Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

TC Fellow to present at Dutch conference

Transforming Chaplaincy Fellow Paul Galchutt, Staff Chaplain at University of Minnesota Health, will present at the conference “Do We Have a Case? International Conference on Case Studies Research in Chaplaincy Care” at the Universitair Centrum voor Geestelijke Verzorging February 25-26:

The process of creating a case necessitated having a purpose with a point or two to be made. For me, the primary point of my case is that narrative is the air breathed by spiritual care providers and the way in which most patients and families make sense of and deliberate about concerning serious illness. In this way, chaplains are significant partners on the nonlinear, but narrative path of decision making. This case also supported making another point about an intervention I have incorporated into my chaplaincy practice, mutual expressive writing. It is based on the Amherst Writers and Artists method created by author and teacher, Pat Schneider. I wrote with the patient a few different times wherein a brief prompt was shared followed by expressive writing for a short time (5 minutes). This method culminates in reading and then sharing dialogue about what was written in meaningful, non-editorial ways to create a supportive, trusting space and moment in time. The outcome is often drenched in meaning. Another important dimension of my learning is that cases are an ideal way for spiritual care providers to teach and learn from each other that is non-threatening and provides easy access as no knowledge of statistical method and analysis is required.

Paul Galchutt

The conference is a response to a call by George Fitchett, Transforming Chaplaincy Co-Director, to develop a body of case studies in chaplaincy care. We will report on Paul’s presentation, as well as the rest of the conference, in March.

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