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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Naming the spiritual: the hidden dimension of helping.

Author: Graham, M.A; Kaiser, T; Garrett, K.J.
Author Background:
Date 1998
Type Journal
Journal Title: Social Thought
Volume/Pages 18(4): 49-61
Subject Matter Psychotherapy, Spirituality-; Social-work-practice; History-of-social-work; Meaning
Abstract The history of spirituality and the social work profession is marked by ambivalence, even avoidance. This paper expands the definition of social work practice to include a spiritual dimension. The authors suggest that this dimension is not new, but its importance has not been sufficiently articulated. The spiritual dimension of practice includes consciousness of and attention to the client's search for meaning. Both the helping relationship and many of the issues that clients bring are spiritual in nature. A simple framework to help practitioners identify spiritual issues is presented and illustrated by a case example. (Journal abstract.)