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2006 CONFERENCE—Presentations & Workshops

The Transforming Power of Spirituality:
Breaking Barriers and Creating Common Ground

The First North American Conference
on Spirituality and Social Work

May 25-27, 2006
Renison College
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario

CONFERENCE PROGRAM

Thursday, May 25   Pre-conference Institute
(Co-Sponsored by the Midwestern Branch of the Ontario Association of Social Workers)

8:30-9:00 Registration

Thursday May 25   9:00-12:30  Special Pre-conference Workshop

Embracing the Sacred in our Work
Bonnie Collins and Trina Laughlin

This experiential workshop will be an opportunity for the attendees to share 'holy moments' in their work, and thereby re-energize their own spirituality. As social workers, we are story listeners who bear witness to other people's pain and joy. Although the stories being shared are not our actual life experience, the imagery, symbolism, mystery and meaning of the stories we hear, often impacts us on a very personal level. Through the art of story, the presenters have harnessed a way to re-energize their own spirituality by exploring the awesome and the tragic in our work.

Thursday May 25   1:30-3:00 Pre-conference Workshops

A Way into Well-being - The Art of Caring for the Self
Margaret Parle, Debra Pelling & Rupdaye Chaitram

The purpose of this Workshop is to help us, as social workers, to explore our own self-care and self-confidence in order to introduce positive change and renewal in our lives. It is by nurturing ourselves that we heal ourselves. When we know how to do this can we then effectively support the healing process in others. The Workshop will offer opportunities for self-discovery and the recognition of innate qualities, using meditative reflections. Easy and fun exercises will be used to explore true wisdom for changing old habits and attitudes and allow the blossoming of innovative thought.

Spiritually Sensitive Practice with Children and Youth
Connie L  Kvarfordt
Renison 125

Robert Coles (1990) was one of the first pioneers to explore the spiritual and religious lives of children and youth.  His work, as well as others, provides insight into the spiritual diversity, depth and understanding that children possess.  By comparing and contrasting transpersonal and experiential theories participants will learn how each perspective contributes to our knowledge about children and youth’s spirituality.
    Participants will also learn about children’s spirituality by hearing from participants of qualitative studies. Included in this session will be an introduction of religious and spiritual abuse and neglect of children and youth such as cultural and environmental influences, experiences of violence, misuse of religious teachings, and religious persecution.  In addition, ideas for supporting children’s spiritual development as well as suggestions for spiritually sensitive practice with this population will be discussed.
      A combination of didactic and open discussion format will be used to present the information.

 In Search of the Divine Feminine:  Personal Journeys and Experiential Prayer
Mary Jenny-Saltmarsh & Philip Tan
Renison 106 

In our quest to related to and experience the transcendent we often use anthropomorphic images of the divine. Quite understandably, since patriarchy has dominated societies since the Bronze Age and for over 2,500 years, the divine is most often portrayed in historical times as male. This perception is evident today. This experiential workshop explores insights that provide entry to a new level of consciousness: re-mothering ourselves, re-fathering ourselves, resacralizing the feminine spirit and body, reawakening the divine feminine, and transcending the barriers of gender as we perceive ourselves as spiritual beings and as we relate to the transcendent divine.
            This workshop includes experiential exercises that involve the enactment of rituals dedicated to Kwan Yin (Mahayana Buddhist tradition) and to the Virgin Mary (Greek Orthodox tradition). An overview of Paleolithic and Neolithic Goddess tradition as well as symbols of the Devine Feminine found in the Judo-Christian tradition and Hindu-Buddhist tradition will be presented.
            In addition, the presenters’ will share their spiritual journeys that have taken them from traditional mainstream religions to finding beauty in a more holistic view of spirituality (this includes the presenters’ experiences of living in East Africa, South-East Asia, and the United States. Attendees will have the opportunity to share their personal journeys as well. In conclusion social work practice implications will be discussed.

The Transformation cycle:  A Buddhist-Based Tool for Clinical Assessment And Treatment
Ray Parchello
Renison 43

            Buddhism is a unique spiritual tradition in that it offers a mature and comprehensive model of mind and its cultivation, its ailments and their cure. This model may differ from Western models yet it provides a missing map for the clinical investigation of mental events and identification of disruptive patterns. Building on Buddhist concepts challenges social workers, regardless of their own or client spiritual affiliation, in creating effective tools and interventions.
            We will explore one original assessment and treatment tool, The Transformation Cycle, helpful to therapist and client, regardless of spiritual affiliation. Although based on core Buddhist theories of mind, causality and personal transformation, its concepts, language and related interventions make sense within a Western psychology or a traditional Buddhist framework.
            Participants begin with a brief orientation to Buddhist theories of mind, especially ‘dependent arising’, ‘aggregates’ (skandha) theory and the spiritual faculties (bala-indriyas). They will use Cycle sheets to identify the characteristics of presenting problems, distinguish the form of client obstacles, in terms of mental events, and uncover therapeutic issues. They will be able to relate these to appropriate interventions drawn from Buddhist practices (such as mindfulness practice and metta bhavana) or conventional Western social work methods.


Thursday May 25   3:15-4:30  Pre-conference Workshops

A Jungian Spirituality Workshop
Renee Raimondi Lee
Renison 125

This research project was completed for my Master of Education degree in Counselor Education from Arizona State University in May 2001. I am also a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor and a Certified Workforce Development Professional. I presently work as a Career Counselor for Maricopa County - Workforce Development Division, in Phoenix, Arizona in a federally funded One-Stop Center under the Workforce Investment Act.
            This experiential workshop and inclusive model of spirituality is based on Jungian archetypes in the guise of universal marker events in life, provides a cognitive map of the ongoing process of the three developmental phases of the 21 stages of initial life-span development, and at predictable transitions and crises goes beyond that conventional path to expose the sequence of spiritual development that more consciously empowers each person through the process of individuation, moving toward creativity and self-actualization. Collective society transforms slowly, therefore it is the individual that is ultimately responsible for authentic change. Discussion of this ongoing process as universal experiences includes:

  • Phase I: Caterpillar-Dependency-Emergence; Childhood Developmental Stages: 1-7; Influence of family and societal situations.
  • Phase II: Chrysalis-Independence-Separation; Transitional Stages: 8-14; The struggle involving challenges, choices, guidance, and resources.
  • Phase III: Butterfly-Interdependence-Individuation; Progression of Empowerment and Creativity; Stages: 15-21; Participation and reflection generate becoming teachable and open-minded to a new beginning.
  • The objectives of this educational approach are to: *increase the individual’s awareness of the influencing components of heredity, environment, culture, and developmental life stages affecting personality growth; *to increase the awareness of natural instincts related to attitudes, memories, and beliefs based on childhood experiences, personal habits, behavior patterns, basic assumptions, superstitions, and preferences for values clarification and lifestyle assessment; *to gain an understanding of and to improve the capability of at-risk and normal populations to more effectively manage stressful situations and to cope with predictable transitions and crises in life.
                The practical application of this workshop to promote personal and social transformation is experienced through interactive techniques of self-examination, not as therapy but to gain awareness to: comprehend the universality of experience; decrease isolation and fear; understand the significance of support associations; adjust personal beliefs and attitudes; become a responsible and action-oriented participant in society; assist others in the process. The requirements for success that also provide a challenge for the participants will be the construction of a personal cognitive map. The results from responses on posttests, evaluations, and recommendations suggest a positive impact with an increase in the awareness of the individual as well as personal growth, thereby benefiting society.  

Education as a Spiritual Process; Weaving of Prayer, Metaphor and Creative Arts for Multiple Levels of Understanding  
Jacqueline Fehlner & Patricia Slade  
Renison 43

Education is primarily based on oral and written communication of knowledge, through essays, exams and presentation.  When we consider the process of learning, we tend to address pedagogical issues.  Spirituality, when considered at all in social work, is often relegated to practice areas of assessment and intervention, rather than an integral part of learning about self, others and the structures in which we live.  This workshop will focus on the integration of the spiritual and cognitive journey.
            To reach the spiritual understandings, it is necessary to move beyond or beneath words and language through non-verbal medium.  The use of metaphor and creative arts can move us to appreciate multiple levels of understanding.   Integration of theory and knowledge with personal narratives produces greater ownership and appreciation of the materials taught.
            The workshop will include the experience of one of the authors writing an academic paper on an emotionally charged topic - grief.  The interaction with a spiritual director and art therapist enhanced the writing process and resulted in a much stronger work, which demonstrated excellence in scholarship while communicating to the heart.  We will share some of the process and a discussion of techniques and avenues to making educational activities a spiritual process.

Meditation for the Hearts of Healers
Richard Potter
Renison 106

This workshop is designed to provide the social work practitioner or educator with an opportunity to learn several meditation techniques that focus on overcoming constrictions to the heart that can accompany the pain associated with working with people who are suffering. The emotional nature, poetically named the heart, can be soothed, nurtured, and expanded through time-tested meditation techniques gleaned from diverse spiritual traditions. In this workshop we will focus on meditation techniques that have a healing effect upon the emotions and sensitivities of people who seek to help others shoulder the burdens of life. The presenter will discuss the types and uses of meditative techniques. Participants will experience meditations using concentration, breath, creative visualization, light, and sound, from Buddhist, Christian, Sufi, and Vedic sources. With each meditation the presenter will discuss the usefulness and safety of the practice for both self-healing and self-discovery as well as working with clients.

Transformative Video Therapy (TVT):  Using Technology to Create Pathways to a Witness Consciousness
Jana Vinsky & Dianne Hyles
Renison 43

            Notions of director, author, choreographer, and playwright are not uncommon when discussing issues of liberation both within psychotherapy, as well as within emancipation philosophies (Epstein, 2001; Foster, 1998; Hamilton, 2005; Janis, 2000; White & Epston, 1990). Supporting the person to gain access to their watching consciousness, or to develop a “witnessing” or “observing” self, has historically been a primary goal for many therapies (Corsini, 1973), as to support people to become less reactive, and more of a creator in their own life story.
            Transformative Video Therapy (TVT) is a process that support clients to step out of their self, to gain a detached vantage point, which clients often compare to a “watching consciousness”. Influenced by Narrative Therapy’s stepping back practices and externalization (Freedman & Coombs, 1996; White & Epston, 1990), and Queer Theory’s emphasis on performance (Butler, 1990, 1993 & 1997) the client is filmed telling their story and moments later watches this footage with the therapist. After collaboratively reflecting on the story, the client is then filmed giving direction to “the person on the screen”, which is once again collaboratively observed with the therapist.
            This workshop will illustrate the process of Transformative Video Therapy (TVT), using case examples on video, as well as an interactive demonstration. Participants will learn how TVT can be useful in supporting clients with long-standing issues as well as when in crisis. The collaborative approach to this process will be discussed, and a framework that can be shared with the client will be given. Questions that can be used to facilitate a pathway to a witness consciousness will be highlighted.

Using Kabbilistic Tree of Life to Integrate Spirituality into Social Work Practice  
Penny Cohen  
Great Hall Extension

Kabbalah is the study of creation, God, the cosmos, and the function, structure and dynamics of the universe.  Personal Kabbalah is the study of the journey of the soul, human nature, life, death, reincarnation, love, destiny, and service. It focuses on our individual relationship with the universe and our reason for being here.  The Kabbalistic Tree of Life is a universal map offering pathways to spiritual enlightenment, peace, love, purpose, fulfillment and ultimately personal, social, and world transformation.
            This workshop will explain the symbolism of the Tree of Life and show how it can be used as a systematic approach to integrate spirituality into social work practice. It includes how the Tree of Life paradigm as a universal map and corresponds with other transpersonal, spiritual and traditional practices including Jungian therapy, the Chakra system of Eastern philosophies, the seven sacraments, Erickson’s Stages of Development, and mental health in general.  Lecture, case examples, discussion, meditation, experiential exercises.

 
Thursday May 25   5:00-7:00
Conference Registration, Welcoming Reception and Poster Sessions

Thursday May 25   7:00-9:00
Opening Ritual and Evening Keynote

Spiritual Connection in Social Work: Boundary Violations and Boundary Transcendence
Dr. Edward Canda

Dr. Canda, one of the foremost international scholars on spirituality and social work, will present insights on how to break internal, interpersonal, interreligious, and international barriers through spiritually sensitive social work.  These insights will be based on core principles of mysticism, shamanism, and transpersonal (or integral) theory and illustrated by his personal and professional experiences with interreligious dialogue, refugee resettlement, advocacy, and international professional collaborations.


Friday, May 26 

Friday May 26  7:30-8:30 Morning Meditation/Coffee and Muffins

Friday May 26  8:30-10:00 Workshops


Through the Lens of Legacy:  Understanding the “Difference” We Make  
Linda Dinger  
Renison 106

“Why does anybody tell a story?  It does indeed have something to do with faith, faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.”    Madeline L’Engle

            As social workers we have committed ourselves to making a difference in this world. We know that in our work, accessing the wisdom of the past can provide a powerful spiritual connection that helps people transform their lives.  How can we reconnect to our own historical wisdom and the legacies we have received in ways that enrich our lives and our work?
This workshop will connect you to this past wisdom and in particular to the legacies that inform your commitment to social work.  This workshop will also connect you to the present: what you believe in and what you value. Understanding the past and present in new ways allows us to articulate and document what we wish to gift to the future.
            You will be guided in a process of reflecting, writing and witnessing that will connect you to yourself, to others, and to future generations in powerful new ways.  This is a process that can help social work students and practitioners enrich their understanding of their unique gifts and the legacies they are gifting to the future through their work and their lives.
            Your work and your life will be enriched.

The Transforming Power of Spiritually Oriented Music Based Intervention  - A Model for Contemplative Meditation  
Wilfred Gallant  
Renison 43

pragmatic, experiential workshop to engage professionals towards a spiritual enlightenment and transformation within a sacred, ritual space. It provides bio-psycho-spiritual, awareness of one’s inner reflective energy through the transformational power of music, breath-relaxation, and mindful meditation. This approach is grounded in Bio-Spiritual – Music-Focus Energetics ©™ (2000) which has proven to be effective in working with clients in the field of social work... Participants will be able to experience the combination of these approaches as they open themselves to “inner-directed reflective empathy” Participants will be provided with on-line copies of  1) the Music Impact Inventory Scale (MIIS), 2) the Client's Overall Perception of Worker’s Use of Bio-Spiritual Focusing Assessment Tool, and 3) the Worker’s Use of Social Work Skills.
            Music Relaxation has been time-tested as a systematic means for achieving inner peace and tranquillity. Bio-Spiritual – Music-Focus Energetics ©™ (2000) has been proven to be he     lpful in deepening the felt-sense of ones inner journey and awaken the spiritual dimensions that often lay dormant within an individual. Breath relaxation, music meditation and mindfulness meditation are powerful tools for inner dialogue and metenoia (change of heart). This practical presentation will assist participants to get in touch with their inner being in a soulful way. A unique means of journal writing will also be provided.

It is hoped that participants will walk away with a greater appreciation of the bio-psycho-spiritual dimensions of these three integral musical dimensions in 1) the radical transforming power of social work, 2) in the of re-awakening of the spiritually-oriented instrumentality of the self as a means of effective professional practice, and 4) an appreciation of how to apply this model with clients.

The Transforming Potential of Forgiveness in Public Life 
Ann Weaver Nichols 
Great Hall Extension

Conflicts within and between nations have consequences which may endure for generations.  Lives on both sides are changed in ways that affect not only individuals, but families and whole communities.  Painful memories haunt survivors.  Traumatic stories on both sides retain their power.
            Similarly, oppressive institutions such as slavery or colonial domination  may be abolished or overturned, yet the impact on the population persists.  The stereotypes which allowed the institution to flourish are embedded in memory and practice, even when the intent to discriminate is gone. Despite progress, much of the subjugated group stays behind in relation to the dominant group.
            How do we break out of the cycle of enduring hostility/anger/bitterness on the part of the “outgroup” and the impatience/denial/frustration of the “ingroup” (which often believes the problems were resolved long ago)?  Only through a process of forgiveness and reconciliation can we move forward.  In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission initiated such a process.  Is there a comparable model which might be used in the United States, Canada, and other countries to address issues around relations with the aboriginal populations, racism, and discrimination against other groups?
            This workshop will examine stories of forgiveness and reconciliation in the macro arena and explore possible forgiveness exercises for organizations, communities, and nations.

Friday May 26  10:15-11:45  Workshops

The Enneagram in the Classroom  
Laura Taylor  
Great Hall Extension

            This interactive workshop is designed for newcomers to “Enneagrams” as a way to introduce students to personality factors influencing transformation and the journey on a spiritual path.  The Enneagram is more than a personality type indicator, it offers ways to develop self- and other- awareness which in turn can be transformative. The workshop will provide a brief history of the development of the Enneagram, and basic understanding of the Enneagram.  Participants will have an opportunity to identify their personality types.  The meanings of the Triads, Wings, directions of integration and disintegration, red flags and wake-up calls, and the levels of development will be discussed. The linkage to cultivating spiritual awareness and choice of spiritual practice will be considered.   Awareness of personality type also brings awareness of the excuses not to begin a spiritual journey.  The process of  Letting Go of obstacles in the spiritual path will be presented.  The workshop will conclude with suggestions for using the Enneagram in the social work classroom and as a part of social work practice.

Creating Common Ground to Address Religious and Spiritual Competency for Social Work 
Cynthia Weaver & C. Fred Weaver  
Chapel Lounge

To become a spiritually and religiously competent social worker in today’s world is a challenge because of the many differing spiritual and religious perspectives.  However, in place of looking at the differences between these belief systems, finding common ground across these groups will prepare social workers to be sensitive and competent with a variety of religious and spiritual perspectives.
            This creative, experiential workshop will enable participants to address a case study from the perspective of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, African American Baptist Tradition, Seventh-day Adventists, and Lakota/Native people’s spirituality and religion.  Participants will be divided into small groups and provided with an overview of the general principles and beliefs of each religious/spiritual group, as well as opportunity to experience religious/cultural dress related to their assigned religious/spiritual group.  Each small group will address a case study from their assigned religious/spiritual perspective discussing implications for social work practice.  Returning to the larger group, participants will be helped to identify common ground principles and beliefs of the various religious/spiritual perspectives that would be used in practicing with this case. 

Friday May 26  12:30-2:00  Keynote Address

Localizing Spiritually Based Social Work in North America: Strategies and Prospects
Dr. John Graham

Dr. Graham is the Murray Fraser Professor in the Faculty of Social Work and one of the leading social work scholars in Canada. “Who am I” is one of the most profound spiritual questions anyone can ask. Dr. Graham will pose this question in relation to the First North American International Conference on Spirituality and Social Work. This discussion will necessarily lead to other, equally significant questions. To what dispositions might spiritually minded social workers adhere? What are the commonalities within our spiritually minded communities, and how might they be sources of solidarity and compassion? How might we maintain integrity, and what leadership could spiritually minded people provide to social work and allied communities?

Friday May 26  2:00-3:30  Workshops

Transformative Approaches to Exploring Spirituality  
Pauline Everette
Renison 106

Transformative approaches to teaching and learning can generate knowledge and promote intuitive and other ways of knowing. This experiential workshop will discuss research findings that identify activities and strategies found to promote transformative learning. Also, participants are invited to engage in an activity that demonstrates and invites participants to an experience of transformative learning. Participants are asked to select and bring an object (small may be better) that represents and will help them speak about their spirituality. This activity is offered as an example of an activity and process that promotes transformative learning and that can be used to explore spiritual values, beliefs, and practices. The goal is to introduce transformative learning theory and practice as effective tools that can be used to explore spirituality within the context of social work practice/education.

Meditation – Transforming Individuals and Creating Societal Peace
Christine Kessen
Chapel Lounge

The practice of meditation unites diverse individuals and groups including practitioners of ancient religious and contemporary nonreligious traditions (Benson, 2000; Hanh, 1996; Keating, 2003).  In an age of interspirituality (Teasdale, 1999), meditators value and use a variety of practices from diverse heritages.  Peace advocates call for nonviolent resolution of societal conflicts through methods learned from meditation practices (Hanh, 1996; Ingram, 2003).
            In this workshop, participants will have an opportunity to experience peaceful negotiation strategies from diverse traditions as well as selected conflict-reducing walking and sitting meditation practices.  Skills for using these practices to augment social work intervention strategies to mediate crises, manage stress, increase coping skills, and promote world peace will be discussed.  Illustrations from both the presenter's and participants' cases will be highlighted.  The reported research and benefits of these practices will be presented. 

Spirituality as Empowerment: A Model of Cultural Competence for Social Workers 
Roger Simpson  
Room 43

Spirituality is often an overlooked aspect of what is called culture. Definitions of culture often include acknowledgement of language, art, customs, music, religion, and even food, as socially approved ways people respond to each other and to their environment. One obvious implication of considering these items (and others), both collectively and individually, is that culture can be revealed in all aspects of daily living. Spirituality and religion are representations of culture that serve as sources of comfort and renewal, strength and empowerment. Further, if we view culture as a mechanism for survival in the social environment, the importance of considering each element, including spirituality, is necessary to embrace and celebrate culture.
            In this workshop we will highlight the dangers of cultural incompetence in carrying out the obligations of social workers. A lack of cross cultural proficiency subverts or, at least, ignores cultivated cultural resources such as religion and spirituality. Culturally relevant lenses are needed to adequately assess client systems looking to social workers and human service organizations for help and hope. Therefore, this presentation will enhance current service delivery methods by providing a framework by which service providers can review their own culture and its relevance to who they are and what they do. This review is a necessary precursor to understanding others from different cultural backgrounds  
            Finally, this workshop will explore some of the key components of spirituality in the context of cross-cultural collaboration. This model offers a proactive method for preparing professionals to provide service in a manner that meets the 3r’s of diversity: respect, recognition, and relationship-building. Information shared in the presentation will equip employees in human service agencies with a systematic plan for developing in ways that are not just culturally sensitive but that are also culturally competent.

Friday May 26  3:30-4:30  Poster Session

Friday May 26  4:30-5:45  Special Workshop
Percussive Meditation
Ed Canda
(location TBA)

Friday May 26  8:30-10:00  Presentations

The Helpfulness of Dream-Analysis in Spirituality-Influenced Group Work 
Diana Coholic  and  Julie LeBreton
Renison 125

For the past two years, our research program has been investigating the perceived helpfulness of spiritually-influenced clinical social work group practice. To date, we have completed three groups with different populations: Women dealing with addiction issues; senior social work students and recent graduates; and youth-in-care with the local Children’s Aid Society. In this paper presentation we report on one aspect of the group program that participants experience as particularly helpful: Working with dreams. Although many practitioners feel unprepared to attend to their clients’ dreams, the usefulness of dream-analysis is increasingly being considered across helping approaches, and its connection with spirituality is evident in the literature. For just one example, France (2002) made the point that many cultures believe that dream messages are the vehicle through which God [or the Transcendent/unconscious] can speak. One of the goals of the group program is to transform self-awareness. Consequently, we include dream-analysis because dreams can assist participants to access unconscious material and work with it so that a greater sense of self-awareness can develop. Specifically, this paper presentation discusses: How dream-work is facilitated in the groups; why and how group participants describe and experience this process as spiritual; and how it is helpful in facilitating self-transformation. 

Dynamic Transformation of Consciousness, Breaking Barriers, and Enhancing     Psychotherapy Treatment Processes  
Marilyn Stickle & Lyndall Demere  
Renison 125

In developing this research paper, the authors have collaborated on psychotherapy cases for fourteen years using local and non-local spiritual processes to gather pertinent diagnostic and treatment information.  Representing the disciplines of social work and spiritual direction, our research demonstrates the evolution of a social work practitioner with growing understanding of the meaning and benefit of a holistic treatment model and the perception and interventions of a spiritual director with awakened consciousness who is able to see past the barriers of ordinary consciousness. Larry Dossey, MD, editor of the Journal of Alternative Therapies, author of Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine, recognized our collaboration as the “future of healing.”
            We will include vignettes from a case population of over 100 clients and an in depth discussion of our successful work with one client, “Karen,” who was treated for fourteen years prior to collaboration with the spiritual director author. A twelve year follow-up of “Karen” demonstrates the benefits of including different observational perspectives. These observations are a blend of spiritual development and psychotherapeutic understanding that have created an open and extraordinarily successful treatment process.  The common ground that we have established in working together has benefited clients, social work students in training, and mental health professionals from all disciplines.

Creating Inclusive Models of Spiritual Development: From the Path to the Mandala  
Jan Potter  
Renison 44

As social work practitioners and educators increasingly incorporate dimensions of spirituality into their practice and teaching, understanding the diverse ways in which people grow spiritually becomes important. The challenges and crises of transformative life transitions may be interpreted in multiple ways, depending upon the developmental models used. While many culture-specific models of spiritual development are predominantly linear, using metaphors of paths and journeys, some emerging universal models employ more holistic metaphors, such as the mandala. The author will build on exploratory research that involved in-depth interviews with persons (Buddhists, Sufis, Christians, and Hindus) who have been doing intensive spiritual work for at least two decades. Findings suggest that while the patterns of some persons’ experiences may be interpreted within the frameworks of linear models, there are differences that indicate that many grow in ways that do not fit these models. The interviews suggest that persons whose growth patterns are relatively non-linear tend to develop in organic ways, as they meet challenges and create opportunities by focusing on specific areas that assume importance in their lives, such as relationships, cognition, emotions, ethics, the body, and the natural world. The inclusive metaphor of the mandala provides a promising way to view these patterns. 

Caregiving, Caregivers and Religious Coping 
Gil Choi & Terry Tirotto 
Room Other 1

The gerontological literature describes the stress-buffering role of religious involvement for caregivers. The desire to institutionalize is greatest when caregivers experience high levels of stress and when the caregiving is physically and emotionally burdensome. In recent years researchers increasingly have directed their attention to the relationship between caregiver’s religious involvement and its effects on caregiving. Some studies indicate that family members who practice religious beliefs to cope with the task of providing care exhibit less caregiving strain and positive psychological well-being than others who do not. Due to the stress-buffering role of religious involvement, caregivers have a lower incidence of depression. In fact, caregiver depression is known as a factor associated with earlier admission of a loved one to a nursing home.

The purpose of this research project is:

  • to determine if persons who use religious beliefs cope with caregiver stress better than others who do not use religious beliefs.
  • to explore the role of religious coping as a factor affecting decisions to institutionalize.
  • to identify religious and service needs of caregivers to help churches/religious organizations be involved more actively in providing caregivers with religious/spiritual/emotional support.

The methodology included a random sample of 941 records from the state’s long term care database. A survey instrument (Religious Practices and Caregiving Scale) was developed to assess the caregiver’s stress, religious coping, and the role of congregations in providing support. A total N of 232 was included in the analysis. Care burden stress, role overload, and role captivity were measured. Six stressors associated with consequences on long term caregiving and overall burden were measured. The findings indicate that religion and spirituality play a very important role in caregiving. Caregivers who are supported by their religion and spirituality are more likely to provide care at home than seek placement in a nursing home. Caregivers reported that their faith-based organizations helped them to provide care at home. Data analysis suggests that religious beliefs had a significant impact on a caregiver’s decision of care. Recommendations are offered from this study.

Experiences of Spirituality and Self-Transcendence in Caregivers Coping with Dementia
Lynn McCleary, Deirdre Dawson, Elsa Marziali  
Room Other 1

Objectives: Increasingly, caregiving for people with neurodegenerative disease (e.g., Frontotemporal dementia, FTD) is provided by the informal family care system.  Patients with FTD, younger at onset, show many socially disruptive behaviors that present unique challenges to their families.  Caregiving is taxing and much of the caregiving research is guided by the stress/adaptation model. To supplement this paradigm we considered the theoretical perspective of self-transcendence and transpersonal frameworks in the analysis of a psychotherapeutic group for caregivers of persons with FTD. Methods:  Six FTD caregivers participated in a virtual on-line psychotherapeutic group with two social workers over 10 weeks. A content analysis of video-recorded group interactions among caregivers yielded recurrent themes of their struggles. An additional focus of the group session analyses illustrated how caregivers cope with their daily caregiving demands and ascribe meaning through spirituality and self-transcendence. Participants' excerpts depicted three overarching themes: a) spirituality and self-transcendence were often associated with personal meaning, b) there were feelings of compassion for their family members and others and c) there were a number of ways of daily coping with difficulty. Results: Spirituality and self-transcendence in caregivers may provide an additional means of coping with the stressors and daily demands of FTD caregiving.

The Answer Within – The Role of the Church in the Black Community:  A Community Development Response to the Violence in Toronto 
Gillian Wells  
Room Other 2

This paper will assert that the church in the Black community has a role in addressing the contemporary issue of the violence in Toronto. The church’s historical significance in the Canadian context as studied by Este (2004) will be examined along with the church’s present day role. Following this will be a focus on the increased gang and street violence that is occurring in some Toronto communities. The harsh realities of these communities will also be considered along with assumptions of how best to resolve the increase in violence as reflected in the media, politicians, law enforcement and the Black community itself.  It is then proposed that the church community needs to be involved in promoting social capital and spiritual capital (Sinha, 2004). Research by Sinha (2004) is reviewed as it found that,”…local religious congregations in collaboration with local agencies and stakeholders, fostered positive outcomes among youth [at risk] and promoted community linkages.” The paper concludes with consideration for social workers working with faith based groups. 

LPI Life Source Mapping:  how Black Critical Theory and The Chakras System Intersect  
Dianne Prevatt-Hyles and Jana Vinsky
Room Other 2

Coming out of a tradition of Black Feminist literature, ( Hill-Collins, 2000; hooks, 2004) as well as a history of Black liberation movements that have included notions of spirituality, while discussing systemic inequality ( West, 1999; Kanpol,1996) , the LPI Life Source Mapping: A 7 Point analysis, offers a reflection process that can be used across contexts and roles. Drawing on Black Liberation Theology, LPI Life Source Mapping supports the worker to contextualize the individual and community within systemic oppression, while generating openings for hope, agency and possibility, for transformative action and social justice.
            This holistic practice framework is transferable in kind, due to the emphasis on dynamics, practices and processes, and can be used within professional, inter-personal, as well as community settings.
            LPI Life Source Mapping includes a self-inquiry system to facilitate the worker’s reflection process, while simultaneously assessing interference of that which is life sustaining for the client or community.  This system of analysis corresponds with the 7 point Chakra System that accentuates the life energy needs, while adding a systemic dimension of understanding.
            This workshop will highlight the relationship between the Chakra Systems and the LPI Life Source Mapping. This relationship will be explored through the presentation of the LPI Video, “Life Source Mapping and Liberatory Social Work”, which demonstrates how this framework can be integrated into our work as social workers, when addressing issues of oppression within a Canadian context.  

Friday May 26  10:15-11:45  Presentations
Lessons in Abundance from the HIV/AIDs Community  
Kenwyn K  Smith  
Renison 125 

This presentation explores the intersections of spirituality, social work, volunteer­ism, social activism and theology-in-action in the early years of a Philadelphia-based organization, MANNA, (Metropolitan AIDS Neighbor­hood Nutrition Alliance), designed to serve the nutritional needs of those dying from AIDS).  This paper, presented in narrative form, contains many lessons on abundance, such as (1) whenever MANNA was lost someone appeared to show us the way, (2) the greatest insights came from the most vulnerable in our midst, (3) the "leaps of faith" we took filled our spirits with vitality, (4) love grew when given away and (5) the miraculous was contained within the mundane.

            Over the past 15 years MANNA prepared and delivered, without charge, 5 million meals tailored to the specific nutritional needs of the recipients.  This represents a $50 million contribution to the HIV/AIDS community.  It has cost $25 million to run MANNA to date. The reduction in number of days spent in the hospital by people with AIDS, attributable directly to MANNA’s services, saved the medical system at minimum $100 million.  
What MANNA learned about abundance forged a new form of community, shaped a new from of relatedness between the served and the servers, and uncovered lessons from the ages:
Every step we take is upon hallowed ground
Every outstretched hand offered in love is the hand of God
Every moment we live is pregnant with transformative possibility

The Spiritual Assets of Street-Level Sex Workers  
Reva I  Allen  
Rension 125

Many people assume that women working in the sex trade have no spiritual interests, beliefs, or values that can help them to address their human service needs or leave their line of work.  However, discussions with women who work in the sex trade show this assumption to be false.  This presentation presents the findings of a qualitative research project in which over a dozen former street-level sex workers were interviewed regarding their spiritual beliefs and practices.  The presenter discusses ways these beliefs and practices affect women while they are working in the trade and how they may be incorporated into social work practice with this population.  Implications for program design also are discussed. 

The African American Spiritual and Ethical Guide for End of Life Issues:  Embracing and Releasing Life  
Gloria Thomas Anderson  
Renison 44

This paper addresses issues related to end of life care as it relates to the specific needs and concerns of the African American population.  Racial disparity in health care has caused many people of color not to trust doctors or proposed treatment options.  Because of African Americans’ unique cultural history and value system, the decision-making process on end of life issues is often based on spirituality and religious influences.  Ethical decision-making encompasses much more than a medical dimension. This paper will look at spirituality as the context from the three key influencing factors—culture, history and generational family values specific to African Americans in the decision-making process on end of life issues. 

Innovative Ways of Address Mental health Needs of African Americans:  Examining the use of Spirituality in Mental Health Treatment 
Kimberly D  Farris  
Renison 44

For years, mental health research has examined service use of African Americans.  Findings show the use of African American clergy as a mental health resource instead of the mental health system.  The purpose of this study was to examine clergy’s ability to recognize mental illnesses, how they attributed cause of the illnesses, perceived beliefs regarding their abilities for service provision, and decision making processes in attempts to provide assistance.  The study’s primary focus was African American clergy; however, opportunities exist to explore potential connections between clergy, spirituality, and social work.  Sample:  A convenience sample of African American clergy and seminary students were given the Clergy’s Perception of Mental Illness Survey.  Methods:  The bio-psycho-social-spiritual model is the conceptual framework presented.  Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to examine relationships between conceptualization and causal attribution and belief about ability level and decision making process used in service provision.  Results: Clergy attributing cause to spiritual reasons or other life circumstances were more likely to advise in a spiritual manner.  Also, clergy seeking graduate degrees were more likely to advise in a spiritual manner.  Implications for inclusion of spirituality in social work education, practice, and research are discussed with respect to African American clients.

Spiritual Negotiations at the End-of-Life: Experiences in a Long Term Care Facility
Louise Stern  
Room Other 1

The religious and spiritual needs of the elderly are commonly acknowledged, yet the impact they have on those people at end-of-life is little understood.  What happens when end-of-life care takes place in a Jewish long term care facility that is run under the tenets of Orthodox Judaism? The assumption with this is that the formal structures and ethical laws of ‘religion’ are the major influence on the treatment wishes and expectations of the resident. I would assert that it is the resident’s and family’s residing spiritual beliefs that mediate how death is anticipated and prepared for. Spiritual belief’s transcend the sole influence of religious structure to include numerous historical and social variables in the individual’s and family’s life.
            How do we “unpack” a resident’s and family’s spiritual needs and beliefs in an environment that defines religious/cultural practices as “have to’s”  and “ought to’s” so that end-of-life can truly be a reflection of the individual’s beliefs and in the process be more person-centred and meaningful?
Using the case of a dying Holocaust survivor, this paper will examine some of the competing influences of religion and spirituality; how they are mediated; how they affect medical decision making; and how they impact the team’s approach to addressing care practices.  

Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death  
Patricia Slade  
Room Other 1
 
Beginning with Freud, theory surrounding grief and bereavement have both added to our knowledge and created myths, which impede the journey of grief.  Western thinking has shifted theoretically from encouraging detachment from the deceased to continuing bonds with the one who has died, and from stages of grief to tasks required to reconcile the grief and integrate it into life.   Added to this shift is the cultural diversity, which impacts the methods of dealing with death, funerals and mourning.
            The paper examines the theoretical overview of mourning and grief through the last 100 years, and then looks back at earlier practices, particularly those in biblical times.  Grief is not only an emotional and psychological journey but also a spiritual one, when the soul faces the darkness of loss and the spirit seeks new meaning to life.  Helping those in grief can best be done with a companioning model, where one enters the wilderness with the person, and facilitates the journey from a position of understanding and equality rather than the power imbalance of the traditional models relying on the expertise of the practitioner.   A model of group support for those in grief will be discussed.

Transforming the privileged: Contentious spiritual dimensions of educational practice 
Anne Curry Stevens 
Room Other 2

An emerging dimension of anti-oppression practice is to assist not just oppressed learners understand issues of injustice, but so too assist privileged learners in becoming aware of the privilege that they embody and catalyze their development towards becoming allies in the struggle for social justice.
        This paper reports on selected dimensions of recent dissertation research into the practices transformative educators working to build allies among privileged learners on dimensions of gender, race and class. Specifically, the qualitative research study of 20 transformative educators deeply engaged with this practice reveals that educators are divided in the area of spirituality. Describing the transformation process as a spiritual process is controversial. When Freire (1968) suggested that critical consciousness is liberation, he formulated his assessment based on work with the oppressed. Significant revision is possible to apply this concept to privileged learners, but several educators suggest that such an approach is not desirable. This paper will explore the controversy that surrounds the issue, sharing original insights of educators who participated in this study, and theorizing such contributions. The paper concludes with an appeal for caution and serious consideration of the ethical dilemmas that can surface in working from a spiritual perspective with privileged learners.  

Korean Shamanism and its Emancipatory Spiritual Power  
Jonghyun Lee  
Room Other 2

Shinbyung
is listed in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association as a Korean culture-bound syndrome. However, the bio-medically driven symptoms and prognosis put forward in this publication largely overlook the importance of the spiritual aspects of shinbyung that is indigenously constructed by Korean culture. For Koreans, shinbyung is a sign that a person has been chosen by the deities and ancestral sprits to become a mudang, a Korean shaman.
            Experiencing personal tragedies and trauma are essential prerequisites to the onset of shinbyung. Through performing a naerim kut, a special initiatory shamanistic ceremony, a sprit-possessed person overcomes her own wounds by becoming a mudang. With her newly attained spiritual power, the mudang offers cathartic help to others, based on an appreciation for the sense of vulnerability that once wounded her own soul.
            This paper proposes not to dismiss shinbyung as merely a mental disorder that, based on Western analysis, dichotomizes one’s mind/soul from the body, but to understand it in the context of a total person in their highly-defined cultural environment. For Koreans, shinbyung is a shamanic form of spiritual emancipation through which the mudang heals the afflictions of both herself and others in a culturally legitimate way.

Friday May 26  2:00-3:30   Presentations

Developing the Ease(E’s) of Spiritual Competence:  Ethical Guidelines of Spiritual Assessment  
Jan A  Rodgers  
Renison 125

Over the years social workers and educators have been encouraged to discuss the role of spirituality in social work practice.  Practitioners have been encouraged to assess from a strengths perspective a client’s spiritual resources during a psychosocial history.  However, the use of that information can be ethically complicated and value laden.  Social workers and students have been reluctant to understand a client’s revealed spirituality in depth without clear guidelines to handle appropriately knowledge gathered from a psychosocial assessment. This paper introduces a model of eleven ethical guidelines of spiritual assessment with case examples based upon thirty years of clinical practice.  The ethical guidelines of spiritual assessment evaluate and guide the social worker in addressing advantages and disadvantages of one’s spirituality in practice.  The eleven ethical guidelines include: evidence, examination, engagement of client, evaluate relevance, ethics, experience, empowerment, effectiveness, efficiency, emotional element, and enhancement.

The relationship between spiritual faith, positive well being and the spiritual reservoir clients pull from during times of need are addressed.  Ethical guidelines for addressing the appropriateness of spiritual issues that surface in the worker client relationship are presented.  The ethical guidelines can assist social workers in making reliable decisions regarding spirituality as an adjunct to practice. 

Spirituality as a Co-Therapist in Clinical Practice  
Narviar C. Calloway  
Renison 125

The relationship between spirituality and social work practice has been the focus of considerable interest in recent years, especially as spirituality has become an integral part of the counseling relationship for many clients. Research suggests that many clients believe spirituality plays an important role in their lives, that there is a positive correlation between a client’s spirituality or religious commitment and healing outcomes, and that clients would like clinicians to consider these factors in their physical and mental health care. A spiritual assessment as part of the clinician’s initial encounter with a client is a first step in assessing the role of spirituality in the client’s clinical and health care. The HOPE questions provide a formal tool that may be used in this process. The HOPE Questions as a practical tool for spiritual assessment are: H--sources of hope, strength, comfort, meaning, peace, love and connection; O--the role of organized religion for the client; P--personal spirituality and practices; E—effects on health care and end-of-life decisions.

This paper presentation will demonstrate and define the use of HOPE Questions in therapeutic settings, engage the audience in defining spirituality verses religion, and will address culturally sensitive applications in direct practice.

The Spiritual Transformation of Social Work:  A Charter of Social Responsibilities corresponding to Vital Human Needs  
Edward Kruk
Renison 44

This paper explores core elements of a spiritual foundation for transformational social work.  The concept of social justice, which lies at the heart of both ancient and contemporary religious and spiritual traditions, will be examined in relation to needs essential to human growth and integrity.  A theoretical framework for social (justice) work (practice and pedagogy) based on a responsibility-to-needs conception of justice—as opposed to a rights-based approach—will be articulated.  A draft Charter of Social Obligations, corresponding to vital human physical, psychological/emotional, social and spiritual needs, will be discussed and applied to two case examples.  The first looks at the role of social work in natural disaster preparedness, rescue and recovery;  we will examine the development of the Social Work Charter for Unexpected Disasters, drawing on Persian and Islamic spiritual teachings emphasizing honoring those in need as an opportunity for spiritual growth, by social work faculty and students from the Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences University in Tehran, following their involvement in the 2003 Bam earthquake rescue and recovery effort.  The second examines the transformation of the “best interests of the child” standard in child custody and child welfare law, policy and practice in North America, based on Judeo Christian spiritual teachings emphasizing respecting the “sacred core” in human beings by attending to the essential needs of others.  The Table of Vital Human Needs Applied to Children of Divorce, emphasizing the metaphysical needs of children, the responsibilities of parents vis-à-vis these needs, and the responsibilities of representatives of social institutions to support parents in the fulfillment of their parental responsibilities, will be examined in this regard.

Social Work with the Muslim Community  
Khadija Khaja  & Umar Al-Khattab
Renison 44

Muslims consist of the second largest faith group in the world. In the United States Muslims make up the third largest faith group. Given these statistics it is critical that social work educators are knowledgeable about the social service needs of the Muslim community. Social work students must also be trained effectively to work with diverse clients such as those from the Muslim population. This presentation will address some of the common stereotypes, and assumptions people have of Muslims that can often impede effective social work practice. Experiential activities will be illustrated that a social work educator can use in the classroom so students are in a better position to serve the needs of the Muslim community. Growing social concerns that spiritual leaders of Mosques are addressing will also be discussed. Problem solving methods that social workers can use to collaborate with leaders of Mosques to better serve clients will be illustrated by a spiritual leader (Imam) of a large mosque from the United States. This presentation will be useful to social work practitioners, educators and researchers.

Understanding the Spiritual Lives of Adolescents  
Don Phelps  
Room Other 1

Adolescents often have difficulty articulating their spiritual values and beliefs, in part because they are seldom asked about them. Spiritual issues quickly emerge in the developmental life crisis of adolescence. As teens begin to think more abstractly, discover new information, and “rethink” old information, they often experience inner conflict. Disequilibrium cultivates a powerful and often difficult period of change. Teens are searching for affirmation, independence and identity. This is often seen in their acting-out or deviant behavior. Identity development involves the spiritual process of seeking personal genuineness, authenticity and the “real self”.  By failing to assess and understand a teen’s spiritual development social workers are ignoring an essential source of information about their lives. Knowing an adolescent’s spiritual values and beliefs may allow us to better understand their moral reasoning and risk taking behaviors.
            As social work research moves increasingly towards a postmodern perspective, values and beliefs play a more central role in our understanding of clients and determining the intervention strategies we use. This session will focus on ways in which social workers can provide a safe and ethical environment that allow adolescents the opportunity to talk honestly and openly about their spiritual beliefs. 

Fostering Spirituality in At-Risk Youth through Social Work Intervention 
Brenton Diaz
Room Other 1

Synthesizing concepts gathered from Logotherapy (Frankl, 1947/1975), Developmental Psychology (Allport, 1950; Elkind, 1997) and life stage theorists (Fowler, 1981; Kohlberg, 1969; Piaget, 1932), this paper advocates that social workers have a unique opportunity to overcome the mental and existential barriers that isolate at-risk youth through a communication process that connects the adolescent to their being and facilitates for them the establishment of a spiritual base (Benson, Scales, Jr., &. Roehlkepartain, 2003; Cotton, Larkin, Hoopes, Crome, & Rosenthal, 2005; Davis, 2004; Ebstyne-King & Furrow, 2004; Johnson & Larson, 1998; Larson, 1996; Massey, 1999; Mayer, 2005). Case examples from the author’s own practice will highlight the utility of this approach, which will be demonstrated as having a wide applicability across worldviews and faith perspectives, reflecting the diversity and anti-discriminatory nature of social work practice in Canada. This approach will also help workers to move away from the power scripts imbedded in the client/worker relationship, creating a space within intervention to mutually connect with the adolescent. By helping to facilitate for the adolescent a reconnection with the meaning, dreams, and sense of life-cohesion that spirituality brings, the social worker will possess another tool to promote the at-risk adolescent’s healing and personal empowerment.

The Role of Forgiveness in the Resiliency Process  
Yvonne R. Farley  
Room Other 2

Various models of resiliency are identified for recurrent themes consistent between models. Some of these themes include social connectedness, self-efficacy through mastery of tasks or environment, making positive meanings out of adversity which results in positive self-esteem and hardiness, autonomy from sources of adversity and problem solving skills including activities that enhance emotional release.
            The concept of forgiveness will be explored for its effect on resiliency.  The specific benefits and mechanisms of the process of forgiveness from two frameworks will be examined to understand possible benefits of forgiveness on the resiliency process.
            Thoresen, Harris & Luskin (2000) identify four psychosocial mechanisms that may be at work in forgiveness. Temoshok and Chandra (2000) created the most holistic theoretical framework for understanding the benefits of forgiveness. They broke the benefits down into contexts including spiritual, community, healthcare, interpersonal, self and biological.  They then went on to look at the outcomes for each of these contexts which included hope, compassion, social integration, self-esteem, social support and coping behaviors as examples.
            While both of these sources indicate that outcomes are tentative, it begins to appear that some of the outcomes from the forgiveness processes would enhance resiliency processes and themes as described earlier.

Religion, Spirituality and Critical Social Development
Barbara Swartzentruber
Room Other 2

Understanding the instrumental, symbolic and discursive power of religion within the context of modern paradigms of international growth and development is increasingly important to the field of social work. This paper reviews the role for social work in supporting the critical project of social development by contributing to the articulation of a coherent and inclusive set of values and ethics that can support the realization of a just and sustainable global future.  Both critical social work and developmental social work perspectives, are seen to offer opportunities for (re-) opening areas of enquiry and praxis seemingly closed by the prevailing professional and societal discourse. Further, the critical perspective in social development (described by Midgley 2001) offers the opportunity to consider how the vision of an alternative, just society can be achieved.

Friday May 26  3:45-4:30   Presentations

The Role of Spirituality in Coping with Personal and Professional Stressors Among Social Work Students  
Yu-Wen Ying  
Room Other 2

Folkman and Lazarus’ model of stress and coping proposes that distress arises not primarily from external stressors but an inability to cope.  While spirituality may enhance coping, this relationship has not been well documented in MSW students, a high risk population for distress as they serve clients with significant problems. To address this gap in the literature, the current study examines how MSW students’ spiritual orientation influences their coping responses to significant personal and professional stressors, and the latter’s effect on professional burnout and psychological and physical well-being.
            This pilot study utilizes a mixed method design, including a quantitative survey and a qualitative interview. A total of 30 MSW students will comprise the sample. Quantitative measures include stress and coping strategies, religiosity, spirituality, emotional contagion, burnout, and physical and psychological well-being. The qualitative interview will serve to validate quantitative findings. The study will be implemented in the spring of 2006.
            In addition to contributing to the spare literature on MSW students’ spirituality, the study findings will contribute to the MSW curriculum by identifying salutogenic values and practices that enhance coping, continued commitment to excellence in the social work profession, and overall well-being.

 
The New Discourse on Spirituality: Problem or Potential for Social Work and Psychology? 
AnneMarie Gockel  
Chapel Lounge

The 21st century has seen the popular rise of a new form of religious practice. What Sutcliffe (2003, p.223) terms this “new discourse on spirituality” in marked by individuals integrating a broad range of traditions and teachings to develop their own individualized spiritual practice. Psychological language, conceptualizations and strategies are central to the process and vision of healing within this discourse. Traditional spiritual and religious tools are being recruited for psychological purposes and psychological tools are being reframed as spiritual strategies in turn. Heelas (1996) suggests that the new spirituality has arisen to address gaps left by modern institutions such as medicine, psychology and social work. For example, approaches reflective of this discourse emphasize feeling and intuition over rationalism and science, informal personal relationships over formal expert-client dynamics, and internal empowerment over ever more effective external technologies. The impact of this discourse can be felt across many sectors of the population in the rise of interest in alternative healing practices, natural health, green politics, and eastern philosophies and practices such as Zen, yoga, and Buddhism. Certainly the new proliferation of seers, shamans, healers and alternative counselors are attracting much the same population of consumers that counseling services have attracted (Hunt, 2003). This paper examines the impact and potential importance of this discourse for the helping professions. Practitioners will be invited to consider the messages that this new discourse sends in both supporting and challenging mainstream approaches to healing in mental health disciplines.

Spiritual Assessment For Culturally Competent Practice
David Hodge
Renison 125   

As is increasingly recognized, spiritual assessment lays the groundwork for culturally competent practice with the diverse populations that characterize an increasingly multicultural North American society. More specifically, this presentation helps provide a foundation for culturally competent practice by introducing workshop attendees to a number of spiritual assessment models, including the model recommended by the largest healthcare accrediting organization in North America. Topics covered in the presentation include: clarifying the distinctions and connections between spirituality and religion, rationales for conducting a spiritual assessment, qualitatively oriented brief and comprehensive spiritual assessment instructions, quantitative assessment instruments, a framework for selection between various assessment instruments, characteristics of spiritual competency, suggestions for conducting spiritual assessments in an ethical manner that respects client autonomy, and content on the effectiveness of various spiritual interventions.

Examining the Role of Social Work within the Catholic Church
Joanne Ebear
Renison 106

Devolution of services is having a largely negative impact on our social welfare programs and how we are able to and not able to, deliver services to our clients.  Our religious institutions are feeling the brunt of these changes as more and more people are turning to their churches to fill in the gaps in services.  With the number of priests steadily declining within the Catholic Church the demands on the few that remain have increased in terms of meeting the needs of the parishioners, not just spiritually, but physically, mentally, and emotionally, at an individual level, at a community level, and at a global level.  Previous research asked the question: Is There a Place for Social Work within the Catholic Church?  This preliminary inquiry indicated that there is both a need and support for a closer association between the Catholic Church, its existing structures at the parish level and the profession of social work.  As a next step to this research, in this presentation, the authors explore a model of delivery to combine the strengths of both Social Work and the Catholic Church to better serve the needs of parishioners, particularly those who would not seek out, use or be able to access social work services in the general community.

Removing Barriers and Celebrating Diversity: A Welcoming Theoretical Foundation
John Coates and  Mel Gray
Renison 43

Over the decades social work’s attempt to deal with diversity has not been particularly successful. Critical theorists have pointed out the way in which minority and Indigenous voices have been silenced within mainstream social work discourse. Further, some of the internationalizing efforts directed at securing a universal definition and global education standards for social work can be said to continue the profession’s colonizing tradition by which Anglo-American social work models supplant local and Indigenous approaches and practices. This paper will present an alternative ecospiritual perspective, that celebrates diversity and creates a welcoming place for Indigenous voices and local models of helping. This has occurred as the core beliefs and values that inform spiritually or environmentally sensitive social work are more reflective of, and welcoming to, the holistic world views of many Indigenous groups. Case examples from social work literature in Canada, China, Tonga, and Malaysia, will be used to reinforce the importance of culture and local knowledge in the development of genuine and authentic culturally relevant social work practice.

Integral Social Service:  A guide for inclusion of spirituality from clinical through macro
Heather Larkin
Great Hall Extension

Integral theory is a tightly knit metatheoretical framework which is inclusive of spirituality and appropriate to the vision of social work.  The AQAL framework of Integral theory will be presented.   Furthermore, the evolution of the social work profession over time will be discussed in light of Integral theory.  By simultaneously attending to both the person and the environment, social work has actually been ahead of its time in its comprehensive approach.  Yet, although social work has been inherently striving for a more integrative approach from the beginning, it has lacked a theory that could address both people and their environments by integrating the various useful theories drawn upon by social workers.  Integral theory does just this.  It also provides a way to work with the spiritual aspects of both people and their environments from clinical through macro levels.  Social workers will leave this presentation with a grasp of Integral theory and an understanding of the ways that Integral theory can guide both practice and research that includes spirituality in social work.

Friday May 26  5:30-7:00   Networking Reception
Co-Hosted by Renison & ASU Schools of Social Work


Saturday, May 27

Saturday May 27  7:30-8:30   Morning Meditation/Coffee and Muffins

Saturday May 27  8:00          Remembering Brian Ouellette -  memorial
Location TBA

Saturday May 27  9:00-10:30 Workshops

Inspirational Techniques from Aboriginal Healing Practices for Spiritual Enhancement in the Clinical Office Setting  
Lewis Mehl-Madrona  
Renison 106
Type:  Experiential Workshop

This workshop will address what we can do in an office setting to enhance the spiritual experience of ourselves and others who sit with us.  We will draw from the presenter’s roots in aboriginal culture to find modern translations of these concepts that practitioners can use in contemporary settings.  First comes the concept of purification.  Most ceremonies are preceded by purification as a means of mental preparation, building focus, channeling energy, and being helpful.  We will review personal means for purification that can be done before, during, and after work and will perform a short purification for ourselves.  Then we will consider prayer.  Prayer can be powerful before, during, and after visits.  We will do a brief prayer ceremony.  We will move on to spiritual dialogue.  Through accessing trance states (altered states of consciousness), we become more able to put aside our conventional beliefs about the world (including our limitations) and enter into a dialogue with Nature and the spiritual domain.  This includes conversations with non-physical beings.  We will do an experiential exercise to gain deeper understanding of this concept and process.  We will discuss the need for continued dialogue, concepts of spirit helpers, and ancestral guidance, and how to allow these ideas to become ordinary.  We will conclude with the Lakota-style talking circle as a means to allow ourselves to more fully experience each other and will depart with a closing prayer.

Deep Encounters with Death: Transformation through Embracing the Duality of Life and Death  
Sheryl Lee Shermak  
Renison 43

            With the aging population in Canada and the continued growth of the hospice movement, death is increasingly something social work practitioners are confronted with. Although life and death equal a primal spiritual balance, in modern society death is often an invisible reality outside of day-to-day life. But death need not be feared or avoided, and can be viewed as simply part of the life cycle, one more transformation not an end.
            For personal and professional reasons social work practitioners need to become mindful of and clarify their own ideas on the meaning of death and the possible death rituals to honour life.
            This experiential workshop will encourage deep encounters with the concept of death in accordance with the teachings of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung. Deep encounters allow for new insights, healing, and personal growth. To increase mindfulness of death participants will create their own eulogy, and partake in a detailed guided visualization on what their memorial might look like. To encourage exploration of issues as a group, discussion will follow each exercise. Ideally the workshop will assist participants to take steps towards transcending their current conceptualizations of death and life to new levels of awareness.

Shamanic Healing in Social Work Practice  
Cathryne Schmitz & Christine Stinson  
Chapel Lounge
 
Healing occurs on multiple levels. For many people, the deepest and most profound healing occurs spiritually. There are many paths to spiritual healing. Shamanic healing is a path that can help individuals and communities grow as they struggle to recover from trauma. Shamanism has an ancient history across many cultures. The Shaman calls on the power of spirits to guide the healing process. The Shamanic journey is one path to healing that empowers and enriches individuals and communities.
            Shamanic healing is a path to healing that moves beyond labels and diagnosis to empowerment. It supports individuals and communities suffering from a loss of hope, loneliness, isolation, disillusionment, or illness. It is a path to finding beauty, vision, peace, and hope.
            This workshop will provide an overview of shamanic healing and reflect on the use of shamanic healing in social work practice.  The methods of shamanic healing will be introduced with a discussion of applications for individuals, groups, and communities.  We will also discuss how interested social workers can receive introductory training in shamanic work.

Saturday May 27  10:45-12:15 Workshops
Getting to the Center:  An Art-as-Meditation Process  
Jennifer Judelsohn  
Renison 106

Mandalas—circular images—are powerful universal icons that portray a deep sense of oneness and reflect our soul’s essence. They reflect and focus spiritual energies of healing and transformation. Through discussion and a short Powerpoint presentation, participants will discover why the circle is a powerful symbol for integration, transformation, and wholeness. Then, using a simple process of intention and art-as-meditation, participants will create their own personal healing symbols. Participants will explore the power of intention and how focused attention can shape our reality. They will learn to reconnect with the spontaneous joy of creativity and develop powerful tools for personal insight and healing. Participants also will explore how this process can serve as the basis of a daily personal spiritual practice and as a tool for transformation to use professionally with clients. No art experience is necessary.

Creating Space for Spirit:  Counseling the Dying and The Grieving  
Sara Corse  
Renison 43

Confrontation with death awakens our most profound spiritual questions.  Providers in hospitals, hospices and therapy centers are increasingly aware of the emotional and spiritual needs of the dying and their families.  Drawing on my personal experience of caring for my dying mother, and my work as a clinician, I offer workshop participants an opportunity to reflect on how to be in relationship with clients facing their own death or the death of a loved one.  The workshop includes exercises to deepen personal reflection and small group discussion to broaden understanding of the spiritual themes at end of life.  Some questions for reflection and discussion are:

  • Based on your beliefs about spirituality, what questions might be on your mind if you were contemplating your own death or that of someone close to you?
  • What are the pros and cons of talking about death with someone who is dying?
  • Think about yourself as a parent.  How would you want to nurture your child through loss and grief?
  • Is there a meaningful distinction between psychological healing and spiritual healing?
  • How can secular providers offer a safe “container” to explore the spiritual needs of the dying and grieving?


A Call to Compassion:  How to Recognize our own Dark Side  
Don Streit  
Great Hall Extension

This experiential workshop will invite participants to recognize how disowned parts of the personality, both positive and negative, are projected onto other individuals, cultures, and nations. This recognition will highlight how these projections foster barriers resulting in a world view of “us” and “them.” The presenter will demonstrate humankind’s tendency toward repressing and/or projecting unacceptable traits onto peoples of different cultures, belief systems, and faith practices. With references to Carl Jung’s archetype of the shadow, Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—and common fairy tales the presenter will delineate a variety of ways that individuals and nations grapple with the issue and reality of evil, both real and imagined.

The presenter will guide participants through exercises that explore a world view that sees common ground in diverse populations in ethnicity, faith practices, political stances, and cultural norms. These exercises include reframing rejected personality traits, taking a “shadow inventory”, and appreciating differences as promoted by the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. All exercises suggest ways to transcend human-made barriers. The presenter will use video clips from movies that demonstrate how ignorance and repression of shadow traits foster discrimination, violence and war.

Breaking Barriers and Demonstrating Common Ground Through a Holistic Approach:  The Medicine Wheel  
Marguerite Loiselle & Lauretta McKenzie
Chapel Lounge

This proposal offers to the 2006 joint conference, an experiential workshop that will explain the essential role that spirituality plays in transforming lives of individuals who are in state of imbalance and disharmony.  A holistic approach based on the Medicine Wheel will demonstrate that this tool can be utilized by practitioners and clients of all cultures, thereby indicating that a common ground exists in humanity.  The presenters will invite participants to discuss criteria for a healthy life.  The participants will also be involved in the process of examining and discovering their own state of health through the application of the Medicine Wheel.  The workshop will look at how an individual can strive to become a whole person by addressing the need for equilibrium and harmony among the four aspects (spiritual, mental, emotional and physical) of life.  This will be done through the preparation of one’s own “wellness wheel”, which will enable participants to assess and measure each aspect of their life.  The primary objective of this workshop is to demonstrate how a social worker can help a client achieve personal and social transformation through balance.  Another objective is to indicate the need to enhance spirituality in humanity.


Saturday May 27  12:30-1:00 Canadian Association Discussion

Saturday May 27  9:00-10:30 Presentations

Spiritual Meaning during Inpatient Addiction Treatment  
Paul Caldwell
Renison 125

Among individuals in addiction treatment programs, motivation and treatment retention appear to be associated with the ability of clients to embrace the spiritual aspects of treatment and engage with others in group recovery. This study of adults in inpatient chemical dependency treatment (N = 110, to date) assessed spiritual meaning, social connectedness, cognitive function, and readiness to change for the purpose of informing treatment providers regarding these key recovery variables. Because spirituality within addiction treatment is typically understood in terms of the principles and language of Twelve-Step programs, this study employed a more general definition of spirituality, utilizing the Spiritual Meaning Scale (Mascaro, Rosen & Morey, 2004). Prior research by the author found that varied and positive conceptualizations of the 12-Step “higher power” theme are associated with comparable levels of recovery affiliation. Preliminary findings in the current study indicate that clients report a significant level of spiritual meaning, even in the early stage of recovery. However, spiritual meaning appears to be weakly associated with social connectedness, although moderately (inversely) associated with cognitive function. Further analysis of this data (and follow-up regarding treatment completion) is planned to better understand the role of the spiritual factor at this stage of treatment.


The Unbound Heart:  Spirituality and Purpose in Life among Formerly Incarcerated Substance Users  
Dina Redman
Renison 125
Purpose:
To identify contributors to a spirituality-oriented sense of purpose in life among formerly incarcerated substance users. Methods: An exploratory, cross-sectional design was utilized, combining qualitative and quantitative methods. Data were collected from a purposive sample through 68 in-depth, structured interviews. Qualitative data were coded using an iterative, grounded theory process of constant comparisons, aggregated, and entered into discriminant analyses with quantitative variables. Results: Four principal purpose-related categories emerged: (1) Serving the community, (2) Improving the quality of one’s own life, (3) Expressing spirituality, and (4) Serving the immediate family. The most extensive history of stressful experiences during childhood was found among those who advanced spirituality-related goals. These respondents were also more likely to have witnessed someone being severely injured or killed and to have lived through conditions that they perceived as analogous to war. They reported drinking in greater quantities, enumerated a wider variety of adverse alcohol-related consequences, were more likely to have felt dependent on alcohol, and initiated their use of drugs or alcohol at an earlier age. Implications: Substance abuse treatment participants seek meaning through a variety of activities.  In designing interventions, social workers should assess for a history of trauma and its relationship to spirituality-related goals.

 
The Transforming Power of Spirituality:  A Resource for Activists  
Ann Weaver Nichols  
Renison 44

Social activists frequently engage with issues and problems which are deeply embedded in society and of long duration–poverty, discrimination, inequitable distribution of resources.  Even when the target is focused (e.g., abolish the death penalty, expand civil rights measures to include the GLBT population, or create a civilian review board for a police department) progress is often slow, uneven, and incremental or partial.  It is easy for activists to become discouraged or to “burn out.”  Activists need to connect to the transforming power of spirituality to enable them to “keep on keeping on.”
        The author surveyed over 60 activists to determine what spiritual resources they call upon to sustain their work and strengthen their resiliency.  The findings are relevant not only for developing a self-care plan for ongoing activists, but also for encouraging new social workers to engage in activism.  The research addressed sources of inspiration, resources for renewal and support, strategies for maintaining hope, the challenge of how to relate to opponents, explication of underpinning beliefs and values, and specific spiritual practices used by the respondents. 

 
Spirituality and Witnessing:  The Impact on Social Workers  
Catherine O’Day  
Renison 44

“Stories are testimonies to the use of inner resources and the remarkable human potential to deal with life’s challenges in a way that promotes spiritual growth” states Brian Seward, Ph.D. (1999).  Through hearing people’s stories one “witnesses” another persons experience, the listener than becomes a witness to the experience or trauma.  Social workers, whose primary role is listening, are left with the unique challenge to make sense of what they have heard or “witnessed”. Understanding the role of listener and what it means to witness is important for effective social work practice. Implications for education are embedded in this framework as well. Social workers are oftentimes the first one to hear about a persons traumatic experience, or they may have to take testimony (i.e. child abuse cases), or they witness their clients death. Preparing social workers for this role is an important part of our duty as educators.  Terminology has been used to understand this process, such as, compassion fatigue, but there is a more spiritual component of the experience that deserves further exploration. The phenomenology examines results of an in-depth exploration of what it means to witness, in a spiritual sense, the horrors that humans have done.


Influences of Significant life events on God Concept  
Lora Carter Nafzinger  
Room Other 1

This paper describes an exploratory study, based on research done with a diverse group of women at midlife to explore the influences of significant life events on God concept. The importance of this work can be seen by the inclusion of religion and spirituality in the National Association of Social Worker’s nondiscrimination policy found in its Code of Ethics (National Association of Social Workers,1996); as well as in  the revised fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).  
        According to the 1998 General Social Survey [GSS] at the University of Chicago, 92% of American people surveyed expressed belief in God or a higher power (Davis et. al., 2002). This would suggest that for many people in the United States, and I would propose Canada, their understanding and experiences of God help them to make meaning in their lives. In a therapeutic setting spiritual resources are often assessed (Dombeck & Karl, 1987).  However, belief in God and God-concepts are generally not included in this assessment. Furthermore, little if any exploratory research has been conducted on what constitutes a God concept, changes in its concept over time, and the relationship between current God concept and significant life events.


Reflections on Teaching a Graduate Course on Spirituality Utilising Parker Palmer’s Six Paradoxical Tensions for Creating a Teaching and Learning Space  
Janet Groen  
Room Other 2

Courses that link spirituality to our professional practice are a growing phenomenon in professional faculties across North America such as social work, education, business and nursing.  Within my own graduate faculty, several colleagues and I collectively instruct seven graduate level courses that focus upon some aspect of spirituality and professional practice such as: spirituality and moral leadership, spirituality in a post-modern era, spirituality and love and spirituality in the workplace.
            The course I instruct, Spirituality within the Workplace, attracts graduate students from social work, workplace and adult learning, business and nursing.   When I taught this course for the first time in spring 2004, I found it a particularly unique challenge. For while my research had focused upon the topic of spirituality in the workplace and I valued and tried to model the processes of creating a spiritually open learning setting, this opportunity challenged me to weave together both spiritual content and spiritual adult learning processes within a university faculty not previously connected with associated this type of content.  In addition, since this course was to be taught fully online, utilizing both synchronous and asynchronous communication, I wondered if I would be able to build the close-knit learning community I aspired to achieve.  As I now stand back and reflect upon this learning experience from both the student perspective and my own perspective, I believe that this was a transformative learning experience allowing each of us to pursue a deeper understanding of meaningful spiritual questions related to workplaces, while utilizing spiritual learning processes.


Educating Spiritually Reflective Practitioners  
Janet Clark  
Room Other 2

The transforming power of spirituality in social work practice will remain a latent and untapped resource for personal and social change unless pedagogical strategies are developed for educating spiritually reflective practitioners. This paper begins with an examination of the cross-disciplinary literature on reflective learning in professional education, and demonstrates how these well-established principles and practices can be adapted and expanded to include the cultivation of capacities for spiritual reflection-in-and-on action. A number of professional disciplines including medicine, education, nursing, social work, and counseling have generated a rich body of literature on reflective practice, but this knowledge often remains contained within the disciplinary boundaries and discourse of the professions. By drawing on this rich resource, this paper presents five interdisciplinary methods for catalyzing spiritual reflection on the lived experience of practice. These practical pedagogical tools can be easily adapted for use in a variety of contexts including the university classroom, the supervisory relationship, and professional development contexts.


Saturday May 27  10:45-12:15 Presentations

The Change Agency of spirituality:  Emotional Connectedness - The Link between Emotions, Emotional Intelligence and Spirituality  
James E  Smith  
Renison 125

The power of spirituality to break barriers and create common ground involves being aware of and comprehending that the practice of spirituality involves the basic dynamic in human interpersonal and intrapersonal interaction, human emotional sensitivity for and a connection to others.
        A harmonious and caring society necessitates having a concern and interest, about people beyond our differences, beyond the socially constructed boundaries and circumstances of human existence that separate, marginalized, and disenfranchised its members. Where social, cultural, and mechanical distances exist, people are disconnected from others. This may serve to justify differential economic, social, political, medical and religious treatment. Too engage in behaviors indicative of a sense of compassion, empathy, and acceptance people must be able to transcend gender, race, age, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability, and/or religion. Fostering a framework of spiritual interaction requires understanding the dynamics of emotions in the process of self-reflection for self and other awareness and human connectedness. Literature suggests “spiritual maturity” implies exercising wisdom and compassion in relationship to other people, regardless of gender, creed, age, or ethic origin as well as respect for all forms of life. As sentient beings emotion and emotional intelligence may fundamental to developing and sustaining a spiritual atmosphere.


Social Work and the Evolution of Consciousness  
Priscilla Smith & Nikki Wingerson  
Renison 125

Human consciousness has been evolving since human inception.  At this point in time, this evolution is undergoing a paradigm shift from a third dimensional/physical perspective.   Some see this shift to the new consciousness as a coming together of quantum physics and spirituality which acknowledges the interconnectedness of everything.   This perspective is represented in the film, “What the Bleep Do We Know?”  Various writers such as Eckhart Tolle, David Hawkins, Don Miguel Ruiz, Gangaji, and Lynn McTaggart, have presented concepts to describe the new consciousness. 
        This presentation will explore the role of social work in the current stage of the evolution of human consciousness.  As a starting point, concepts of the writers mentioned above will be explored in relationship to existing social work concepts.  The presenters will also illustrate these concepts by sharing their personal experiences including changes in perspective, identity, attitude, emotional responses, and behaviors as a result of their own evolution of consciousness.  As social work clinicians and educators, the presenters will propose approaches which support this shift of consciousness in our clients and students. 


Interlinking the Souls of Spirituality and Social Work Education:  Building and Transforming International Curricula  
Raisuyah Bhagwan  
Renison 44

The burgeoning literature mirrors the acceptance of the spiritual paradigm.  Empirical work has provided a platform for practice issues and lent support for its vigorous building into curricula. Despite this empirical work related to course development is scant. This paper discusses findings from a survey of South African students and educators to design and evaluate guidelines for a course on spirituality and social work. Final year students from 21 Schools of Social Work in South Africa (n=714) were involved to shed light on the key content areas for curriculum development.  This paper also presents findings from a qualitative analysis of 22 international courses.  Using developmental research methodology the SA and international data sources were used to design guidelines for curricula development. Evaluation research was used to further refine this innovation through the use of a group of SA educators.  This provided the impetus for a comprehensive course that embraced issues of holistic practice, assessment and intervention and new areas viz. : transpersonal social work, community work and research. This paper will summarize these critical features thereby establishing a foundation for the adoption and diffusion of spirituality in social work education across all training institutions globally.   


Providing Students with a Spirituality based Launch into their first Field Placements 
Eunice Gorman & Mary Lou Karley   (to be confirmed)
Renison 44
 
This presentation will outline a recent addition to the end of first term pre-placement preparation for first year BSW students. Prior to the students entering their first field placement they are offered the opportunity to attend a presentation entitled " What Happy Social Workers Know" . This talk is an attempt to present in a humorous way the perils and pitfalls of a career in social work while at the same time addressing the rewards and personal satisfaction inherent in care-giving work. The focus of the student presentation is on resilience, transcendence, meaning making , the impact of loss narratives over the long term and self care.  While the delivery is a bit tongue in cheek , the message is a very serious one indeed. If you do not care for yourself , mind , body and spirit you will struggle to remain grounded and balanced in this work. This presentation will highlight the student response to the three hour workshop and open the floor for feedback and discussion. 


Spirituality - the New Religion?  Academic Issues and Clinical Concerns  
Siobhan Chandler  
Room Other 1

It is tempting to consider the recent popularity of things ‘spiritual’ as part of a natural evolution of human consciousness, where spirituality, like a prime number, is simply the de facto common denominator of the religious quest in its many forms. In a religiously diverse country like Canada, seeking what is common to the many is an attractive, even practical strategy for uniting society. On the level of health and wellbeing, giving spirituality equal status in the body-mind-spirit trinity honours its role in balanced, meaningful living. Used in these contexts, spirituality is conceived as a nebulous, but useful term designating inclusion and wholeness. Yet what is often overlooked is that viewed from another perspective, ‘spirituality’ actually describes a worldview with specific religious, historical, social, economic and political contours. As a religious movement, contemporary spirituality has its roots in the sweeping social changes of the 1950s and 1960s and gave rise to a preference for a self-mediated, experiential spirituality that continues today. This highly influential generation—the so-called Baby Boomers— impart a characteristic signature to the discourse on spirituality, and clinicians should be aware of the hidden assumptions that the rhetoric of spirituality sometimes masks.


Orthodox vs  Progressive: An Invitation to Transform Professional Consciousness 
Janet Melcher  
Room Other 1

In recent journal articles, David R. Hodge charges that the social work profession discriminates against Evangelical Christians and others called “people of faith”, and thereby violates its own ethical mandate to work toward the elimination of oppression. His assertions stimulated a deluge of debate in the social work literature. In this paper, Fowler’s faith development theory is used to consider the dynamics of the controversy from a different angle. Fowler claims that a “revolution in consciousness” is taking place and makes recommendations for facilitating the change. Drawing upon Fowler’s recommendations, social work professionals are encouraged to move beyond articulating positions in skillful debate to an atmosphere where individuals with very different worldviews can enter into dialogue, hear each other, and learn from what is heard. The subjects of needed leadership, productive problem solving, and ethical practice that takes personal values into account are addressed briefly.


Narnia, C S  Lewis and Introducing Spirituality in the Social Work Classroom 
Laura Taylor  
Room Other 2

C.S. Lewis through his adult and children’s books continue to find new audiences.  How can his work help us introduce students to spirituality?  His work connects past , present and future and helps students think critically about major themes that will occur throughout their social work careers: grief and loss; friendship and social support, honour and self-sacrifice. Yet his work has been generally overlooked in the social work curriculum, and social work literature.  In this paper, we would like to explore how C.S. Lewis can be introduced into the social work curriculum both to foster critical thinking and self-other awareness.  We will examine some of the multimedia available to promote class discussion.  It is hoped that the audience will engage in a critical discussion of the use of the works of C.S. Lewis in social work education generally and specifically in spirituality and values courses and in social work practice.  The paper offers a chance to “return to the Narnia of your youth” or to visit Narnia for the first time.


Why it's Important to Consider Spirituality in Social Work Education
Ginette Lafrenière
Room Other 2

 

The Transforming Power of Spirituality:
Breaking Barriers and Creating Common Ground

The First North American Conference
on Spirituality and Social Work

May 25-27, 2006
Renison College
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario

Preliminary Conference Program


Thursday, May 25   Pre-conference Institute
(Co-Sponsored by the Midwestern Branch of the Ontario Association of Social Workers)

8:30-9:00 Registration

Thursday May 25   9:00-12:30  Special Pre-conference Workshop

Embracing the Sacred in our Work
Bonnie Collins and Trina Laughlin

This experiential workshop will be an opportunity for the attendees to share 'holy moments' in their work, and thereby re-energize their own spirituality. As social workers, we are story listeners who bear witness to other people's pain and joy. Although the stories being shared are not our actual life experience, the imagery, symbolism, mystery and meaning of the stories we hear, often impacts us on a very personal level. Through the art of story, the presenters have harnessed a way to re-energize their own spirituality by exploring the awesome and the tragic in our work.


Thursday May 25   1:30-3:00 Pre-conference Workshops

A Way into Well-being - The Art of Caring for the Self
Margaret Parle, Debra Pelling & Rupdaye Chaitram

The purpose of this Workshop is to help us, as social workers, to explore our own self-care and self-confidence in order to introduce positive change and renewal in our lives. It is by nurturing ourselves that we heal ourselves. When we know how to do this can we then effectively support the healing process in others. The Workshop will offer opportunities for self-discovery and the recognition of innate qualities, using meditative reflections. Easy and fun exercises will be used to explore true wisdom for changing old habits and attitudes and allow the blossoming of innovative thought.


Spiritually Sensitive Practice with Children and Youth
Connie L  Kvarfordt
Renison 125

Robert Coles (1990) was one of the first pioneers to explore the spiritual and religious lives of children and youth.  His work, as well as others, provides insight into the spiritual diversity, depth and understanding that children possess.  By comparing and contrasting transpersonal and experiential theories participants will learn how each perspective contributes to our knowledge about children and youth?s spirituality.
Participants will also learn about children’s spirituality by hearing from participants of qualitative studies. Included in this session will be an introduction of religious and spiritual abuse and neglect of children and youth such as cultural and environmental influences, experiences of violence, misuse of religious teachings, and religious persecution.  In addition, ideas for supporting children?s spiritual development as well as suggestions for spiritually sensitive practice with this population will be discussed.

A combination of didactic and open discussion format will be used to present the information.

 


In Search of the Divine Feminine:  Personal Journeys and Experiential Prayer
Mary Jenny-Saltmarsh & Philip Tan
Renison 106
 

In our quest to related to and experience the transcendent we often use anthropomorphic images of the divine. Quite understandably, since patriarchy has dominated societies since the Bronze Age and for over 2,500 years, the divine is most often portrayed in historical times as male. This perception is evident today. This experiential workshop explores insights that provide entry to a new level of consciousness: re-mothering ourselves, re-fathering ourselves, resacralizing the feminine spirit and body, reawakening the divine feminine, and transcending the barriers of gender as we perceive ourselves as spiritual beings and as we relate to the transcendent divine.
            This workshop includes experiential exercises that involve the enactment of rituals dedicated to Kwan Yin (Mahayana Buddhist tradition) and to the Virgin Mary (Greek Orthodox tradition). An overview of Paleolithic and Neolithic Goddess tradition as well as symbols of the Devine Feminine found in the Judo-Christian tradition and Hindu-Buddhist tradition will be presented.
            In addition, the presenters’ will share their spiritual journeys that have taken them from traditional mainstream religions to finding beauty in a more holistic view of spirituality (this includes the presenters’ experiences of living in East Africa, South-East Asia, and the United States. Attendees will have the opportunity to share their personal journeys as well. In conclusion social work practice implications will be discussed.


The Transformation cycle:  A Buddhist-Based Tool for Clinical Assessment And Treatment
Ray Parchello
Renison 43

            Buddhism is a unique spiritual tradition in that it offers a mature and comprehensive model of mind and its cultivation, its ailments and their cure. This model may differ from Western models yet it provides a missing map for the clinical investigation of mental events and identification of disruptive patterns. Building on Buddhist concepts challenges social workers, regardless of their own or client spiritual affiliation, in creating effective tools and interventions.
            We will explore one original assessment and treatment tool, The Transformation Cycle, helpful to therapist and client, regardless of spiritual affiliation. Although based on core Buddhist theories of mind, causality and personal transformation, its concepts, language and related interventions make sense within a Western psychology or a traditional Buddhist framework.
            Participants begin with a brief orientation to Buddhist theories of mind, especially ‘dependent arising’, ‘aggregates’ (skandha) theory and the spiritual faculties (bala-indriyas). They will use Cycle sheets to identify the characteristics of presenting problems, distinguish the form of client obstacles, in terms of mental events, and uncover therapeutic issues. They will be able to relate these to appropriate interventions drawn from Buddhist practices (such as mindfulness practice and metta bhavana) or conventional Western social work methods.


Thursday May 25   3:15-4:30  Pre-conference Workshops

A Jungian Spirituality Workshop
Renee Raimondi Lee
Renison 125

This research project was completed for my Master of Education degree in Counselor Education from Arizona State University in May 2001. I am also a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor and a Certified Workforce Development Professional. I presently work as a Career Counselor for Maricopa County - Workforce Development Division, in Phoenix, Arizona in a federally funded One-Stop Center under the Workforce Investment Act.
            This experiential workshop and inclusive model of spirituality is based on Jungian archetypes in the guise of universal marker events in life, provides a cognitive map of the ongoing process of the three developmental phases of the 21 stages of initial life-span development, and at predictable transitions and crises goes beyond that conventional path to expose the sequence of spiritual development that more consciously empowers each person through the process of individuation, moving toward creativity and self-actualization. Collective society transforms slowly, therefore it is the individual that is ultimately responsible for authentic change. Discussion of this ongoing process as universal experiences includes:

  • Phase I: Caterpillar-Dependency-Emergence; Childhood Developmental Stages: 1-7; Influence of family and societal situations.
  • Phase II: Chrysalis-Independence-Separation; Transitional Stages: 8-14; The struggle involving challenges, choices, guidance, and resources.
  • Phase III: Butterfly-Interdependence-Individuation; Progression of Empowerment and Creativity; Stages: 15-21; Participation and reflection generate becoming teachable and open-minded to a new beginning.

The objectives of this educational approach are to: *increase the individual’s awareness of the influencing components of heredity, environment, culture, and developmental life stages affecting personality growth; *to increase the awareness of natural instincts related to attitudes, memories, and beliefs based on childhood experiences, personal habits, behavior patterns, basic assumptions, superstitions, and preferences for values clarification and lifestyle assessment; *to gain an understanding of and to improve the capability of at-risk and normal populations to more effectively manage stressful situations and to cope with predictable transitions and crises in life.
            The practical application of this workshop to promote personal and social transformation is experienced through interactive techniques of self-examination, not as therapy but to gain awareness to: comprehend the universality of experience; decrease isolation and fear; understand the significance of support associations; adjust personal beliefs and attitudes; become a responsible and action-oriented participant in society; assist others in the process. The requirements for success that also provide a challenge for the participants will be the construction of a personal cognitive map. The results from responses on posttests, evaluations, and recommendations suggest a positive impact with an increase in the awareness of the individual as well as personal growth, thereby benefiting society.

 

Education as a Spiritual Process; Weaving of Prayer, Metaphor and Creative Arts for Multiple Levels of Understanding  
Jacqueline Fehlner & Patricia Slade  
Renison 43

Education is primarily based on oral and written communication of knowledge, through essays, exams and presentation.  When we consider the process of learning, we tend to address pedagogical issues.  Spirituality, when considered at all in social work, is often relegated to practice areas of assessment and intervention, rather than an integral part of learning about self, others and the structures in which we live.  This workshop will focus on the integration of the spiritual and cognitive journey.
            To reach the spiritual understandings, it is necessary to move beyond or beneath words and language through non-verbal medium.  The use of metaphor and creative arts can move us to appreciate multiple levels of understanding.   Integration of theory and knowledge with personal narratives produces greater ownership and appreciation of the materials taught.
            The workshop will include the experience of one of the authors writing an academic paper on an emotionally charged topic - grief.  The interaction with a spiritual director and art therapist enhanced the writing process and resulted in a much stronger work, which demonstrated excellence in scholarship while communicating to the heart.  We will share some of the process and a discussion of techniques and avenues to making educational activities a spiritual process.

Meditation for the Hearts of Healers
Richard Potter
Renison 106

This workshop is designed to provide the social work practitioner or educator with an opportunity to learn several meditation techniques that focus on overcoming constrictions to the heart that can accompany the pain associated with working with people who are suffering. The emotional nature, poetically named the heart, can be soothed, nurtured, and expanded through time-tested meditation techniques gleaned from diverse spiritual traditions. In this workshop we will focus on meditation techniques that have a healing effect upon the emotions and sensitivities of people who seek to help others shoulder the burdens of life. The presenter will discuss the types and uses of meditative techniques. Participants will experience meditations using concentration, breath, creative visualization, light, and sound, from Buddhist, Christian, Sufi, and Vedic sources. With each meditation the presenter will discuss the usefulness and safety of the practice for both self-healing and self-discovery as well as working with clients.


Transformative Video Therapy (TVT):  Using Technology to Create Pathways to a Witness Consciousness
Jana Vinsky & Dianne Hyles
Renison 43

            Notions of director, author, choreographer, and playwright are not uncommon when discussing issues of liberation both within psychotherapy, as well as within emancipation philosophies (Epstein, 2001; Foster, 1998; Hamilton, 2005; Janis, 2000; White & Epston, 1990). Supporting the person to gain access to their watching consciousness, or to develop a “witnessing” or “observing” self, has historically been a primary goal for many therapies (Corsini, 1973), as to support people to become less reactive, and more of a creator in their own life story.
            Transformative Video Therapy (TVT) is a process that support clients to step out of their self, to gain a detached vantage point, which clients often compare to a “watching consciousness”. Influenced by Narrative Therapy’s stepping back practices and externalization (Freedman & Coombs, 1996; White & Epston, 1990), and Queer Theory’s emphasis on performance (Butler, 1990, 1993 & 1997) the client is filmed telling their story and moments later watches this footage with the therapist. After collaboratively reflecting on the story, the client is then filmed giving direction to “the person on the screen”, which is once again collaboratively observed with the therapist.
            This workshop will illustrate the process of Transformative Video Therapy (TVT), using case examples on video, as well as an interactive demonstration. Participants will learn how TVT can be useful in supporting clients with long-standing issues as well as when in crisis. The collaborative approach to this process will be discussed, and a framework that can be shared with the client will be given. Questions that can be used to facilitate a pathway to a witness consciousness will be highlighted.

 

Using Kabbilistic Tree of Life to Integrate Spirituality into Social Work Practice  
Penny Cohen  
Great Hall Extension

Kabbalah is the study of creation, God, the cosmos, and the function, structure and dynamics of the universe.  Personal Kabbalah is the study of the journey of the soul, human nature, life, death, reincarnation, love, destiny, and service. It focuses on our individual relationship with the universe and our reason for being here.  The Kabbalistic Tree of Life is a universal map offering pathways to spiritual enlightenment, peace, love, purpose, fulfillment and ultimately personal, social, and world transformation.
            This workshop will explain the symbolism of the Tree of Life and show how it can be used as a systematic approach to integrate spirituality into social work practice. It includes how the Tree of Life paradigm as a universal map and corresponds with other transpersonal, spiritual and traditional practices including Jungian therapy, the Chakra system of Eastern philosophies, the seven sacraments, Erickson’s Stages of Development, and mental health in general.  Lecture, case examples, discussion, meditation, experiential exercises.

 

Thursday May 25   5:00-7:00
Conference Registration, Welcoming Reception and Poster Sessions

 

Thursday May 25   7:00-9:00
Opening Ritual and Evening Keynote

Spiritual Connection in Social Work: Boundary Violations and Boundary Transcendence
Dr. Edward Canda

Dr. Canda, one of the foremost international scholars on spirituality and social work, will present insights on how to break internal, interpersonal, interreligious, and international barriers through spiritually sensitive social work.  These insights will be based on core principles of mysticism, shamanism, and transpersonal (or integral) theory and illustrated by his personal and professional experiences with interreligious dialogue, refugee resettlement, advocacy, and international professional collaborations.


Friday, May 26 

Friday May 26  7:30-8:30 Morning Meditation/Coffee and Muffins

Friday May 26  8:30-10:00 Workshops

Through the Lens of Legacy:  Understanding the “Difference” We Make  
Linda Dinger  
Renison 106

“Why does anybody tell a story?  It does indeed have something to do with faith, faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.”    –Madeline L’Engle

            As social workers we have committed ourselves to making a difference in this world. We know that in our work, accessing the wisdom of the past can provide a powerful spiritual connection that helps people transform their lives.  How can we reconnect to our own historical wisdom and the legacies we have received in ways that enrich our lives and our work?
This workshop will connect you to this past wisdom and in particular to the legacies that inform your commitment to social work.  This workshop will also connect you to the present: what you believe in and what you value. Understanding the past and present in new ways allows us to articulate and document what we wish to gift to the future.
            You will be guided in a process of reflecting, writing and witnessing that will connect you to yourself, to others, and to future generations in powerful new ways.  This is a process that can help social work students and practitioners enrich their understanding of their unique gifts and the legacies they are gifting to the future through their work and their lives.
            Your work and your life will be enriched.

 
The Transforming Power of Spiritually Oriented Music Based Intervention  - A Model for Contemplative Meditation  
Wilfred Gallant  
Renison 43

A pragmatic, experiential workshop to engage professionals towards a spiritual enlightenment and transformation within a sacred, ritual space. It provides bio-psycho-spiritual, awareness of one’s inner reflective energy through the transformational power of music, breath-relaxation, and mindful meditation. This approach is grounded in Bio-Spiritual – Music-Focus Energetics ©™ (2000) which has proven to be effective in working with clients in the field of social work... Participants will be able to experience the combination of these approaches as they open themselves to “inner-directed reflective empathy” Participants will be provided with on-line copies of  1) the Music Impact Inventory Scale (MIIS), 2) the Client's Overall Perception of Worker’s Use of Bio-Spiritual Focusing Assessment Tool, and 3) the Worker’s Use of Social Work Skills.
            Music Relaxation has been time-tested as a systematic means for achieving inner peace and tranquillity. Bio-Spiritual – Music-Focus Energetics ©™ (2000) has been proven to be he     lpful in deepening the felt-sense of ones inner journey and awaken the spiritual dimensions that often lay dormant within an individual. Breath relaxation, music meditation and mindfulness meditation are powerful tools for inner dialogue and metenoia (change of heart). This practical presentation will assist participants to get in touch with their inner being in a soulful way. A unique means of journal writing will also be provided.

It is hoped that participants will walk away with a greater appreciation of the bio-psycho-spiritual dimensions of these three integral musical dimensions in 1) the radical transforming power of social work, 2) in the of re-awakening of the spiritually-oriented instrumentality of the self as a means of effective professional practice, and 4) an appreciation of how to apply this model with clients.
 

The Transforming Potential of Forgiveness in Public Life 
Ann Weaver Nichols 
Great Hall Extension

Conflicts within and between nations have consequences which may endure for generations.  Lives on both sides are changed in ways that affect not only individuals, but families and whole communities.  Painful memories haunt survivors.  Traumatic stories on both sides retain their power.
            Similarly, oppressive institutions such as slavery or colonial domination  may be abolished or overturned, yet the impact on the population persists.  The stereotypes which allowed the institution to flourish are embedded in memory and practice, even when the intent to discriminate is gone. Despite progress, much of the subjugated group stays behind in relation to the dominant group.
            How do we break out of the cycle of enduring hostility/anger/bitterness on the part of the “outgroup” and the impatience/denial/frustration of the “ingroup” (which often believes the problems were resolved long ago)?  Only through a process of forgiveness and reconciliation can we move forward.  In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission initiated such a process.  Is there a comparable model which might be used in the United States, Canada, and other countries to address issues around relations with the aboriginal populations, racism, and discrimination against other groups?
            This workshop will examine stories of forgiveness and reconciliation in the macro arena and explore possible forgiveness exercises for organizations, communities, and nations.


Friday May 26  10:15-11:45  Workshops

The Enneagram in the Classroom  
Laura Taylor  
Great Hall Extension

            This interactive workshop is designed for newcomers to “Enneagrams” as a way to introduce students to personality factors influencing transformation and the journey on a spiritual path.  The Enneagram is more than a personality type indicator, it offers ways to develop self- and other- awareness which in turn can be transformative. The workshop will provide a brief history of the development of the Enneagram, and basic understanding of the Enneagram.  Participants will have an opportunity to identify their personality types.  The meanings of the Triads, Wings, directions of integration and disintegration, red flags and wake-up calls, and the levels of development will be discussed. The linkage to cultivating spiritual awareness and choice of spiritual practice will be considered.   Awareness of personality type also brings awareness of the excuses not to begin a spiritual journey.  The process of  Letting Go of obstacles in the spiritual path will be presented.  The workshop will conclude with suggestions for using the Enneagram in the social work classroom and as a part of social work practice.

Creating Common Ground to Address Religious and Spiritual Competency for Social Work 
Cynthia Weaver & C. Fred Weaver  
Chapel Lounge

To become a spiritually and religiously competent social worker in today’s world is a challenge because of the many differing spiritual and religious perspectives.  However, in place of looking at the differences between these belief systems, finding common ground across these groups will prepare social workers to be sensitive and competent with a variety of religious and spiritual perspectives.
            This creative, experiential workshop will enable participants to address a case study from the perspective of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, African American Baptist Tradition, Seventh-day Adventists, and Lakota/Native people’s spirituality and religion.  Participants will be divided into small groups and provided with an overview of the general principles and beliefs of each religious/spiritual group, as well as opportunity to experience religious/cultural dress related to their assigned religious/spiritual group.  Each small group will address a case study from their assigned religious/spiritual perspective discussing implications for social work practice.  Returning to the larger group, participants will be helped to identify common ground principles and beliefs of the various religious/spiritual perspectives that would be used in practicing with this case. 


Friday May 26  12:30-2:00  Keynote Address

Localizing Spiritually Based Social Work in North America: Strategies and Prospects
Dr. John Graham

Dr. Graham is the Murray Fraser Professor in the Faculty of Social Work and one of the leading social work scholars in Canada. “Who am I” is one of the most profound spiritual questions anyone can ask. Dr. Graham will pose this question in relation to the First North American International Conference on Spirituality and Social Work. This discussion will necessarily lead to other, equally significant questions. To what dispositions might spiritually minded social workers adhere? What are the commonalities within our spiritually minded communities, and how might they be sources of solidarity and compassion? How might we maintain integrity, and what leadership could spiritually minded people provide to social work and allied communities?


Friday May 26  2:00-3:30  Workshops

Transformative Approaches to Exploring Spirituality  
Pauline Everette
Renison 106

Transformative approaches to teaching and learning can generate knowledge and promote intuitive and other ways of knowing. This experiential workshop will discuss research findings that identify activities and strategies found to promote transformative learning. Also, participants are invited to engage in an activity that demonstrates and invites participants to an experience of transformative learning. Participants are asked to select and bring an object (small may be better) that represents and will help them speak about their spirituality. This activity is offered as an example of an activity and process that promotes transformative learning and that can be used to explore spiritual values, beliefs, and practices. The goal is to introduce transformative learning theory and practice as effective tools that can be used to explore spirituality within the context of social work practice/education.


Meditation – Transforming Individuals and Creating Societal Peace
Christine Kessen
Chapel Lounge

The practice of meditation unites diverse individuals and groups including practitioners of ancient religious and contemporary nonreligious traditions (Benson, 2000; Hanh, 1996; Keating, 2003).  In an age of interspirituality (Teasdale, 1999), meditators value and use a variety of practices from diverse heritages.  Peace advocates call for nonviolent resolution of societal conflicts through methods learned from meditation practices (Hanh, 1996; Ingram, 2003).
            In this workshop, participants will have an opportunity to experience peaceful negotiation strategies from diverse traditions as well as selected conflict-reducing walking and sitting meditation practices.  Skills for using these practices to augment social work intervention strategies to mediate crises, manage stress, increase coping skills, and promote world peace will be discussed.  Illustrations from both the presenter's and participants' cases will be highlighted.  The reported research and benefits of these practices will be presented. 

Spirituality as Empowerment: A Model of Cultural Competence for Social Workers 
Roger Simpson  
Room 43

Spirituality is often an overlooked aspect of what is called culture. Definitions of culture often include acknowledgement of language, art, customs, music, religion, and even food, as socially approved ways people respond to each other and to their environment. One obvious implication of considering these items (and others), both collectively and individually, is that culture can be revealed in all aspects of daily living. Spirituality and religion are representations of culture that serve as sources of comfort and renewal, strength and empowerment. Further, if we view culture as a mechanism for survival in the social environment, the importance of considering each element, including spirituality, is necessary to embrace and celebrate culture.
            In this workshop we will highlight the dangers of cultural incompetence in carrying out the obligations of social workers. A lack of cross cultural proficiency subverts or, at least, ignores cultivated cultural resources such as religion and spirituality. Culturally relevant lenses are needed to adequately assess client systems looking to social workers and human service organizations for help and hope. Therefore, this presentation will enhance current service delivery methods by providing a framework by which service providers can review their own culture and its relevance to who they are and what they do. This review is a necessary precursor to understanding others from different cultural backgrounds  
            Finally, this workshop will explore some of the key components of spirituality in the context of cross-cultural collaboration. This model offers a proactive method for preparing professionals to provide service in a manner that meets the 3r’s of diversity: respect, recognition, and relationship-building. Information shared in the presentation will equip employees in human service agencies with a systematic plan for developing in ways that are not just culturally sensitive but that are also culturally competent.


Friday May 26  3:30-4:30  Poster Session

Friday May 26  4:30-5:45  Special Workshop
Percussive Meditation
 
Ed Canda
(location TBA) 

Friday May 26  8:30-10:00  Presentations

The Helpfulness of Dream-Analysis in Spirituality-Influenced Group Work 
Diana Coholic  and  Julie LeBreton
Renison 125

For the past two years, our research program has been investigating the perceived helpfulness of spiritually-influenced clinical social work group practice. To date, we have completed three groups with different populations: Women dealing with addiction issues; senior social work students and recent graduates; and youth-in-care with the local Children’s Aid Society. In this paper presentation we report on one aspect of the group program that participants experience as particularly helpful: Working with dreams. Although many practitioners feel unprepared to attend to their clients’ dreams, the usefulness of dream-analysis is increasingly being considered across helping approaches, and its connection with spirituality is evident in the literature. For just one example, France (2002) made the point that many cultures believe that dream messages are the vehicle through which God [or the Transcendent/unconscious] can speak. One of the goals of the group program is to transform self-awareness. Consequently, we include dream-analysis because dreams can assist participants to access unconscious material and work with it so that a greater sense of self-awareness can develop. Specifically, this paper presentation discusses: How dream-work is facilitated in the groups; why and how group participants describe and experience this process as spiritual; and how it is helpful in facilitating self-transformation. 

Dynamic Transformation of Consciousness, Breaking Barriers, and Enhancing     Psychotherapy Treatment Processes  
Marilyn Sticklle & Lyndall Demere  
Renison 125

In developing this research paper, the authors have collaborated on psychotherapy cases for fourteen years using local and non-local spiritual processes to gather pertinent diagnostic and treatment information.  Representing the disciplines of social work and spiritual direction, our research demonstrates the evolution of a social work practitioner with growing understanding of the meaning and benefit of a holistic treatment model and the perception and interventions of a spiritual director with awakened consciousness who is able to see past the barriers of ordinary consciousness. Larry Dossey, MD, editor of the Journal of Alternative Therapies, author of Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine, recognized our collaboration as the “future of healing.”
            We will include vignettes from a case population of over 100 clients and an in depth discussion of our successful work with one client, “Karen,” who was treated for fourteen years prior to collaboration with the spiritual director author. A twelve year follow-up of “Karen” demonstrates the benefits of including different observational perspectives. These observations are a blend of spiritual development and psychotherapeutic understanding that have created an open and extraordinarily successful treatment process.  The common ground that we have established in working together has benefited clients, social work students in training, and mental health professionals from all disciplines.

Spiritualism, Diaspora & Social Work: The Case of the Sathya Sai Baba Movement
Dave Sangha & Ajaya Kumar Sahoo   CANCELLED
Renison 44

The term ‘spirituality’ designates the human longing for a sense of meaning and fulfillment through morally responsible relationships between diverse individuals, families, communities, cultures and religions. Spirituality is experienced through unique and common forms that are expressed in societal myths, rituals and symbols. As such, spirituality includes and goes beyond institutional religious beliefs.
            The discourse surrounding the role of spirituality in social work practice has been expanding exponentially in recent years. Similarly, the discourse surrounding the role of spirituality among diasporic communities has expanded in recent times as well. In this paper, we will consider the linkages between social work, spirituality and diaspora. We will focus our discussion on a particular diasporic spiritual community, the Sathya Sai Baba movement and it’s social service activities. In our final section, we will consider the implications of such spiritual movements for the social work profession. Among the key issues explored in this paper is the change in the social construction of populations that have moved between two countries as ‘immigrant communities’ to ‘diasporic communities’ and the implications of these changes for social work. Another critical issue we develop is how working with spiritual movements may help address the ‘spiritual deficit’ concern that some commentators has referred to, and, indirectly at least, begin to address ‘the social work crisis’ issue that has negatively affected the social work profession over the last few years. 

Creating Inclusive Models of Spiritual Development: From the Path to the Mandala  
Jan Potter  
Renison 44

As social work practitioners and educators increasingly incorporate dimensions of spirituality into their practice and teaching, understanding the diverse ways in which people grow spiritually becomes important. The challenges and crises of transformative life transitions may be interpreted in multiple ways, depending upon the developmental models used. While many culture-specific models of spiritual development are predominantly linear, using metaphors of paths and journeys, some emerging universal models employ more holistic metaphors, such as the mandala. The author will build on exploratory research that involved in-depth interviews with persons (Buddhists, Sufis, Christians, and Hindus) who have been doing intensive spiritual work for at least two decades. Findings suggest that while the patterns of some persons’ experiences may be interpreted within the frameworks of linear models, there are differences that indicate that many grow in ways that do not fit these models. The interviews suggest that persons whose growth patterns are relatively non-linear tend to develop in organic ways, as they meet challenges and create opportunities by focusing on specific areas that assume importance in their lives, such as relationships, cognition, emotions, ethics, the body, and the natural world. The inclusive metaphor of the mandala provides a promising way to view these patterns.        

Caregiving, Caregivers and Religious Coping 
Gil Choi & Terry Tirotto 
Room Other 1

The gerontological literature describes the stress-buffering role of religious involvement for caregivers. The desire to institutionalize is greatest when caregivers experience high levels of stress and when the caregiving is physically and emotionally burdensome. In recent years researchers increasingly have directed their attention to the relationship between caregiver’s religious involvement and its effects on caregiving. Some studies indicate that family members who practice religious beliefs to cope with the task of providing care exhibit less caregiving strain and positive psychological well-being than others who do not. Due to the stress-buffering role of religious involvement, caregivers have a lower incidence of depression. In fact, caregiver depression is known as a factor associated with earlier admission of a loved one to a nursing home.

The purpose of this research project is:

  • to determine if persons who use religious beliefs cope with caregiver stress better than others who do not use religious beliefs.
  • to explore the role of religious coping as a factor affecting decisions to institutionalize.
  • to identify religious and service needs of caregivers to help churches/religious organizations be involved more actively in providing caregivers with religious/spiritual/emotional support.

The methodology included a random sample of 941 records from the state’s long term care database. A survey instrument (Religious Practices and Caregiving Scale) was developed to assess the caregiver’s stress, religious coping, and the role of congregations in providing support. A total N of 232 was included in the analysis. Care burden stress, role overload, and role captivity were measured. Six stressors associated with consequences on long term caregiving and overall burden were measured. The findings indicate that religion and spirituality play a very important role in caregiving. Caregivers who are supported by their religion and spirituality are more likely to provide care at home than seek placement in a nursing home. Caregivers reported that their faith-based organizations helped them to provide care at home. Data analysis suggests that religious beliefs had a significant impact on a caregiver’s decision of care. Recommendations are offered from this study.

Experiences of Spirituality and Self-Transcendence in Caregivers Coping with Dementia
Lynn McCleary, Deirdre Dawson, Elsa Marziali  
Room Other 1

Objectives: Increasingly, caregiving for people with neurodegenerative disease (e.g., Frontotemporal dementia, FTD) is provided by the informal family care system.  Patients with FTD, younger at onset, show many socially disruptive behaviors that present unique challenges to their families.  Caregiving is taxing and much of the caregiving research is guided by the stress/adaptation model. To supplement this paradigm we considered the theoretical perspective of self-transcendence and transpersonal frameworks in the analysis of a psychotherapeutic group for caregivers of persons with FTD. Methods:  Six FTD caregivers participated in a virtual on-line psychotherapeutic group with two social workers over 10 weeks. A content analysis of video-recorded group interactions among caregivers yielded recurrent themes of their struggles. An additional focus of the group session analyses illustrated how caregivers cope with their daily caregiving demands and ascribe meaning through spirituality and self-transcendence. Participants' excerpts depicted three overarching themes: a) spirituality and self-transcendence were often associated with personal meaning, b) there were feelings of compassion for their family members and others and c) there were a number of ways of daily coping with difficulty. Results: Spirituality and self-transcendence in caregivers may provide an additional means of coping with the stressors and daily demands of FTD caregiving.

The Answer Within – The Role of the Church in the Black Community:  A Community Development Response to the Violence in Toronto 
Gillian Wells  
Room Other 2

This paper will assert that the church in the Black community has a role in addressing the contemporary issue of the violence in Toronto. The church’s historical significance in the Canadian context as studied by Este (2004) will be examined along with the church’s present day role. Following this will be a focus on the increased gang and street violence that is occurring in some Toronto communities. The harsh realities of these communities will also be considered along with assumptions of how best to resolve the increase in violence as reflected in the media, politicians, law enforcement and the Black community itself.  It is then proposed that the church community needs to be involved in promoting social capital and spiritual capital (Sinha, 2004). Research by Sinha (2004) is reviewed as it found that,”…local religious congregations in collaboration with local agencies and stakeholders, fostered positive outcomes among youth [at risk] and promoted community linkages.” The paper concludes with consideration for social workers working with faith based groups. 

LPI Life Source Mapping:  how Black Critical Theory and The Chakras System Intersect  
Dianne Prevatt-Hyles and Jana Vinsky
Room Other 2

Coming out of a tradition of Black Feminist literature, ( Hill-Collins, 2000; hooks, 2004) as well as a history of Black liberation movements that have included notions of spirituality, while discussing systemic inequality ( West, 1999; Kanpol,1996) , the LPI Life Source Mapping: A 7 Point analysis, offers a reflection process that can be used across contexts and roles. Drawing on Black Liberation Theology, LPI Life Source Mapping supports the worker to contextualize the individual and community within systemic oppression, while generating openings for hope, agency and possibility, for transformative action and social justice.
            This holistic practice framework is transferable in kind, due to the emphasis on dynamics, practices and processes, and can be used within professional, inter-personal, as well as community settings.
            LPI Life Source Mapping includes a self-inquiry system to facilitate the worker’s reflection process, while simultaneously assessing interference of that which is life sustaining for the client or community.  This system of analysis corresponds with the 7 point Chakra System that accentuates the life energy needs, while adding a systemic dimension of understanding.
            This workshop will highlight the relationship between the Chakra Systems and the LPI Life Source Mapping. This relationship will be explored through the presentation of the LPI Video, “Life Source Mapping and Liberatory Social Work”, which demonstrates how this framework can be integrated into our work as social workers, when addressing issues of oppression within a Canadian context.

 Friday May 26  10:15-11:45  Presentations
Lessons in Abundance from the HIV/AIDs Community  
Kenwyn K  Smith  
Renison 125 

This presentation explores the intersections of spirituality, social work, volunteer­ism, social activism and theology-in-action in the early years of a Philadelphia-based organization, MANNA, (Metropolitan AIDS Neighbor­hood Nutrition Alliance), designed to serve the nutritional needs of those dying from AIDS).  This paper, presented in narrative form, contains many lessons on abundance, such as (1) whenever MANNA was lost someone appeared to show us the way, (2) the greatest insights came from the most vulnerable in our midst, (3) the "leaps of faith" we took filled our spirits with vitality, (4) love grew when given away and (5) the miraculous was contained within the mundane.
            Over the past 15 years MANNA prepared and delivered, without charge, 5 million meals tailored to the specific nutritional needs of the recipients.  This represents a $50 million contribution to the HIV/AIDS community.  It has cost $25 million to run MANNA to date. The reduction in number of days spent in the hospital by people with AIDS, attributable directly to MANNA’s services, saved the medical system at minimum $100 million.  
What MANNA learned about abundance forged a new form of community, shaped a new from of relatedness between the served and the servers, and uncovered lessons from the ages:
Every step we take is upon hallowed ground
Every outstretched hand offered in love is the hand of God
Every moment we live is pregnant with transformative possibility

The Spiritual Assets of Street-Level Sex Workers  
Reva I  Allen  
Rension 125

Many people assume that women working in the sex trade have no spiritual interests, beliefs, or values that can help them to address their human service needs or leave their line of work.  However, discussions with women who work in the sex trade show this assumption to be false.  This presentation presents the findings of a qualitative research project in which over a dozen former street-level sex workers were interviewed regarding their spiritual beliefs and practices.  The presenter discusses ways these beliefs and practices affect women while they are working in the trade and how they may be incorporated into social work practice with this population.  Implications for program design also are discussed. 

The African American Spiritual and Ethical Guide for End of Life Issues:  Embracing and Releasing Life  
Gloria Thomas Anderson  
Renison 44

This paper addresses issues related to end of life care as it relates to the specific needs and concerns of the African American population.  Racial disparity in health care has caused many people of color not to trust doctors or proposed treatment options.  Because of African Americans’ unique cultural history and value system, the decision-making process on end of life issues is often based on spirituality and religious influences.  Ethical decision-making encompasses much more than a medical dimension. This paper will look at spirituality as the context from the three key influencing factors—culture, history and generational family values specific to African Americans in the decision-making process on end of life issues.

Innovative Ways of Address Mental health Needs of African Americans:  Examining the use of Spirituality in Mental Health Treatment 
Kimberly D  Farris  
Renison 44

For years, mental health research has examined service use of African Americans.  Findings show the use of African American clergy as a mental health resource instead of the mental health system.  The purpose of this study was to examine clergy’s ability to recognize mental illnesses, how they attributed cause of the illnesses, perceived beliefs regarding their abilities for service provision, and decision making processes in attempts to provide assistance.  The study’s primary focus was African American clergy; however, opportunities exist to explore potential connections between clergy, spirituality, and social work.  Sample:  A convenience sample of African American clergy and seminary students were given the Clergy’s Perception of Mental Illness Survey.  Methods:  The bio-psycho-social-spiritual model is the conceptual framework presented.  Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to examine relationships between conceptualization and causal attribution and belief about ability level and decision making process used in service provision.  Results: Clergy attributing cause to spiritual reasons or other life circumstances were more likely to advise in a spiritual manner.  Also, clergy seeking graduate degrees were more likely to advise in a spiritual manner.  Implications for inclusion of spirituality in social work education, practice, and research are discussed with respect to African American clients.


Spiritual Negotiations at the End-of-Life: Experiences in a Long Term Care Facility
Louise Stern  
Room Other 1

The religious and spiritual needs of the elderly are commonly acknowledged, yet the impact they have on those people at end-of-life is little understood.  What happens when end-of-life care takes place in a Jewish long term care facility that is run under the tenets of Orthodox Judaism? The assumption with this is that the formal structures and ethical laws of ‘religion’ are the major influence on the treatment wishes and expectations of the resident. I would assert that it is the resident’s and family’s residing spiritual beliefs that mediate how death is anticipated and prepared for. Spiritual belief’s transcend the sole influence of religious structure to include numerous historical and social variables in the individual’s and family’s life.
            How do we “unpack” a resident’s and family’s spiritual needs and beliefs in an environment that defines religious/cultural practices as “have to’s”  and “ought to’s” so that end-of-life can truly be a reflection of the individual’s beliefs and in the process be more person-centred and meaningful?
Using the case of a dying Holocaust survivor, this paper will examine some of the competing influences of religion and spirituality; how they are mediated; how they affect medical decision making; and how they impact the team’s approach to addressing care practices. 

Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death  
Patricia Slade  
Room Other 1

Beginning with Freud, theory surrounding grief and bereavement have both added to our knowledge and created myths, which impede the journey of grief.  Western thinking has shifted theoretically from encouraging detachment from the deceased to continuing bonds with the one who has died, and from stages of grief to tasks required to reconcile the grief and integrate it into life.   Added to this shift is the cultural diversity, which impacts the methods of dealing with death, funerals and mourning.
            The paper examines the theoretical overview of mourning and grief through the last 100 years, and then looks back at earlier practices, particularly those in biblical times.  Grief is not only an emotional and psychological journey but also a spiritual one, when the soul faces the darkness of loss and the spirit seeks new meaning to life.  Helping those in grief can best be done with a companioning model, where one enters the wilderness with the person, and facilitates the journey from a position of understanding and equality rather than the power imbalance of the traditional models relying on the expertise of the practitioner.   A model of group support for those in grief will be discussed.


Transforming the privileged: Contentious spiritual dimensions of educational practice 
Anne Curry Stevens 
Room Other 2

An emerging dimension of anti-oppression practice is to assist not just oppressed learners understand issues of injustice, but so too assist privileged learners in becoming aware of the privilege that they embody and catalyze their development towards becoming allies in the struggle for social justice.
        This paper reports on selected dimensions of recent dissertation research into the practices transformative educators working to build allies among privileged learners on dimensions of gender, race and class. Specifically, the qualitative research study of 20 transformative educators deeply engaged with this practice reveals that educators are divided in the area of spirituality. Describing the transformation process as a spiritual process is controversial. When Freire (1968) suggested that critical consciousness is liberation, he formulated his assessment based on work with the oppressed. Significant revision is possible to apply this concept to privileged learners, but several educators suggest that such an approach is not desirable. This paper will explore the controversy that surrounds the issue, sharing original insights of educators who participated in this study, and theorizing such contributions. The paper concludes with an appeal for caution and serious consideration of the ethical dilemmas that can surface in working from a spiritual perspective with privileged learners.

 
Korean Shamanism and its Emancipatory Spiritual Power  
Jonghyun Lee  
Room Other 2

Shinbyung
is listed in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association as a Korean culture-bound syndrome. However, the bio-medically driven symptoms and prognosis put forward in this publication largely overlook the importance of the spiritual aspects of shinbyung that is indigenously constructed by Korean culture. For Koreans, shinbyung is a sign that a person has been chosen by the deities and ancestral sprits to become a mudang, a Korean shaman.
            Experiencing personal tragedies and trauma are essential prerequisites to the onset of shinbyung. Through performing a naerim kut, a special initiatory shamanistic ceremony, a sprit-possessed person overcomes her own wounds by becoming a mudang. With her newly attained spiritual power, the mudang offers cathartic help to others, based on an appreciation for the sense of vulnerability that once wounded her own soul.
            This paper proposes not to dismiss shinbyung as merely a mental disorder that, based on Western analysis, dichotomizes one’s mind/soul from the body, but to understand it in the context of a total person in their highly-defined cultural environment. For Koreans, shinbyung is a shamanic form of spiritual emancipation through which the mudang heals the afflictions of both herself and others in a culturally legitimate way.


Friday May 26  2:00-3:30   Presentations

Developing the Ease(E’s) of Spiritual Competence:  Ethical Guidelines of Spiritual Assessment  
Jan A  Rodgers  
Renison 125

Over the years social workers and educators have been encouraged to discuss the role of spirituality in social work practice.  Practitioners have been encouraged to assess from a strengths perspective a client’s spiritual resources during a psychosocial history.  However, the use of that information can be ethically complicated and value laden.  Social workers and students have been reluctant to understand a client’s revealed spirituality in depth without clear guidelines to handle appropriately knowledge gathered from a psychosocial assessment. This paper introduces a model of eleven ethical guidelines of spiritual assessment with case examples based upon thirty years of clinical practice.  The ethical guidelines of spiritual assessment evaluate and guide the social worker in addressing advantages and disadvantages of one’s spirituality in practice.  The eleven ethical guidelines include: evidence, examination, engagement of client, evaluate relevance, ethics, experience, empowerment, effectiveness, efficiency, emotional element, and enhancement.

The relationship between spiritual faith, positive well being and the spiritual reservoir clients pull from during times of need are addressed.  Ethical guidelines for addressing the appropriateness of spiritual issues that surface in the worker client relationship are presented.  The ethical guidelines can assist social workers in making reliable decisions regarding spirituality as an adjunct to practice. 


Spirituality as a Co-Therapist in Clinical Practice  
Narviar C. Calloway  
Renison 125

The relationship between spirituality and social work practice has been the focus of considerable interest in recent years, especially as spirituality has become an integral part of the counseling relationship for many clients. Research suggests that many clients believe spirituality plays an important role in their lives, that there is a positive correlation between a client’s spirituality or religious commitment and healing outcomes, and that clients would like clinicians to consider these factors in their physical and mental health care. A spiritual assessment as part of the clinician’s initial encounter with a client is a first step in assessing the role of spirituality in the client’s clinical and health care. The HOPE questions provide a formal tool that may be used in this process. The HOPE Questions as a practical tool for spiritual assessment are: H--sources of hope, strength, comfort, meaning, peace, love and connection; O--the role of organized religion for the client; P--personal spirituality and practices; E—effects on health care and end-of-life decisions.

This paper presentation will demonstrate and define the use of HOPE Questions in therapeutic settings, engage the audience in defining spirituality verses religion, and will address culturally sensitive applications in direct practice.


The Spiritual Transformation of Social Work:  A Charter of Social Responsibilities corresponding to Vital Human Needs  
Edward Kruk
Renison 44

This paper explores core elements of a spiritual foundation for transformational social work.  The concept of social justice, which lies at the heart of both ancient and contemporary religious and spiritual traditions, will be examined in relation to needs essential to human growth and integrity.  A theoretical framework for social (justice) work (practice and pedagogy) based on a responsibility-to-needs conception of justice—as opposed to a rights-based approach—will be articulated.  A draft Charter of Social Obligations, corresponding to vital human physical, psychological/emotional, social and spiritual needs, will be discussed and applied to two case examples.  The first looks at the role of social work in natural disaster preparedness, rescue and recovery;  we will examine the development of the Social Work Charter for Unexpected Disasters, drawing on Persian and Islamic spiritual teachings emphasizing honoring those in need as an opportunity for spiritual growth, by social work faculty and students from the Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences University in Tehran, following their involvement in the 2003 Bam earthquake rescue and recovery effort.  The second examines the transformation of the “best interests of the child” standard in child custody and child welfare law, policy and practice in North America, based on Judeo Christian spiritual teachings emphasizing respecting the “sacred core” in human beings by attending to the essential needs of others.  The Table of Vital Human Needs Applied to Children of Divorce, emphasizing the metaphysical needs of children, the responsibilities of parents vis-à-vis these needs, and the responsibilities of representatives of social institutions to support parents in the fulfillment of their parental responsibilities, will be examined in this regard.


Social Work with the Muslim Community  
Khadija Khaja  & Umar Al-Khattab
Renison 44

Muslims consist of the second largest faith group in the world. In the United States Muslims make up the third largest faith group. Given these statistics it is critical that social work educators are knowledgeable about the social service needs of the Muslim community. Social work students must also be trained effectively to work with diverse clients such as those from the Muslim population. This presentation will address some of the common stereotypes, and assumptions people have of Muslims that can often impede effective social work practice. Experiential activities will be illustrated that a social work educator can use in the classroom so students are in a better position to serve the needs of the Muslim community. Growing social concerns that spiritual leaders of Mosques are addressing will also be discussed. Problem solving methods that social workers can use to collaborate with leaders of Mosques to better serve clients will be illustrated by a spiritual leader (Imam) of a large mosque from the United States. This presentation will be useful to social work practitioners, educators and researchers.


Understanding the Spiritual Lives of Adolescents  
Don Phelps  
Room Other 1

Adolescents often have difficulty articulating their spiritual values and beliefs, in part because they are seldom asked about them. Spiritual issues quickly emerge in the developmental life crisis of adolescence. As teens begin to think more abstractly, discover new information, and “rethink” old information, they often experience inner conflict. Disequilibrium cultivates a powerful and often difficult period of change. Teens are searching for affirmation, independence and identity. This is often seen in their acting-out or deviant behavior. Identity development involves the spiritual process of seeking personal genuineness, authenticity and the “real self”.  By failing to assess and understand a teen’s spiritual development social workers are ignoring an essential source of information about their lives. Knowing an adolescent’s spiritual values and beliefs may allow us to better understand their moral reasoning and risk taking behaviors.
            As social work research moves increasingly towards a postmodern perspective, values and beliefs play a more central role in our understanding of clients and determining the intervention strategies we use. This session will focus on ways in which social workers can provide a safe and ethical environment that allow adolescents the opportunity to talk honestly and openly about their spiritual beliefs. 


Fostering Spirituality in At-Risk Youth through Social Work Intervention 
Brenton Diaz
Room Other 1

Synthesizing concepts gathered from Logotherapy (Frankl, 1947/1975), Developmental Psychology (Allport, 1950; Elkind, 1997) and life stage theorists (Fowler, 1981; Kohlberg, 1969; Piaget, 1932), this paper advocates that social workers have a unique opportunity to overcome the mental and existential barriers that isolate at-risk youth through a communication process that connects the adolescent to their being and facilitates for them the establishment of a spiritual base (Benson, Scales, Jr., &. Roehlkepartain, 2003; Cotton, Larkin, Hoopes, Crome, & Rosenthal, 2005; Davis, 2004; Ebstyne-King & Furrow, 2004; Johnson & Larson, 1998; Larson, 1996; Massey, 1999; Mayer, 2005). Case examples from the author’s own practice will highlight the utility of this approach, which will be demonstrated as having a wide applicability across worldviews and faith perspectives, reflecting the diversity and anti-discriminatory nature of social work practice in Canada. This approach will also help workers to move away from the power scripts imbedded in the client/worker relationship, creating a space within intervention to mutually connect with the adolescent. By helping to facilitate for the adolescent a reconnection with the meaning, dreams, and sense of life-cohesion that spirituality brings, the social worker will possess another tool to promote the at-risk adolescent’s healing and personal empowerment.


The Role of Forgiveness in the Resiliency Process  
Yvonne R. Farley  
Room Other 2

Various models of resiliency are identified for recurrent themes consistent between models. Some of these themes include social connectedness, self-efficacy through mastery of tasks or environment, making positive meanings out of adversity which results in positive self-esteem and hardiness, autonomy from sources of adversity and problem solving skills including activities that enhance emotional release.
            The concept of forgiveness will be explored for its effect on resiliency.  The specific benefits and mechanisms of the process of forgiveness from two frameworks will be examined to understand possible benefits of forgiveness on the resiliency process.
            Thoresen, Harris & Luskin (2000) identify four psychosocial mechanisms that may be at work in forgiveness. Temoshok and Chandra (2000) created the most holistic theoretical framework for understanding the benefits of forgiveness. They broke the benefits down into contexts including spiritual, community, healthcare, interpersonal, self and biological.  They then went on to look at the outcomes for each of these contexts which included hope, compassion, social integration, self-esteem, social support and coping behaviors as examples.
            While both of these sources indicate that outcomes are tentative, it begins to appear that some of the outcomes from the forgiveness processes would enhance resiliency processes and themes as described earlier.

Religion, Spirituality and Critical Social Development
Barbara Swartzentruber
Room Other 2

Understanding the instrumental, symbolic and discursive power of religion within the context of modern paradigms of international growth and development is increasingly important to the field of social work. This paper reviews the role for social work in supporting the critical project of social development by contributing to the articulation of a coherent and inclusive set of values and ethics that can support the realization of a just and sustainable global future.  Both critical social work and developmental social work perspectives, are seen to offer opportunities for (re-) opening areas of enquiry and praxis seemingly closed by the prevailing professional and societal discourse. Further, the critical perspective in social development (described by Midgley 2001) offers the opportunity to consider how the vision of an alternative, just society can be achieved.


Friday May 26  3:45-4:30   Presentations

The Role of Spirituality in Coping with Personal and Professional Stressors Among Social Work Students  
Yu-Wen Ying  
Room Other 2

Folkman and Lazarus’ model of stress and coping proposes that distress arises not primarily from external stressors but an inability to cope.  While spirituality may enhance coping, this relationship has not been well documented in MSW students, a high risk population for distress as they serve clients with significant problems. To address this gap in the literature, the current study examines how MSW students’ spiritual orientation influences their coping responses to significant personal and professional stressors, and the latter’s effect on professional burnout and psychological and physical well-being.
            This pilot study utilizes a mixed method design, including a quantitative survey and a qualitative interview. A total of 30 MSW students will comprise the sample. Quantitative measures include stress and coping strategies, religiosity, spirituality, emotional contagion, burnout, and physical and psychological well-being. The qualitative interview will serve to validate quantitative findings. The study will be implemented in the spring of 2006.
            In addition to contributing to the spare literature on MSW students’ spirituality, the study findings will contribute to the MSW curriculum by identifying salutogenic values and practices that enhance coping, continued commitment to excellence in the social work profession, and overall well-being.

 
The New Discourse on Spirituality: Problem or Potential for Social Work and Psychology? 
AnneMarie Gockel  
Chapel Lounge

The 21st century has seen the popular rise of a new form of religious practice. What Sutcliffe (2003, p.223) terms this “new discourse on spirituality” in marked by individuals integrating a broad range of traditions and teachings to develop their own individualized spiritual practice. Psychological language, conceptualizations and strategies are central to the process and vision of healing within this discourse. Traditional spiritual and religious tools are being recruited for psychological purposes and psychological tools are being reframed as spiritual strategies in turn. Heelas (1996) suggests that the new spirituality has arisen to address gaps left by modern institutions such as medicine, psychology and social work. For example, approaches reflective of this discourse emphasize feeling and intuition over rationalism and science, informal personal relationships over formal expert-client dynamics, and internal empowerment over ever more effective external technologies. The impact of this discourse can be felt across many sectors of the population in the rise of interest in alternative healing practices, natural health, green politics, and eastern philosophies and practices such as Zen, yoga, and Buddhism. Certainly the new proliferation of seers, shamans, healers and alternative counselors are attracting much the same population of consumers that counseling services have attracted (Hunt, 2003). This paper examines the impact and potential importance of this discourse for the helping professions. Practitioners will be invited to consider the messages that this new discourse sends in both supporting and challenging mainstream approaches to healing in mental health disciplines.

Spiritual Assessment For Culturally Competent Practice
David Hodge
Renison 125   

As is increasingly recognized, spiritual assessment lays the groundwork for culturally competent practice with the diverse populations that characterize an increasingly multicultural North American society. More specifically, this presentation helps provide a foundation for culturally competent practice by introducing workshop attendees to a number of spiritual assessment models, including the model recommended by the largest healthcare accrediting organization in North America. Topics covered in the presentation include: clarifying the distinctions and connections between spirituality and religion, rationales for conducting a spiritual assessment, qualitatively oriented brief and comprehensive spiritual assessment instructions, quantitative assessment instruments, a framework for selection between various assessment instruments, characteristics of spiritual competency, suggestions for conducting spiritual assessments in an ethical manner that respects client autonomy, and content on the effectiveness of various spiritual interventions.

 
Examining the Role of Social Work within the Catholic Church
Joanne Ebear
Renison 106

Devolution of services is having a largely negative impact on our social welfare programs and how we are able to and not able to, deliver services to our clients.  Our religious institutions are feeling the brunt of these changes as more and more people are turning to their churches to fill in the gaps in services.  With the number of priests steadily declining within the Catholic Church the demands on the few that remain have increased in terms of meeting the needs of the parishioners, not just spiritually, but physically, mentally, and emotionally, at an individual level, at a community level, and at a global level.  Previous research asked the question: Is There a Place for Social Work within the Catholic Church?  This preliminary inquiry indicated that there is both a need and support for a closer association between the Catholic Church, its existing structures at the parish level and the profession of social work.  As a next step to this research, in this presentation, the authors explore a model of delivery to combine the strengths of both Social Work and the Catholic Church to better serve the needs of parishioners, particularly those who would not seek out, use or be able to access social work services in the general community.


Removing Barriers and Celebrating Diversity: A Welcoming Theoretical Foundation
John Coates  and  Mel Gray
Renison 43

Over the decades social work’s attempt to deal with diversity has not been particularly successful. Critical theorists have pointed out the way in which minority and Indigenous voices have been silenced within mainstream social work discourse. Further, some of the internationalizing efforts directed at securing a universal definition and global education standards for social work can be said to continue the profession’s colonizing tradition by which Anglo-American social work models supplant local and Indigenous approaches and practices. This paper will present an alternative ecospiritual perspective, that celebrates diversity and creates a welcoming place for Indigenous voices and local models of helping. This has occurred as the core beliefs and values that inform spiritually or environmentally sensitive social work are more reflective of, and welcoming to, the holistic world views of many Indigenous groups. Case examples from social work literature in Canada, China, Tonga, and Malaysia, will be used to reinforce the importance of culture and local knowledge in the development of genuine and authentic culturally relevant social work practice.

 
Integral Social Service:  A guide for inclusion of spirituality from clinical through macro
Heather Larkin
Great Hall Extension

Integral theory is a tightly knit metatheoretical framework which is inclusive of spirituality and appropriate to the vision of social work.  The AQAL framework of Integral theory will be presented.   Furthermore, the evolution of the social work profession over time will be discussed in light of Integral theory.  By simultaneously attending to both the person and the environment, social work has actually been ahead of its time in its comprehensive approach.  Yet, although social work has been inherently striving for a more integrative approach from the beginning, it has lacked a theory that could address both people and their environments by integrating the various useful theories drawn upon by social workers.  Integral theory does just this.  It also provides a way to work with the spiritual aspects of both people and their environments from clinical through macro levels.  Social workers will leave this presentation with a grasp of Integral theory and an understanding of the ways that Integral theory can guide both practice and research that includes spirituality in social work.


Friday May 26  5:30-7:00   Networking Reception
Co-Hosted by Renison & ASU Schools of Social Work


Saturday, May 27

Saturday May 27  7:30-8:30   Morning Meditation/Coffee and Muffins

Saturday May 27  8:00          Remembering Brian Ouellette -  memorial
Location TBA

Saturday May 27  9:00-10:30 Workshops

Inspirational Techniques from Aboriginal Healing Practices for Spiritual Enhancement in the Clinical Office Setting  
Lewis Mehl-Madrona  
Renison 106
Type:  Experiential Workshop

This workshop will address what we can do in an office setting to enhance the spiritual experience of ourselves and others who sit with us.  We will draw from the presenter’s roots in aboriginal culture to find modern translations of these concepts that practitioners can use in contemporary settings.  First comes the concept of purification.  Most ceremonies are preceded by purification as a means of mental preparation, building focus, channeling energy, and being helpful.  We will review personal means for purification that can be done before, during, and after work and will perform a short purification for ourselves.  Then we will consider prayer.  Prayer can be powerful before, during, and after visits.  We will do a brief prayer ceremony.  We will move on to spiritual dialogue.  Through accessing trance states (altered states of consciousness), we become more able to put aside our conventional beliefs about the world (including our limitations) and enter into a dialogue with Nature and the spiritual domain.  This includes conversations with non-physical beings.  We will do an experiential exercise to gain deeper understanding of this concept and process.  We will discuss the need for continued dialogue, concepts of spirit helpers, and ancestral guidance, and how to allow these ideas to become ordinary.  We will conclude with the Lakota-style talking circle as a means to allow ourselves to more fully experience each other and will depart with a closing prayer.


Deep Encounters with Death: Transformation through Embracing the Duality of Life and Death  
Sheryl Lee Shermak  
Renison 43

            With the aging population in Canada and the continued growth of the hospice movement, death is increasingly something social work practitioners are confronted with. Although life and death equal a primal spiritual balance, in modern society death is often an invisible reality outside of day-to-day life. But death need not be feared or avoided, and can be viewed as simply part of the life cycle, one more transformation not an end.
            For personal and professional reasons social work practitioners need to become mindful of and clarify their own ideas on the meaning of death and the possible death rituals to honour life.
            This experiential workshop will encourage deep encounters with the concept of death in accordance with the teachings of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung. Deep encounters allow for new insights, healing, and personal growth. To increase mindfulness of death participants will create their own eulogy, and partake in a detailed guided visualization on what their memorial might look like. To encourage exploration of issues as a group, discussion will follow each exercise. Ideally the workshop will assist participants to take steps towards transcending their current conceptualizations of death and life to new levels of awareness. 


Shamanic Healing in Social Work Practice  
Cathryne Schmitz & Christine Stinson  
Chapel Lounge

Healing occurs on multiple levels. For many people, the deepest and most profound healing occurs spiritually. There are many paths to spiritual healing. Shamanic healing is a path that can help individuals and communities grow as they struggle to recover from trauma. Shamanism has an ancient history across many cultures. The Shaman calls on the power of spirits to guide the healing process. The Shamanic journey is one path to healing that empowers and enriches individuals and communities.
            Shamanic healing is a path to healing that moves beyond labels and diagnosis to empowerment. It supports individuals and communities suffering from a loss of hope, loneliness, isolation, disillusionment, or illness. It is a path to finding beauty, vision, peace, and hope.
            This workshop will provide an overview of shamanic healing and reflect on the use of shamanic healing in social work practice.  The methods of shamanic healing will be introduced with a discussion of applications for individuals, groups, and communities.  We will also discuss how interested social workers can receive introductory training in shamanic work.


Saturday May 27  10:45-12:15 Workshops
Getting to the Center:  An Art-as-Meditation Process  
Jennifer Judelsohn  
Renison 106

Mandalas—circular images—are powerful universal icons that portray a deep sense of oneness and reflect our soul’s essence. They reflect and focus spiritual energies of healing and transformation. Through discussion and a short Powerpoint presentation, participants will discover why the circle is a powerful symbol for integration, transformation, and wholeness. Then, using a simple process of intention and art-as-meditation, participants will create their own personal healing symbols. Participants will explore the power of intention and how focused attention can shape our reality. They will learn to reconnect with the spontaneous joy of creativity and develop powerful tools for personal insight and healing. Participants also will explore how this process can serve as the basis of a daily personal spiritual practice and as a tool for transformation to use professionally with clients. No art experience is necessary.


Creating Space for Spirit:  Counseling the Dying and The Grieving  
Sara Corse  
Renison 43

Confrontation with death awakens our most profound spiritual questions.  Providers in hospitals, hospices and therapy centers are increasingly aware of the emotional and spiritual needs of the dying and their families.  Drawing on my personal experience of caring for my dying mother, and my work as a clinician, I offer workshop participants an opportunity to reflect on how to be in relationship with clients facing their own death or the death of a loved one.  The workshop includes exercises to deepen personal reflection and small group discussion to broaden understanding of the spiritual themes at end of life.  Some questions for reflection and discussion are:

  • Based on your beliefs about spirituality, what questions might be on your mind if you were contemplating your own death or that of someone close to you?
  • What are the pros and cons of talking about death with someone who is dying?
  • Think about yourself as a parent.  How would you want to nurture your child through loss and grief?
  • Is there a meaningful distinction between psychological healing and spiritual healing?
  • How can secular providers offer a safe “container” to explore the spiritual needs of the dying and grieving?


A Call to Compassion:  How to Recognize our own Dark Side  
Don Streit  
Great Hall Extension

This experiential workshop will invite participants to recognize how disowned parts of the personality, both positive and negative, are projected onto other individuals, cultures, and nations. This recognition will highlight how these projections foster barriers resulting in a world view of “us” and “them.” The presenter will demonstrate humankind’s tendency toward repressing and/or projecting unacceptable traits onto peoples of different cultures, belief systems, and faith practices. With references to Carl Jung’s archetype of the shadow, Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—and common fairy tales the presenter will delineate a variety of ways that individuals and nations grapple with the issue and reality of evil, both real and imagined.

The presenter will guide participants through exercises that explore a world view that sees common ground in diverse populations in ethnicity, faith practices, political stances, and cultural norms. These exercises include reframing rejected personality traits, taking a “shadow inventory”, and appreciating differences as promoted by the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. All exercises suggest ways to transcend human-made barriers. The presenter will use video clips from movies that demonstrate how ignorance and repression of shadow traits foster discrimination, violence and war.


Breaking Barriers and Demonstrating Common Ground Through a Holistic Approach:  The Medicine Wheel  
Marguerite Loiselle & Lauretta McKenzie
Chapel Lounge

This proposal offers to the 2006 joint conference, an experiential workshop that will explain the essential role that spirituality plays in transforming lives of individuals who are in state of imbalance and disharmony.  A holistic approach based on the Medicine Wheel will demonstrate that this tool can be utilized by practitioners and clients of all cultures, thereby indicating that a common ground exists in humanity.  The presenters will invite participants to discuss criteria for a healthy life.  The participants will also be involved in the process of examining and discovering their own state of health through the application of the Medicine Wheel.  The workshop will look at how an individual can strive to become a whole person by addressing the need for equilibrium and harmony among the four aspects (spiritual, mental, emotional and physical) of life.  This will be done through the preparation of one’s own “wellness wheel”, which will enable participants to assess and measure each aspect of their life.  The primary objective of this workshop is to demonstrate how a social worker can help a client achieve personal and social transformation through balance.  Another objective is to indicate the need to enhance spirituality in humanity.


Saturday May 27  12:30-1:00 Canadian Association Discussion


Saturday May 27  9:00-10:30 Presentations

Spiritual Meaning during Inpatient Addiction Treatment  
Paul Caldwell
Renison 125

Among individuals in addiction treatment programs, motivation and treatment retention appear to be associated with the ability of clients to embrace the spiritual aspects of treatment and engage with others in group recovery. This study of adults in inpatient chemical dependency treatment (N = 110, to date) assessed spiritual meaning, social connectedness, cognitive function, and readiness to change for the purpose of informing treatment providers regarding these key recovery variables. Because spirituality within addiction treatment is typically understood in terms of the principles and language of Twelve-Step programs, this study employed a more general definition of spirituality, utilizing the Spiritual Meaning Scale (Mascaro, Rosen & Morey, 2004). Prior research by the author found that varied and positive conceptualizations of the 12-Step “higher power” theme are associated with comparable levels of recovery affiliation. Preliminary findings in the current study indicate that clients report a significant level of spiritual meaning, even in the early stage of recovery. However, spiritual meaning appears to be weakly associated with social connectedness, although moderately (inversely) associated with cognitive function. Further analysis of this data (and follow-up regarding treatment completion) is planned to better understand the role of the spiritual factor at this stage of treatment.


The Unbound Heart:  Spirituality and Purpose in Life among Formerly Incarcerated Substance Users  
Dina Redman
Renison 125

Purpose: To identify contributors to a spirituality-oriented sense of purpose in life among formerly incarcerated substance users. Methods: An exploratory, cross-sectional design was utilized, combining qualitative and quantitative methods. Data were collected from a purposive sample through 68 in-depth, structured interviews. Qualitative data were coded using an iterative, grounded theory process of constant comparisons, aggregated, and entered into discriminant analyses with quantitative variables. Results: Four principal purpose-related categories emerged: (1) Serving the community, (2) Improving the quality of one’s own life, (3) Expressing spirituality, and (4) Serving the immediate family. The most extensive history of stressful experiences during childhood was found among those who advanced spirituality-related goals. These respondents were also more likely to have witnessed someone being severely injured or killed and to have lived through conditions that they perceived as analogous to war. They reported drinking in greater quantities, enumerated a wider variety of adverse alcohol-related consequences, were more likely to have felt dependent on alcohol, and initiated their use of drugs or alcohol at an earlier age. Implications: Substance abuse treatment participants seek meaning through a variety of activities.  In designing interventions, social workers should assess for a history of trauma and its relationship to spirituality-related goals.

 
The Transforming Power of Spirituality:  A Resource for Activists  
Ann Weaver Nichols  
Renison 44

Social activists frequently engage with issues and problems which are deeply embedded in society and of long duration–poverty, discrimination, inequitable distribution of resources.  Even when the target is focused (e.g., abolish the death penalty, expand civil rights measures to include the GLBT population, or create a civilian review board for a police department) progress is often slow, uneven, and incremental or partial.  It is easy for activists to become discouraged or to “burn out.”  Activists need to connect to the transforming power of spirituality to enable them to “keep on keeping on.”
        The author surveyed over 60 activists to determine what spiritual resources they call upon to sustain their work and strengthen their resiliency.  The findings are relevant not only for developing a self-care plan for ongoing activists, but also for encouraging new social workers to engage in activism.  The research addressed sources of inspiration, resources for renewal and support, strategies for maintaining hope, the challenge of how to relate to opponents, explication of underpinning beliefs and values, and specific spiritual practices used by the respondents. 

 
Spirituality and Witnessing:  The Impact on Social Workers  
Catherine O’Day  
Renison 44

“Stories are testimonies to the use of inner resources and the remarkable human potential to deal with life’s challenges in a way that promotes spiritual growth” states Brian Seward, Ph.D. (1999).  Through hearing people’s stories one “witnesses” another persons experience, the listener than becomes a witness to the experience or trauma.  Social workers, whose primary role is listening, are left with the unique challenge to make sense of what they have heard or “witnessed”. Understanding the role of listener and what it means to witness is important for effective social work practice. Implications for education are embedded in this framework as well. Social workers are oftentimes the first one to hear about a persons traumatic experience, or they may have to take testimony (i.e. child abuse cases), or they witness their clients death. Preparing social workers for this role is an important part of our duty as educators.  Terminology has been used to understand this process, such as, compassion fatigue, but there is a more spiritual component of the experience that deserves further exploration. The phenomenology examines results of an in-depth exploration of what it means to witness, in a spiritual sense, the horrors that humans have done.


Influences of Significant life events on God Concept  
Lora Carter Nafzinger  
Room Other 1

This paper describes an exploratory study, based on research done with a diverse group of women at midlife to explore the influences of significant life events on God concept. The importance of this work can be seen by the inclusion of religion and spirituality in the National Association of Social Worker’s nondiscrimination policy found in its Code of Ethics (National Association of Social Workers,1996); as well as in  the revised fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).  
        According to the 1998 General Social Survey [GSS] at the University of Chicago, 92% of American people surveyed expressed belief in God or a higher power (Davis et. al., 2002). This would suggest that for many people in the United States, and I would propose Canada, their understanding and experiences of God help them to make meaning in their lives. In a therapeutic setting spiritual resources are often assessed (Dombeck & Karl, 1987).  However, belief in God and God-concepts are generally not included in this assessment. Furthermore, little if any exploratory research has been conducted on what constitutes a God concept, changes in its concept over time, and the relationship between current God concept and significant life events.

Reflections on Teaching a Graduate Course on Spirituality Utilising Parker Palmer’s Six Paradoxical Tensions for Creating a Teaching and Learning Space  
Janet Groen  
Room Other 2

Courses that link spirituality to our professional practice are a growing phenomenon in professional faculties across North America such as social work, education, business and nursing.  Within my own graduate faculty, several colleagues and I collectively instruct seven graduate level courses that focus upon some aspect of spirituality and professional practice such as: spirituality and moral leadership, spirituality in a post-modern era, spirituality and love and spirituality in the workplace.
            The course I instruct, Spirituality within the Workplace, attracts graduate students from social work, workplace and adult learning, business and nursing.   When I taught this course for the first time in spring 2004, I found it a particularly unique challenge. For while my research had focused upon the topic of spirituality in the workplace and I valued and tried to model the processes of creating a spiritually open learning setting, this opportunity challenged me to weave together both spiritual content and spiritual adult learning processes within a university faculty not previously connected with associated this type of content.  In addition, since this course was to be taught fully online, utilizing both synchronous and asynchronous communication, I wondered if I would be able to build the close-knit learning community I aspired to achieve.  As I now stand back and reflect upon this learning experience from both the student perspective and my own perspective, I believe that this was a transformative learning experience allowing each of us to pursue a deeper understanding of meaningful spiritual questions related to workplaces, while utilizing spiritual learning processes.


Educating Spiritually Reflective Practitioners  
Janet Clark  
Room Other 2

The transforming power of spirituality in social work practice will remain a latent and untapped resource for personal and social change unless pedagogical strategies are developed for educating spiritually reflective practitioners. This paper begins with an examination of the cross-disciplinary literature on reflective learning in professional education, and demonstrates how these well-established principles and practices can be adapted and expanded to include the cultivation of capacities for spiritual reflection-in-and-on action. A number of professional disciplines including medicine, education, nursing, social work, and counseling have generated a rich body of literature on reflective practice, but this knowledge often remains contained within the disciplinary boundaries and discourse of the professions. By drawing on this rich resource, this paper presents five interdisciplinary methods for catalyzing spiritual reflection on the lived experience of practice. These practical pedagogical tools can be easily adapted for use in a variety of contexts including the university classroom, the supervisory relationship, and professional development contexts.


Saturday May 27  10:45-12:15 Presentations

The Change Agency of spirituality:  Emotional Connectedness - The Link between Emotions, Emotional Intelligence and Spirituality  
James E  Smith  
Renison 125
The power of spirituality to break barriers and create common ground involves being aware of and comprehending that the practice of spirituality involves the basic dynamic in human interpersonal and intrapersonal interaction, human emotional sensitivity for and a connection to others.
        A harmonious and caring society necessitates having a concern and interest, about people beyond our differences, beyond the socially constructed boundaries and circumstances of human existence that separate, marginalized, and disenfranchised its members. Where social, cultural, and mechanical distances exist, people are disconnected from others. This may serve to justify differential economic, social, political, medical and religious treatment. Too engage in behaviors indicative of a sense of compassion, empathy, and acceptance people must be able to transcend gender, race, age, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability, and/or religion. Fostering a framework of spiritual interaction requires understanding the dynamics of emotions in the process of self-reflection for self and other awareness and human connectedness. Literature suggests “spiritual maturity” implies exercising wisdom and compassion in relationship to other people, regardless of gender, creed, age, or ethic origin as well as respect for all forms of life. As sentient beings emotion and emotional intelligence may fundamental to developing and sustaining a spiritual atmosphere.


Social Work and the Evolution of Consciousness  
Priscilla Smith & Nikki Wingerson  
Renison 125

Human consciousness has been evolving since human inception.  At this point in time, this evolution is undergoing a paradigm shift from a third dimensional/physical perspective.   Some see this shift to the new consciousness as a coming together of quantum physics and spirituality which acknowledges the interconnectedness of everything.   This perspective is represented in the film, “What the Bleep Do We Know?”  Various writers such as Eckhart Tolle, David Hawkins, Don Miguel Ruiz, Gangaji, and Lynn McTaggart, have presented concepts to describe the new consciousness. 
        This presentation will explore the role of social work in the current stage of the evolution of human consciousness.  As a starting point, concepts of the writers mentioned above will be explored in relationship to existing social work concepts.  The presenters will also illustrate these concepts by sharing their personal experiences including changes in perspective, identity, attitude, emotional responses, and behaviors as a result of their own evolution of consciousness.  As social work clinicians and educators, the presenters will propose approaches which support this shift of consciousness in our clients and students. 


Interlinking the Souls of Spirituality and Social Work Education:  Building and Transforming International Curricula  
Raisuyah Bhagwan  
Renison 44

The burgeoning literature mirrors the acceptance of the spiritual paradigm.  Empirical work has provided a platform for practice issues and lent support for its vigorous building into curricula. Despite this empirical work related to course development is scant. This paper discusses findings from a survey of South African students and educators to design and evaluate guidelines for a course on spirituality and social work. Final year students from 21 Schools of Social Work in South Africa (n=714) were involved to shed light on the key content areas for curriculum development.  This paper also presents findings from a qualitative analysis of 22 international courses.  Using developmental research methodology the SA and international data sources were used to design guidelines for curricula development. Evaluation research was used to further refine this innovation through the use of a group of SA educators.  This provided the impetus for a comprehensive course that embraced issues of holistic practice, assessment and intervention and new areas viz. : transpersonal social work, community work and research. This paper will summarize these critical features thereby establishing a foundation for the adoption and diffusion of spirituality in social work education across all training institutions globally.   


Providing Students with a Spirituality based Launch into their first Field Placements 
Eunice Gorman & Mary Lou Karley   (to be confirmed)
Renison 44
 
This presentation will outline a recent addition to the end of first term pre-placement preparation for first year BSW students. Prior to the students entering their first field placement they are offered the opportunity to attend a presentation entitled " What Happy Social Workers Know" . This talk is an attempt to present in a humorous way the perils and pitfalls of a career in social work while at the same time addressing the rewards and personal satisfaction inherent in care-giving work. The focus of the student presentation is on resilience, transcendence, meaning making , the impact of loss narratives over the long term and self care.  While the delivery is a bit tongue in cheek , the message is a very serious one indeed. If you do not care for yourself , mind , body and spirit you will struggle to remain grounded and balanced in this work.This presentation will highlight the student response to the three hour workshop and open the floor for feedback and discussion. 


Spirituality - the New Religion?  Academic Issues and Clinical Concerns  
Siobhan Chandler  
Room Other 1

It is tempting to consider the recent popularity of things ‘spiritual’ as part of a natural evolution of human consciousness, where spirituality, like a prime number, is simply the de facto common denominator of the religious quest in its many forms. In a religiously diverse country like Canada, seeking what is common to the many is an attractive, even practical strategy for uniting society. On the level of health and wellbeing, giving spirituality equal status in the body-mind-spirit trinity honours its role in balanced, meaningful living. Used in these contexts, spirituality is conceived as a nebulous, but useful term designating inclusion and wholeness. Yet what is often overlooked is that viewed from another perspective, ‘spirituality’ actually describes a worldview with specific religious, historical, social, economic and political contours. As a religious movement, contemporary spirituality has its roots in the sweeping social changes of the 1950s and 1960s and gave rise to a preference for a self-mediated, experiential spirituality that continues today. This highly influential generation—the so-called Baby Boomers— impart a characteristic signature to the discourse on spirituality, and clinicians should be aware of the hidden assumptions that the rhetoric of spirituality sometimes masks.

 
Orthodox vs  Progressive: An Invitation to Transform Professional Consciousness 
Janet Melcher  
Room Other 1

In recent journal articles, David R. Hodge charges that the social work profession discriminates against Evangelical Christians and others called “people of faith”, and thereby violates its own ethical mandate to work toward the elimination of oppression. His assertions stimulated a deluge of debate in the social work literature. In this paper, Fowler’s faith development theory is used to consider the dynamics of the controversy from a different angle. Fowler claims that a “revolution in consciousness” is taking place and makes recommendations for facilitating the change. Drawing upon Fowler’s recommendations, social work professionals are encouraged to move beyond articulating positions in skillful debate to an atmosphere where individuals with very different worldviews can enter into dialogue, hear each other, and learn from what is heard. The subjects of needed leadership, productive problem solving, and ethical practice that takes personal values into account are addressed briefly.


Narnia, C S  Lewis and Introducing Spirituality in the Social Work Classroom 
Laura Taylor  
Room Other 2

C.S. Lewis through his adult and children’s books continue to find new audiences.  How can his work help us introduce students to spirituality?  His work connects past , present and future and helps students think critically about major themes that will occur throughout their social work careers: grief and loss; friendship and social support, honour and self-sacrifice. Yet his work has been generally overlooked in the social work curriculum, and social work literature.  In this paper, we would like to explore how C.S. Lewis can be introduced into the social work curriculum both to foster critical thinking and self-other awareness.  We will examine some of the multimedia available to promote class discussion.  It is hoped that the audience will engage in a critical discussion of the use of the works of C.S. Lewis in social work education generally and specifically in spirituality and values courses and in social work practice.  The paper offers a chance to “return to the Narnia of your youth” or to visit Narnia for the first time.

Why it's Important to Consider Spirituality in Social Work Education
Ginette Lafrenière
Room Other 2

This paper will report on findings relative to a research project examining elements of Best Practice for social service providers working with survivors of war, torture and organized violence.
        Dr. Ginette Lafreniere, a professor in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University, will report on here findings on a community-based research project and she will argue that social work educators must not shy away from creating spaces for dialogue around matters relative to spirituality and religiosity as it pertains to survivors of war, torture and organized violence.  Findings will demonstrate that survivors interviewed for the research project have expressed a need for social service providers to be sensitive and receptive to engaging in a helping relationship which honors spirituality and religiosity as an essential component to person and collective healing.

Saturday May 27  1:00-2:30 Presentations

Transforming Social Work’s Understanding of Person and Environment: Spirituality and the “Common Ground ” 
Michael Kim Zapf  
Great Hall Extension

Social work has long declared a dual focus on person and environment. In practice, however, this reciprocal relationship has been heavily weighted towards an emphasis on the person as subject and the environment in the background as modifier or context. The environment itself has been reduced to the social environment in much mainstream social work theory and practice.
        The broad notion of spirituality now developing in the social work literature has the potential to transform our limited notion of person and environment. If we can come to understand ourselves as elements of a living environment (creation in the spiritual sense), then we transform our notion of person and environment to a perspective of person as environment. We begin to see ourselves as dynamic components of a living system. Such transformation calls social work to look beyond interpersonal relationships to the very nature of our connection with the planet we inhabit – literally our “common ground”.
        This paper examines the developing literature on spirituality and social work, and finds evidence to support such a transformation as social work starts to move beyond its limited historical notion of person and environment to truly accept our “common ground”, the planet where we all live.

Perspectives of a Macro Practitioner
Thomas Brenner
Room Other 1

With a twenty year policy agenda in Canada that has escalated the incidence of child poverty and homelessness, and limited people’s access to health care, among other things, one wonders about the power of spirituality. Barbara Murphy (1999) called us the “ugly Canadians” for allowing the decline of Canada’s once-renowned social programs, and the Canadian business community boasted of its influence on the public policy agenda over the past two decades (Tom d’Aquino as cited in Hurtig, M., 2002). It is clearly apparent there is widening gap between the rich and the poor, a disregard for the environment, and a general weakening of the social ties within Canadian Society. In the recent past, WorldCom, Enron, political patronage, and Conrad Black have captured media attention in what has been described as a “culture of greed.” How do we prepare social work students to engage in a policy process that has placed the needs of the corporate elite ahead of any concern for the poor, disadvantaged or the environment in which we live? The value base and social discourse have become an impediment and this paper will examine spirituality in a variety of forms as a vehicle to re-establish concern for the common good.
 

Spirituality of the Social Worker: Sustaining Lifelong Practice  
Jeffrey  Barker and Stacey Barker
Room Other 1

Social workers are called to give of themselves continually, often to the point of exhaustion and the negation of self-care. The bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual framework of human development is useful in understanding both our clients and ourselves as holistic persons. Recognition of the importance of spirituality could be what rescues the social worker from the brink of burnout.
        In light of the professional literature on compassion fatigue and burnout, this paper will utilize James Fowler’s “stages of faith” as a context for self-examination. Recognizing and affirming that the social worker is exposed to people, events, and thought patterns that challenge faith, this paper will highlight how these professional challenges can foster spiritual growth leading to personal and professional transformation. By exploring various spiritual and religious activities as potential means of sustaining the social work professional, this paper will argue that the practice of social work can be an optimal context for spiritual transformation.

 
Compassion and Social Work Practice  
Lany Pickard  
Room Other 2

This paper will present a nationwide study which evaluated a curriculum to teach compassion to social work students. After reviewing the Compassion Curriculum, experts were surveyed from accredited undergraduate schools of social work through a questionnaire focusing on: (a) the relevance of the curriculum to the profession and education (b) the evaluation of instructional processes and resources, and (c) evaluation strategies used to measure student growth. A principal-component analysis identified critical components of the survey instrument.
This paper will present the background and research used to develop the curriculum and a detailed overview of the content and teaching methods.
        The results of the survey found:
Raters felt that the curriculum would increase the compassion response.
The curriculum would be appropriate for an undergraduate class.
Raters felt that social work values were reinforced.
The most effective instructional activities were: (a) self-reflection, (b) individual and group improvisations, (c) visualization and experiential exercises, (d) group discussion and process, and (e) lecture and case studies.
Eighty percent did not have a compassion curriculum, and 50% felt there was no overlap with existing curriculum.  Raters felt that compassion was an essential skill in social work education and practice.

Fostering Spirituality: Sweat Lodge Experiences for Social Workers and Clients
Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff and Marion Lerat
Room Other 2

Understanding the role of spirituality in social work practice is still in its infancy: focused on recognition of descriptions and definitions, differentiating it from organized religious practices and describing its impact on a variety of physical and psychosocial problems. Recent efforts have turned to efforts describe and measure the concept of spirituality. Most of these efforts have concentrated on the impact of spirituality on clients with physical disorders, emotional and psychosocial difficulties. As acceptance of the role of spirituality in social work increases two additional areas will emerge as significant issues: how to foster spiritual growth in clients who have little religious affiliation, and the role of spirituality for social workers as individuals and professionals. We will draw on exploratory research at an urban-based sweat lodge to explore how this aboriginal ceremony provides opportunity for clients and social workers, regardless of cultural background, to experience significant spiritual growth.


Saturday May 27  2:30-3:45 Round Tables

Professional Narratives

Facilitator – Susan Cadell
Great Hall 

Research Round Table
Facilitator – Diana Coholic
Chapel Lounge

Saturday May 27  3:45-4:00 
Planning Forward / Closing
Great Hall