Spirituality and Social Work

Topics: Social work, Spirituality, Sociology Pages: 10 (3616 words) Published: August 22, 2013
Spirituality and Social work

-Pius Moras.

|“We are not human beings having spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.(Teilhard de Chardin-French | |Geologist, Priest, Philosopher and Mystic). | |These words that I first read in 1972 while I was writing a term paper on this great philosopher Teilhard de Chardin during my philosophy | |studies at the Institute of Philosophy and Religion in Pune remained in memory and found a new meaning in 1978 while pursuing my studies in| |Social Work at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. | |Introduction: | |All of us are aware that all persons including the care givers, those cared and their families have a spiritual dimension. One cannot give | |what one does not have. Unless one is spiritual it is difficult for him/her to touch the other person spiritually and contribute to his/her| |overall development and empowerment. Only the one who is healed from within can heal others and spirituality helps us to be complete | |persons from within so that we could help others in need. Victor Frankl has said “The spiritual dimension cannot be ignored, for it is | |what makes us human.” Actually this spiritual dimension can serve as a missing link in our practice of social work. | |Human beings could be compared to a 4 wheel vehicle. Each wheel represents an aspect of human nature. We have physical, emotional, | |intellectual and spiritual dimensions. When there is an imbalance in anyone of these dimensions, a need for intervention arises. While a | |Doctor deals with the physical dimension, a friend or a family with the emotional, a teacher with the intellectual and the religious people| |with the spiritual dimension, Social Work deals with the whole person keeping in mind all the dimensions. | |Definitions of Social Work and Spirituality: | |The Department of Social Work at the Wright State University (US) defines Social work “A professional activity of helping individuals, | |groups, or communities enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and creating societal conditions favorable to this goal. | |Social Work practice consists of the professional application of Social Work values, principles, and techniques to one or more of the | |following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping | |communities or groups provide or improve processes.” | |The practice of Social Work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; of social, economic, and cultural institutions; and of | |the interactions of all these factors. | |According to the International Association of Schools of Social Work: “The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving| |in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilizing theories of human behaviour and social| |systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice | |are fundamental to social work.” | |...
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