Education in spiritual care

Rev Dr Andrew Goodhead, Spiritual Care Lead, St Christopher’s Hospice, UK, and member of the Education Group of the EAPC Spiritual Care in Palliative Care Task Force

Rev Dr Andrew Goodhead

Rev Dr Andrew Goodhead

The Spiritual Care Task Force groups: research, implementation, and education work to ensure that spirituality and spiritual care remain at the front of people’s minds and at the heart of palliative care provision. For some, working in small teams or alone, awareness of education resources can be difficult. The education group has decided to create a means to discover, simply and quickly, education opportunities across the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC). Shared education can overcome isolation and improve clinical practice.

The education group plans to create an easy-to-access ‘one-stop-shop’ on the EAPC website detailing education and training available to members of the EAPC. This will be in the form of a matrix on the EAPC website onto which palliative care services can add details of courses they are providing. The provision of spiritual care to patients and family members is important, and the first aim of the matrix is to bring together opportunities for education that will allow professionals to continue to develop skills and bed spiritual care practice into their everyday work into one easily accessible place.

The matrix will also indicate how much, and at what level, education in spiritual care is being offered and to which disciplines. The education group is really interested to know how much of this education is delivered multi-professionally and how much is for undergraduate students. The matrix will become a resource for individuals and institutions. It is hoped that sufficient information will be available for potential participants to join a course or event, delivered in their own language, either in their own country, or in another country.

Over time, the group hopes to create a core curriculum that disciplines can use to create tailored education programmes, and to facilitate meeting the competencies suggested by the EAPC White Paper Core Competencies in palliative care: an EAPC White Paper on palliative care education – part 1.1 Contributors to the matrix will be invited to state which of the competencies in the White Paper are met by the training 2  being offered. This is a deliberate early attempt to encourage course providers to think critically about the content of the course, who the course is for and at what level the teaching and training is delivered.

For the education group, the competencies offer a means of ‘benchmarking’ the delivery of training and education across the EAPC, so that professionals and volunteers who support patients, will be working at a ‘pan-EAPC’ level to meet need and support spiritual distress.

Over the next two years, the education group plans to make the website matrix the ‘go to’ place for those seeking education courses and will begin to create a curriculum of core topics for those who want to offer education in spiritual care, based on the competencies of the White Paper.

1. Giamondi C., Larkin P. & Payne S. (2013) Core competencies in palliative care: an EAPC White Paper on palliative care education – part 1. European Journal of Palliative Care. Vol. 20. No. 2. 86-145.

2. See P. 141, Section 5 Meet Patients’ Spiritual Needs.

To find out more…

  • Click here for more about the EAPC Spiritual Care Task Force 
  • Click here to read other posts about spiritual care that have been published on the EAPC blog.
This entry was posted in EAPC Task Forces/Reference Groups, SPIRITUAL CARE and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Education in spiritual care

  1. Rev Dr Andrew Goodhead
    I am reading with very great interest Your Article. The field of my research is the Paediatric Palliative Care for PreverbalChildren, an area within which the Spiritual Care speak to the Physical-Psychological-and-Pharmacological Care.
    There-Being for-and-before a Child in Pain, being in-inside-and-within Him, all That he perceives,
    He perceives all That because he realizes that the CareGiver becomes His space-and-time. Our way of being, of speaking, of listening c r e a t e s a t m o s p h e r e s for-and-before Children, and we can become a Prayer for Children, wherein They feel-and-live sensations, perceptions, emotions. It depends on the way of our There-Being for-and-before Them.
    I am a Linguist. But I am also my Little Giampaolo’s aunt. Giampaolino died at 19 months, on the 17th October 2010. On the 8th March 2010, at 12 months, he was diagnosticated the AcuteLymphoblasticLeukemia. He never received PaediatricPalliativeCare. Never. Never He received the TotalCare. That’s why my studies and researches are focused on this field. And, my mission is to g i v e what was Never given to my Little Giampaolo, to All the PreverbalChildren in the World, in His Memory.
    Luisella Magnani

  2. Pingback: Education in spiritual care | EAPC Blog | All Things Palliative - Article Feed

  3. CDS Coaching says:

    Wow! this is such a valuable educational blog list through which people can gain more knowledge and learning skills in a better way. Thanks for sharing this article.
    CDS Coaching – The ‘Combined Defence Services’ Examination (CDS) is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy.

  4. Patrik says:

    For those of you who are looking for some deeper connection I can strongly recommend an fantastic event with speakers, musicians and aligned spiritual workers coming from different countries celebrating Light and perfect Balance at Equinox this coming September in California…

    The Equinox is the marker of the Merging, of the balance between Spirit and Matter, between Light and Shadow, between the Masculine and feminine energies. The Elders considered the Fall Equinox as one of the holiest moments of the years. Later and until recently, the Christian Churches have celebrated the Michaelmas on this day. Fall is associated with the Archangel Michael because He is the agent, the catalytic energy of the Merging, of the Alchemical marriage.

  5. nkem purity says:

    Great read, Dr. Goodhead! I am particularly interested in training or further education for people like me from a medical background (Masters in Biomedical Sciences with a specialty in oncology) but with innate interest/passion for administering care to the suffering/dying by meeting their spiritual and psycho-social needs. Any recommendations or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for this enlightenment and creating this space to re-define care, our humanity and consciousness.

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