Spirtuality: a Key Component to Integrated Care

Suzanne Herrmann- Barros, MMHC, Stephan
Experience connection with self through
mindfulness meditation
Explore Spiritual needs of young people as they
face illness
Explore techniques for spiritual support including
Therapeutic Touch
Observe work of Dr. Jon Connolly who uses
spirituality/hypnosis/CBT to address the issue of
Gives transcended meaning to life, refers to the
universal need for faith, love, hope, relatedness, value
and dignity
Concerned with the sacred – rituals, scriptures, prayers
Often, though not always, includes a direct experience
of the sacred, holy or divine
Different manifestation of spirituality: philosophy of
life, core values, set of life- defining beliefs and
Not the same as religion: some get strength, peace and
vitality in Nature, Creativity, Life meaning in family
and community, Personal growth as the reason of r
Be Present : Be Mindful
Mindful refers to a psychological quality that
involves bringing one’s complete attention to the
present experience on a moment to moment basis or
“paying attention in a particular way, on purpose in
the present moment and non-judgmentally (KabetZinn)
Vanderbilt University in Tenn. has a entire
department devoted to supporting cancer patients
by teaching mindfulness techniques
slow down to enter their world. It takes more time
to connect to children
Get behind their eyes, get on their level, play therapy
music therapy
• Power of unconditional positive regard. Benefits of
contact far outweigh the perceived attachment of
your our judgments
Leads to Trust
Often young people especially teenagers have issues
of trust, especially if they see you as an image of
spiritual judger
They know when you are in your MASK.
Cannot always avoid mask it is there to protect us
from feeling pain but being aware of it is the first
step to be in deep healing communion with your
patient and yourself.
Existential Questions you may encounter
How could tis happen to me? Is God punishing me?
Has God abandoned me?
 Stay centered, present with self, don’t try to fix it,
just listen
 Can validate them by saying I know it feels that way
right now
 Avoid cliché responses
Every patient deserves and needs compassionate
touch…what called you into nursing, wanting to
care for people
Ancient practice and can be found in all religions
Dr. Virginia Satir said “The recommended daily
requirement for hugs is : four per day for
survival, eight per day for maintenance, and
twelve per day for growth.
Therapeutic Touch is a contemporary healing modality
drawn from ancient practices and developed by Dora
Kunz and Dolores Krieger. The practice is based on the
assumptions that human beings are complex fields of
energy, and that the ability to enhance healing in
another is a natural potential.
Therapeutic Touch (TT) has been taught in colleges
around the world to over 100,000 healthcare
professionals. It has a substantial base of formal and
clinical research. This research has shown that TT is
useful in reducing pain, improving wound healing,
aiding relaxation, and easing the dying process. It can
be learned by anyone with a sincere interest and
motivation towards helping others.
Empathy with the Family
Sensitivity to the needs of the family
Often the family sees the Chaplin as a connection to
the child after their passing
Empathy with yourself
Dr. Jon Connelly
Empathy with Family
Sensitivity to the needs of the family
Often family sees the Chaplin as a connection to the
child who has passed
Empathy with Self
Dr. Jon Connolly’s Rapid Resolution Therapy
as a tool to dealing with grief/spirituality
Aiken, A. (2010). Spiritual Issues in the Face of
Significant Illness.
Aiken, A. (2010). Too Young to Die: Spiritual Needs of
Adolescents and Young Adults.
George, R. and Finella, C. (2009). Palliative Care for
Young People with Cancer, Cancer forum from Cancer
Council Australia March 2009, Vol.33 Issue 1.
Kabat-Zinn, Jon. (1994). Wherever You Go, There You
Are : Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life p. 4.
Marlatt, G.A. and Kristeller, J. (1999). Mindfulness and
Meditation in Miller, W.R. (Ed), (1999). Integrating
spirituality into treatment. Washington D.C. American
Psychological Association.
Internet article: by American Academy of Pediatrics:
Palliative Care for Children, Feb 1, 2007.
Weinstein, S. and Walton, O. (2004). Integrating
Palliative Care in Pediatrics, Current Pain and
Headache Reports (journal) Vol. 8, #4/August
Wise, A. (2002). Awakening the Mind. New
York, NY: Penguin Putnam Inc. p. 24-36.
http://www.cleartrauma.com The Institute for
Rapid Resolution Therapy. Retrieved August
26, 2012.
http://www.therapeutictouch.org Therapeutic
Touch Foundation Retrieved August 26, 2012.

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