Discussing religion improves health

New York, July 10 (IANS) Discussion on religion and spirituality can often lead to improved physical and mental health, but clinical social workers are not integrating these conversations into their counselling sessions, a study says.

Licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) account for the largest number of clinically trained helping professionals in the US.

“It’s that big elephant in the room. If we ignore it, we are ignoring a huge component of their lives that may be tied to the clinical issue,” said Holly Oxhandler from Baylor University.

Oxhandler and colleagues surveyed 442 LCSWs across the US for the study, which was published in the journal Social Work.

The survey revealed that the vast majority of LCSWs, with more than 80 percent responding favourably on most of the survey items, have positive attitudes regarding the integration of their clients’ religion and spirituality into their discussions.

“They are confident in their abilities to assess and discuss their clients’ beliefs, and find it feasible to do so. But they are not doing it… I’m still boggled by the fact that they are so disconnected between their views and their behaviours,” she said.

Oxhandler said that from the 1920s to the 1970s, there was a push for what is called the “medical model” of practice, which she said had no mention of religion or spirituality because there was no research to support the discussion about clients’ faith and practice during that time.

“It wasn’t until the 1980s when some researchers were saying, ‘Well, it’s kind of an important area of their clients’ culture that we need to be considering in clinical practice’.”

It is important for social workers to be trained to learn about religions other than their own, she said adding: “If you’re a Christian social worker working in a medical setting and you have a Muslim client who’s in the hospital, how do you know that she needs to be positioned a certain way within her room when she prays five times a day?”

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here