Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

Chaplaincy and Narrative Theory: A Response to Risks’s Case Study

The response of a clinical chaplain to a case study of chaplaincy with an elderly African-American male with Parkinson’s disease is presented. The case study offers two novel aspects: first, it explicitly describes interventions by the chaplain, and second, the chaplain’s clinical approach was guided throughout by an underlying theory (narrative theory). The case study seeks to shift the paradigm from chaplains as ‘‘agenda-less’’ companions to clinicians with a repertoire of interventions which they should claim. The chaplain’s use of narrative theory is examined. Future case studies may draw on narrative theory in chaplaincy with older males with different chronic disease, with women who have Parkinson’s, and may seek to develop a theory of chaplaincy from within the profession.