catholicism within his experience.  He likes exploring the differences and the dynamics.  When he sees that he has done all he can through working things out and doing the traditions he is open to where the Creator doesn’t leave us, but joins us and does the work we could not do.  He was moved when I read, “It is finished.”  The word from the cross gives what we never could get on our own.

      At times in the 22 years here in Long term care I have felt constrained to not be “religious” as critics call it with disdain in the tone of their voice.  But I have also felt I would be letting people down and not offering the best of my profession: to believe in and share the Good News in specific and wider ways; through the stories of redemption, rescue, healing, etc.  The balance has been to be able to do all of the services, funerals, and hymn sings and bible studies where this content is expected, and to also share on a chaplain to client level the same message but in a way that wasn’t demanding, demeaning, misleading, trickery or any of the things Christian counselling or evangelism are thought to entail.

      One of the sad things over the years is I haven’t found authors who can excite and inform like the ones we have read these last two weeks and do so in ways that integrate and utilize our practical Theological insights, tools, and passion for caring.  I sought out voices doing counselling like Robert Kelleman and with some work have found an avenue for expressing myself within my profession that brings comfort and encouragement, even life change to some and openness to relationship with many many others.

      Thoughts?

      Oh I know its Thursday night before a long weekend.  Maybe you will just move on to week three.  But I hope for dialogue, learning, sharing and growing together.

      Thank you for the opportunity to begin this conversation.

       

    • #5304

      llawhon
      Member
      @llawhon

      Orlow, I like you statement above,  “we are going for inclusion, relationship and familiarity as a base” in reference to your use of singing together prior to worship.  You also talk about having access to the rich resources of our Christian tradition and about the Good News we share as Christians.  While you were talking about two different topics it struck me that the heart of the Good News is the fact that God’s love is inclusive of everyone, the motive behind God making his love known to us all is that God desires a personal relationship with us while calling us into His family as joint heirs leading to a familiarity such that God even knows the number of hairs on our head (That is easier for God to do with bald people like me!).   I feel that in using these practices of inclusion, relationship and familiarity we are in many ways living out the Gospel with the folks we care for.  Talk about a rich resource of Christ tradition.  Other riches include Scripture and prayer, of course, and I try to be a bit strategic as to when to use Scripture or prayer in given situations.  As a life long Baptist I am accustomed to spontaneous prayer but have come to really appreciate more liturgical, responsive prayers and do see the value of using the familiar prayers, Scripture and hymns particularly for those with memory impairment.    On another note you mentioned above the challenges of working another hymn sing into an already full schedule.  I broaden that concern to say that it can be hard to do anything of a spiritual nature beyond what already has its place in the busy schedule.  We are working hard here to be more person directed in our care and our leadership team is really promoting this facility wide.  However, I’ve encountered it a time or two where our social workers plan something that interfered Bible study and when I said to them that s0-in-so normally goes to Bible study at this time they told me that their department head (Director of Resident Services) told them that had to have a lot of people at the event because they paid a lot of money to hold the event.  Unfortunately, I serve in faith based community that, as far as much of the leadership sees it, faith/spirituality is only another item on the schedule, and maybe not too important at that.  All that to say that all too often spirituality and chaplaincy care are just another item to be checked off the list of “look at everything we off our residents.”

      Let me say at this point to everyone, I was off the 4 days of Labor Day and am feeling behind in this class.  I now have shingles and will miss at least tomorrow so I will get caught up with this group.

    • #5308

      Jennifer Gingerich
      Member
      @JenniferGingerich

      Oh no, Larry!  I’m glad for you to get caught up, but that sounds like a painful way to get a day at home!

    • #5314

      llawhon
      Member
      @llawhon

      Comments of the Feelings article,

      Maybe its just me but when article got started and was talking about emotions and feelings as two different things I stumbled a bit with that because I often use the two words interchangeably.  As I read on I saw the focus become clearer to me as the article helped us look at moving away from simply problem solving with someone in need and going deeper into the issues and concerns (feelings) that are behind the emotions that are being expressed to us.  I agree with the material as presented here that our ministry of presence is so important in helping someone know they are not alone and it strikes me that when we give our time to someone as they go deeper into their experience, and do so without bringing to much of our own experience/issues/needs into the conversation, that we really are – or can be – a part of their healing process.    This quote from the article says it very well, : chaplains must be self aware in order to be able to hear the resonance (of what is being shared) in their own soul.”    This article also reminds me that there is more for me to learn as I continue to grow as a chaplain as I continue to understand my place/role in the pastoral/spiritual care giver relationship.  I understand that the article is about the chaplain’s relationship with those receiving care.  An interesting follow up, in my opinion, would be to read more about, once we establish our proper role in the healing process, how to then move into helping the recipients of our care find the presence of God in their situation.  Dr. Oates wrote about the “pastoral trialogue” which seems to be the follow up step to establishing the proper relationship.

Viewing 12 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.