The relationship of the spiritual to the total well-being of a patient is expressed well by Nelson (1999), as an individual searches for the “why” within the context of their illness, and tries to give voice to their anxiety, anger, guilt, and loneliness.
Such questions express a need for acceptance, hope, forgiveness and love.
Pastoral care is at the foundation of Agape’s behavioral health system of care, with a team of Chaplains helping clients discover meaning in their lives, as they and their families cope with challenges and life-changing events, including loss and illness, trauma, painful past experiences, depression, anxiety, and parenting and marriage issues.
Our Chaplains have received clinical pastoral training that provides them with a variety of tools to further clients’ care and well-being, including spiritual care assessment and the simple, but powerful comfort experienced in being able to share confidentially with a member of the clergy. In addition, our Chaplains are trained in evidence-based treatments such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.
Guiding principles of pastoral care use the FAITH assessment model (D.E. King, 2002):
F – Do you have faith or religion that is important to you?
A – How do your beliefs apply to your health?
I – Are you involved in a church or faith community?
T – How do you spiritual views affect your view about treatment?
H – How may I help you with any of your spiritual concerns?
Openness and honesty take courage, and through our Chaplaincy Program we offer our clients a confidential environment in which to express their innermost thoughts and challenges, and a safe place to call upon their spiritual resources. As our Chaplains encounter people in the midst of their everyday lives and struggles, they extend God’s love at the point of their deepest need, helping them find meaning and strength through faith and presence.