Recently, I responded to the challenge of defining Pastoral Care. Working within the Aged Care Services sector, the challenge was applicable. Since that time, I have been developing an overview of care strategies and management of spiritual conditions. It is still work in progress! However, I’d like to share some of that work with my readers in this week to come.
Ministerial Intervention is the work of Pastoral Care to manage a spiritual condition. Effective engagement uses the strategies from the Spiritual Triumvirate: Faith, Hope and Charity. The three care strategies for spiritual management (see diagram below) are:
- Pistosic Care (faith-based)
- Elpistic Care (hope-based)
- Agapic Care (charity-based).
Each of the care strategies are used to guide the intervention. Each strategy contains different types of intervention. The different types, in turn, have spiritual resources unique to their ministry. The table below illustrates the relationship between care strategies, management ministries and spiritual resources.
All three strategies overlap. The distinction is given for emphasis on management of spiritual conditions. The overlap illustrates the interconnectedness of being human and is faithful to the holistic mode for care:
- Body – Medical Treatments
- Soul – Therapeutic Treatments
- Spirit – Ministerial Treatments
There have been numerous studies conducted over the past 50 years that show a person’s health and well-being benefits when his or her spiritual needs are addressed. Some benefits include:
- shorter hospital stays
- improved pain management
- improved experience of the stay
- improved motivation to complete the tasks of healing
- improved management of cardiovascular needs (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure)
- improved sense of well-being.
The overlap of Pastoral Care strategies mimics the overlap in other fields (see Figure 1). Medical treatments yield positive effects on Soul and Spirit; therapeutic treatments effect the Spirit and Body positively; and, as previously noted, ministerial treatments produce positive consequences for the Soul and Body.
(To be continued)
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