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Spirituality Interest Group Public Lectures 2017-2018

Innovations in Spiritual Care Education in the Netherlands: its foundations, content and effects.

Date: Thursday 7 December 2017
Time:  2pm-4pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre 2.57, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin

Speaker: Prof René van Leeuwen

Biography: René van Leeuwen is a registered nurse and professor at Viaa Christian University of Applied Sciences. At this university he is leading a research group on spirituality and healthcare. The main focus of this research group is on practice oriented research regarding competence development of nurses in spirituality  and spiritual care.

Content: In this lecture the following will be presented/considered: The history of spiritual care education in the Netherlands and competence based learning as foundation of todays spiritual care eduation: its content and considerations of some criticism. The 3-P Competence Model that is used for the development of spiritual care education wil be clarified (Person, Practice and Perspective). Some current innovative learning strategies based on these 3-P competences will be presented: on-line education, simulated education, learning in practice/internships and training of spiritual care ambassadors in the working place and the outcomes from recent research studies regarding these educational strategies. Thoughts will be bring forward regarding how nursing education should proceed in spiritual care education. In this case there will be pointed on preliminary results of the European EPICC project regarding spiritual care education in nursng and midwifery.

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Spiritual care in the health service: still relevant and realistic? A public lecture by Dr Linda Ross, Reader in Spirituality & Healthcare at the University of South Wales

Date: Thursday 22 March 2018
Time:  2pm-4pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre 2.57, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin

This paper will question whether spiritual care, which has historically been an integral part of healthcare, is still relevant today. This will be achieved by looking at what consumers want and by looking at what the healthcare policies which shape our health services and the ethical codes/educational guidelines which shape the people delivering these services, have to say about that. The question of whether spiritual care is central to ‘good care’, and therefore necessary, will then be considered by examining practical examples of good and bad care and by drawing upon research evidence. Finally consideration will be given to the question of how realistic it is to deliver high quality spiritual care within an already stretched health service; suggestions for how that might happen are offered drawing upon examples of novel initiatives and research currently in progress.


Speaker: Dr Linda Ross

Dr Linda Ross is a Reader in Spirituality & Healthcare at the University of South Wales. Her PhD in 1992 was the first to explore nurses’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care which she published as a book in 1997. She has published extensively on the subject of spirituality, contributing to numerous texts such as the ‘Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare’ (Cobb, Rumbold & Puchalski, 2012) and ‘Spiritual Assessment in Healthcare Practice (McSherry & Ross, 2010). For the last 30 years such has led numerous research studies on spiritual care in both nursing practice and nurse education, as well as leading training workshops and seminars for healthcare staff internationally. She contributed to the Royal College of Nursing’s ‘Spirituality in nursing Care: a pocket guide’ and ‘Spirituality in nursing care on-line resource’, and to the spiritual care guidance which accompanies the Welsh Government’s Health and Care Standards (2015). She is a founding member and Secretary for the British Society for the Study of Spirituality and an Executive Editor for the Society’s affiliated journal ‘Journal for the Study of Spirituality’. She is also a founding member of the European Spirituality in Nursing Research Network which is currently leading an Erasmus funded 3 year project to establish best practice in spiritual care nurse education across Europe.

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Staying anchored in the landscape of spiritual turbulence: Anthony Boland, Pastoral Care Team Leader at Marymount University Hospital and Hospice

Date: Thursday 10 May 2018
Time:  2pm-4pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre 2.57, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin

Speaker: Anthony Boland

As people are increasingly able to articulate an experience of spirituality that is not expressed through religion, the Catholic Church finds itself at a crucial juncture. Sacramental ministry that is given and received from within a faith tradition will always be nourishing and meaningful to some, but fails to address the spiritual hunger of many. Faith traditions need to adopt a more expansive paradigm of spirituality – one that recognises the inextricable links between our psychological and spiritual well-being. We need guidance on how to work skilfully with the psychological imprints we carry from childhood and to understand how these have coloured the lens through which we see ourselves, the world and our beliefs. We need more psychological and spiritual tools in our basket! The Church needs to embrace more fully the insights being offered by psychology, body therapy and neuroscience. Used skilfully, these can challenge the rigid, defensive and misinformed beliefs that can so often contribute to spiritual distress. The realisation that the concrete opens up to the Universal offers a trustworthy path, because that is how we sensate human beings operate. Abstract ideology will not get us very far. What we hunger for is a real encounter with Presence.

Anthony Boland grew up in the Irish Catholic tradition and was ordained in 1992. He became increasingly aware of his desire to inhabit his full physical, emotional and spiritual experience and of how challenging it was do so from within the Catholic tradition. Upon ceasing life as a priest he became a secondary school teacher in London and subsequently trained as a Psychosynthesis therapist in 2004. Since then he has been supporting people to work towards psychological and spiritual well-being. For the last 12 years he has been working in the area of specialist palliative care, both in the UK and Ireland. He now leads the Pastoral Care Team at Marymount University Hospital & Hospice. He is a student of the Ridhwan School, journeying on a spiritual path called the Diamond Approach.

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