Sacred work? Exploring spirituality with therapists working with stroke patients with aphasia

Journal article


MacKenzie, S. 2016. Sacred work? Exploring spirituality with therapists working with stroke patients with aphasia. Journal for the Study of Spirituality. 6 (1), pp. 77-88. https://doi.org/10.1080/20440243.2016.1158457
AuthorsMacKenzie, S.
Abstract

Speech and language therapists (SLT), occupational therapists (OT) and physiotherapists (PT) on stroke rehabilitation wards have long worked in an holistic way, with the client at the centre of their interventions. However, if we consider our clients to be tripartite beings, comprising body, mind and spirit, do we, in fact, give credence to the spiritual dimension? Are there particular considerations in this regard when we consider those patients who present with communication difficulties following a stroke? Are we able to facilitate expressions of spiritual distress/need in our clients with aphasia who have difficulty verbalising their thoughts and, if so, is it our role to do so? As part of a larger study exploring stories of spirituality with people with aphasia, I interviewed members of the multidisciplinary team on an acute stroke ward. I wanted to explore their understanding of their professional role vis-à-vis spirituality. This article focusses on some of the themes which emerged in the interviews with the therapists on the stroke ward: an OT, SLT and PT. Using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach, I encouraged them to talk about their interventions with people with aphasia, their definition of spirituality, and whether they considered facilitation of expressions of spirituality in their clients with aphasia part of their therapeutic remit. Although, of course, this represents a very small sample of therapists, nevertheless some interesting themes have begun to emerge, which I hope will contribute to further dialogue.

Year2016
JournalJournal for the Study of Spirituality
Journal citation6 (1), pp. 77-88
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN2044-0243
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/20440243.2016.1158457
Publication dates
Online04 May 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Jun 2016
Accepted01 May 2016
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/87vqz/sacred-work-exploring-spirituality-with-therapists-working-with-stroke-patients-with-aphasia

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