The role spirituality plays in providing health care
The understanding of illness in relation to life-altering events often make people question the real meaning of life and its purpose (Young & Koopsen, 2011). Spirituality in this line of investigation can be stated as sensitive attachment to values encrypted in religion that can help individuals gain insight and heightened understanding of life. Therefore, spirituality in health care provides patients with firm foundation and support that allows them to move from a life of dissonance and brokenness to a life of wholeness while at the same time incorporating into their lives a sense of wellbeing. This line of investigation is well defined by the statement bolded in most healthcare centres, “we treat, God heals”, to mean that healing is beyond technical cure, but rather part of a life journey. In simple terms, spirituality becomes an important concept in patients’ care because it touches on people’s understanding of illness and change in addition to providing contextual thoughts through which disquiets about bodily and mental functioning can be understood, felt or better addressed (Young & Koopsen, 2011).
Conceptual frameworks used to understand spiritual diversity
Even though spirituality is a universal concept that touches on common areas of human concern and capacities, there seems to be great diversity in the world based on how term is understood and applied by psychotherapists or other medical practitioners (Lum, 2011). Spiritual diversity in health care practices can be analysed based on the concepts, assumptions, and premises about science and human nature. Spiritual diversity can, therefore, be examined based on three distinct phases, which include materialism, post-materialism, and dualism.
Materialism– human life is a materialistic phenomenon consolidated by the mind, and constructs like life after death are only false projections of human mind. This means that human life has no firm foundation or transcendent purpose (Meister, 2011). However, maximized pleasure and minimized pains are the only factors that make life reasonable or rather meaningful.
Dualism– the concept is based on the principles of commonalities with the basic premise that individuals are both material and immaterial. Unlike the brain, the spiritual component is non-material and allows for consciousness and self-awareness.
Post-materialism– Every human being is an embodiment of spirit, and is influenced by past positive and negative spiritual encounters (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2013). However, there is still free will and capacity to establish a life beyond trauma and illness, especially through self-awareness and consciousness.
Lum, D. (2011). Culturally competent practice: A framework for understanding diverse groups and justice issues. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Meister, C. V. (2011). The Oxford handbook of religious diversity. Oxford: Oxford University, Press.
Young, C., & Koopsen, C. (2011). Spirituality, health, and healing: An integrative approach. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett.
Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2013). Understanding human behavior and the social environment. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.