Models of Spiritual Care: any suggestions?

The Bahá’í Faith doesn’t have a priesthood so it may seem odd that we are training Chaplains in the UK. The riddle is solved when you realise that the NHS, and other organisations as well, recognise the word Chaplain and reckon they know what Chaplains do, and the NHS needs us to train and accredit people to work for them in that capacity. Also ‘Chaplain’ is easier to say than ’spiritual caregiver.’

It’s fascinating to be involved in this kind of work and we’re building up a cohort of experienced and enthusiastic people to take it on.

There is though a challenge facing us that was not immediately obvious when we started. Because the basic front-line work seems pretty obvious and the oddities of the NHS no worse than those of any other big organisation, the task of preparing people for this work in that context didn’t seem like rocket science especially as we had the input and support of more experienced people with a long history of working in the NHS.

{josquote}Over the coming weeks a number of us will be thinking about how to develop a Bahá’í model of spiritual care and I will be sharing some of that thinking on this blog as time goes on. {/josquote}

The catch though has now become apparent. We lack our own overall sense of what we are doing, a sense that is rooted in our understanding of human beings and the way we solve difficult problems rather than in a model borrowed either from the medical culture of the NHS or from the predominantly Christian culture of Chaplaincy.

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