Socw 6210 week 9

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Spiritual Development

Throughout your coursework in HBSE, you have explored many factors that influence an individual's behavior. This week, you focus on spirituality, a factor that contributes significantly to the way individuals view themselves and find meaning in their lives. Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman (2016) stated, "The spiritual domain is an important means by which many people organize their view of the world" (p. 132).

As you explore the topic of spirituality this week, consider how a client's spirituality might influence your approach with that client. In addition, consider how your own spirituality might influence your work and why your awareness of spirituality is essential to your effectiveness as a social worker.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze the role of spirituality in social work practice
  • Apply awareness of spirituality to social work practice

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Required Readings
Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA:  Cengage Learning.
Chapter 3, Section "Relate Human Diversity to Psychological Theories” (pp. 130-132)
Chapter 7, Sections "Review Fowler’s Theory of Faith Development," "Critical Thinking: Evaluation of Fowler's Theory," and "Social Work Practice and Empowerment Through Spiritual Development" (pp. 350-354)
Chapter 15, Section "Spotlight on Diversity 15.2: Spirituality and Religion" (pp. 694-696)
Barker, S. L. (2007). The Integration of spirituality and religion content in social work education: Where we've been, where we're going. Social Work & Christianit, 34(2), 146–166.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Crisp, B. R. (2011). If a holistic approach to social work requires acknowledgement of religion, what does this mean for social work education?. Social Work Education, 30(6), 663–674.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Day, J. (2010). Religion, spirituality, and positive psychology in adulthood: A developmental view. Journal of Adult Development, 17(4), 215–229.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Furness, S., & Gilligan, P. (2010). Social Work, Religion and Belief: Developing a Framework for Practice. British Journal of Social Work, 40(7), 2185–2202.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Oxhandler, H. K., & Pargament, K. I. (2014). Social work practitioners 'integration of clients' religion and spirituality in practice: A literature review. Social Work, 59(3), 271–279.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Stirling, B., Furman, L., Benson, P. W., Canda, E. R., & Grimwood, C. (2010). A comparative survey of Aotearoa New Zealand and UK Social Workers on the role of religion and spirituality in practice. British Journal of Social Work, 40(2), 602–621.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Document: Wagenfeld-Heintz, E. (2009). Faith and its application to the practice of social work. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 21(3), 182–199. (PDF)(PDF)
Faith and its application to the practice of social work by Wagenfeld-Heintz, E., in the Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 21/3. Copyright 2009 by Haworth Pastoral Press. Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Informa UK Ltd- Journals via the Copyright Clearance Center.
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., Brocksen S. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case histories. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
"The Logan Family" (pp. 9-10)
Document: Life Span Interview (PDF)
You will use this document for your Life Span Interview Assignment In Week 10.
Required Media
Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). Logan family: Episode 3 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes.

Accessible player --Downloads--Download Video w/CCDownload AudioDownload Transcript
Optional Resources
Use the link below to access the MSW home page, which provides resources for your social work program.
MSW home page
Atchley, R. C. (2006). Continuity, spiritual growth, and coping in later adulthood. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 18(2/3), 19.
Hodge, D. R., & Bushfield, S. (2007). Developing spiritual competence in practice. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work15(3-4), 101–127.
Linzer, N. (2006). Spirituality and ethics in long-term care. Journal of Religion and Social Work, 25(1), 87–106.
Nelson-Becker, H., & Canda, E. R. (2008). Spirituality, religion, and aging research in social work: State of the art and future possibilities. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 20(3), 177–193.
Nelson-Becker, H. (2005). Religion and coping in older adults: A social work perspective. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 45(1/2), 51–67.

Discussion: Spiritual Development

Furness and Gilligan (2010) stated, "There is a growing body of literature written predominantly for health professionals and more recently for social workers about the importance of developing and incorporating cultural and spiritual sensitivity and awareness in their work with others" (p. 2187). Spirituality, which may or may not include involvement with an established religion, contributes to human diversity and influences human behavior. An individual's spirituality may be an important factor in his or her social environment. As a social worker, your awareness of a client's spirituality may help increase your understanding of the client and his or her needs.

Sensitivity to and respect for your client's spiritual dimension reflects your appreciation of diversity. As you consider the potential impact of your clients' spirituality on their perspectives and behavior, you must also consider how your spirituality might influence your interactions with a client.

For this Discussion, you consider the impact of spirituality on your interactions with clients.

By Day 3

Post a Discussion in which you explain how considerations about clients' worldviews, including their spirituality or religious convictions, might affect your interactions with them. Provide at least two specific examples. In addition, explain one way your own spirituality or religious convictions might support your work with a client, and one barrier it might present. Finally, share one strategy for applying an awareness of spirituality to social work practice in general.

By Day 5

Read a selection of your colleagues' posts.

Respond to at least two colleagues in one of the following ways:

  • State how your colleague's examples of spirituality's influence in client relationships resonate with you. Provide support for your perspective.
  • State whether you are likely to use your client's strategy in your own social work practice, and explain why.

Be sure to support your responses with specific references to the resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.

Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria
To access your rubric:
Week 9 Discussion Rubric
Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5
To participate in this Discussion:
Week 9 Discussion

Assignment: Spirituality and Social Work Practice

Being culturally sensitive by respecting your clients' spirituality and religious traditions, in general, is an important professional competence (Furness & Gilligan, 2010). Applying your spiritual awareness to a specific client case, however, may require even greater skill. In this assignment, you consider how you might address a client's crisis that includes a spiritual or religious component.

To prepare for this Assignment, review this week's media about Eboni Logan's visit with her school social worker.

By Day 7

Submit a 2- to 4-page paper that answers the following questions:

  • As Eboni's social worker, would you include spirituality and religion in your initial assessment? Why or why not?
  • What strategies can you use to ensure that your personal values will not influence your practice with Eboni?
  • How would you address the crisis that Eboni is experiencing?

Support your Assignment with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.


Colleagues Responses  and answer this in the following way

 

Respond by Day 5 to at least two colleagues in one of the following ways:

  • State how your colleague's examples of spirituality's influence in client relationships resonate with you. Provide support for your perspective.
  • State whether you are likely to use your client's strategy in your own social work practice, and explain why.


 Ashley Burk RE: 

Hello Everyone,

            The differences in each person’s life experience influence their worldview and their biopsychosocial environment also impact life experience and worldview.  As a white Christian woman, I cannot expect an African-American Muslim man to have the same or even similar life experiences to my own.  It is imperative social workers view social work practice as a continuous learning opportunity.  Social workers must also recognize the difference between religion and spirituality.  Religions are formal institutions which include common beliefs, traditions, and spiritual practices (Zastrow, & Kirst-Ashman, 2016).  Spirituality is a human developmental process to examine, explain, and develop beliefs about the “reality beyond the material world” (Barker, 2007, pg. 148).  A person does not have to be religious to be spiritual, or spiritual to be religious (Zastrow, & Kirst-Ashman, 2016).  Social workers need to respect clients’ worldviews and their religious or spiritual beliefs or lack thereof.  An atheist does not believe in a higher power, and a Christian social worker believes in one God. However, this difference in spirituality and religion should not impact the ability of a social worker to assist an atheist client or to try and impose their personal religious beliefs on a client. 

            My faith gives me a solid foundation on which to build a more accepting attitude toward others.  Recognizing similarities between my faith and other systems of faith is one way to breakdown barriers and promote religious freedom for all people.  The challenges I have faced throughout my life have led me to a career dedicated to helping others and the protection of those who are struggling.  My faith helps keep me centered and will enhance my ability to empathize with clients.  I must teach myself to recognize instances of religious privilege because unintentional bias and prejudice are still bias and prejudice and can damage a social worker/client relationship. Understanding spirituality as a universal human experience and no matter a person’s religious beliefs they underwent a spiritual journey to develop their belief system (Barker, 2007; Zastrow, & Kirst-Ashman, 2016). 


Response 2

 michelle washington RE: Discussion - Week 9COLLAPSE

We will work with clients that have had experiences that have shaped their worldviews about several topics. As social workers we will experience working with diverse clients, communities and cultures. I believe everyone has the right to believe what they want regarding spirituality and we should respect those differences. Whether we agree or disagree in my opinion isn’t relative to the level of service we provide. I personally know that I have no right to judge or try to impose my beliefs in my practice. As professionals we must serve clients without biases and be nonjudgmental. We can’t allow person beliefs to be a barrier for service. If one can’t do that then they in my opinion are in the wrong profession.  

I am a Christian and grew up in a Pentecostal church. I am very solid in my faith.  We went several times a week and on some days there were multiple services we attended.  I experienced a lot of judgment for being the free spirit that I am.  In my opinion some of the most judgmental people are in the church. I choose to be my hair mostly shaved and I have several tattoos. I have felt judgement even without someone saying anything verbally. Looks and stars are judgmental. So, for me in practice I know I can except and embraces whoever I work with. I feel strongly that that everyone should be and do want they want and feel. Acceptance and respect can in my opinion combat barriers.

Staying knowledgeable about diversity is one strategy I will apply in practice.  It is essential that we be competent about the clients we serve. We should continuously educate ourselves on diverse topics. I also feel like we should ask questions. If you don’t ask then you won’t know.

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