Spiritual Interventions
In Bereavement Support
Provides growth and new life
• The majority of people find their own way
through their loss without the help of
professional counsellors
• Some people will suffer serious physical
and mental health issues if not provided
with professional support
• Working through grief can provide
opportunities for personal growth and
strengthened religious beliefs
(Parkes, 2001)
(Calhoun & Tedeschi, 1990)
& Separation
• The genesis of grief lies in the inevitability
of both attachment and separation for the
sustenance and development of human
(Mitchell & Anderson, 1983)
• The despair that emerges in the grief
process stems from the knowledge that
the relationship is not able to be restored
(Weiss, 2001)
Case Study
• Ji Ji’s husband diagnosed with cancer
2004 at the age of 53
• 4 year period of surgery & chemotherapy
• Ji Ji was the primary carer
• Husband died in hospital 2008
• 2 visits to provide supportive care to Ji Ji
in her home
Spiritual History
• Ji Ji was a lapsed Catholic with no
connection to the institutional church
• She had no hope or certainty that her
husband would have a resurrected life and
be at peace with God
• The death of her husband challenged her
strongly held belief that they would grow
old together and this took away her
Assessment of
Spiritual Needs
• Ji Ji’s spiritual & religious beliefs were
reactivated early in the bereavement
• Very spiritual person who found God
present in nature and in sacred places
• Needed support in her quest for meaning
• Spiritual journey of great importance
Formal Support
• Formal grief counselling provided for a
short period of time
• Regular support from GP providing
medication for anxiety
• Further counselling for extended period of
• Recommendation & referral to a
Informal Support
• 8 week closed bereavement support group
• Followed by a monthly open support group
• Ongoing support from a bereavement
• Individual supportive care comprising a
spiritual component
Spiritual conversations
Holding cross given to Ji Ji
Anointing with oil
Spiritual resources
Provision of safe space
Spirituality and religious
• Brokenness and togetherness are both part of the
human condition
• Togetherness helps us to feel and believe that we belong
• The model of companioning goes beyond the medical
model of bereavement treatment and can promote
(Wolfelt, 1998)
• Spiritual care is about being present so as to allow
spiritual questions to be addressed and healing to take
(Harrington, 1995)
Infinite Respect

Spiritual Interventions in Bereavement Support powerpoint