Spiritual Health Practitioners are clinically trained to support the spiritual health of patients and families across diverse beliefs, cultural perspectives, and practices.
Spiritual Health Practitioners foster spiritual wellbeing. This is the experience of connection with self, others, and with what is understood as ultimate/Other for an individual. Integral to spiritual well-being is a sense of meaning and purpose.
Spiritual Health Practitioners also support other care providers in understanding the role of a patient and family beliefs when it comes to choices in treatment and expressions of spiritual need.
What do spiritual health practitioners do?
- Listen deeply to patient/family stories
- Support patients and families in coping with spiritual distress (the experience of loss of connection and meaning) that may arise during times of injury, illness or disease
- Promote parents and families spiritual wellbeing through:
- Spiritual reflection – namely reflection on personal beliefs, values, identity, and questions of meaning
- Spiritual counsel
- Support of spiritual practices
- Provision of meaningful rituals, ceremonies, and services
- Assisting patients and families in their own creative expression of spirituality.
Where do spiritual health practitioners work?
- Hospitals or health care centres
- Mental health facilities or community clinics
- Specialty clinics
Spiritual Health Practitioners at AHS
Alberta Health Services employs approximately 36 spiritual health practitioners.
What are the credentials for a spiritual health practitioner?
- Spiritual Health Practitioners have a master’s or doctorate degree and have been trained for spiritual health care through clinical pastoral education (CPE)
- Spiritual health practitioners are certified through the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC)
- Certified practitioners must have membership with the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC)
- Non-certified practitioners and students may have Associate Membership with CASC.