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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Practising Spirituality

Reflections on meaning-making in personal and professional contexts

ISBN 9781137556844
Publication Date November 2016
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Practice Theory in Context

The steady increase in economic, social, environmental and political hardships experienced by many around the globe has led, in recent years, to a corresponding growth in the importance ascribed to finding meaning in life, and to addressing the bigger questions. As deliverers of care and assistance to people across many different faiths and cultures whose lives are impacted directly by these hardships, current and future social workers must learn to apply concepts of spirituality in their own professional practice.

In this unique and inspiring book, a diverse group of authors draws deeply on their own experiences of spirituality in practice, providing a fascinating and often moving exploration of how meaning is derived in a variety of different contexts. Topics discussed include:

• Mindfulness, meditation and the practice of Falun Gong
• The interaction between spirituality, social justice and professional practice
• The role of spirituality in the provision of palliative care
• Indigenous spiritualities, interconnectedness and human-animal bonds
• The role of spirituality in providing hospitality and acceptance in practice.

Enriched by a wealth of case studies and a strong focus on critical reflection throughout, Practising Spirituality is an important and thought-provoking read for students and practitioners across the full range of health and social care disciplines – from social work and counselling to nursing, youth work and beyond.

Laura Béres is MSW, PhD, is Associate Professor at the School of Social Work, King's University College, Western University, Canada. She trained as a narrative therapist at the Dulwich Centre, Australia.

1. What is spirituality and how does it relate to professional practice? Laura Béres
2. Finding Fundamental Meaning through Critical Reflection; Jan Fook
3. Spiritual influences on practice: the interaction between being a Quaker and the development of a critical spirituality Fiona Gardner
4. What spirituality can contribute to social work education: reflections on teaching and living Rose Pulliam
5. Mana Moana: Healing the V?, developing spiritually and culturally embedded practices Karlo Mila
6. Being with different beings: social work and trans-species spirituality Cassandra Hanrahan
7. Being with different beings: social work and trans-species spirituality Maria Cheung
8. Mindfulness for practitioners: bringing attention and awareness to personal and professional experience Lisa McCorquodale
9. The Rule of Saint Benedict: considering hospitality, and welcoming spaces in contemporary therapeutic practice Laura Béres
10. Utilising Availability and Vulnerability to operationalise spirituality Melanie Rogers
11. Spirituality in palliative care Bruce Rumbold
12. A few concluding thoughts Laura Béres.


“The collection is well organized and brings a new focus on such concepts as mindfulness, being present and available to clients, and acceptance, and emphasizes the connection between spirituality and the values on which the social work profession was founded. This easy read would be of great benefit to all students and professionals who ever questioned what place spirituality should have in their professional practice. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.” (M. R. Jenkins, Choice, Vol. 55 (3), November, 2017)|This book offers students and practitioners a most valuable insight into how other professionals, in diverse contexts and levels of practice, have managed to integrate the personal and professional aspects of spirituality.' – John Coates PhD, Canadian Society for Spirituality & Social Work
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