Spiritual Direction and Health Care

Below are several useful resources for learning about spiritual guidance and it's relation to health care.

Featured Resources
Presence Articles

Featured Resources

Puchalsi, Christina and Ferrell, Betty. Making Health Care Whole: Integrating Spirituality into Patient Care.

Presence Articles

Arora, Kelly. “Not-Knowing in Spiritual Direction: Reflections on Social Identity.” Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction 17, no. 2 (2011): 19–26.
Benefiel, Margaret. “A Sacred Vocation: Being Present to the Call of Health Care Ministry.” Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction 15, no. 1 (2009): 14–18.
Ellmann, E., "Tending to Spirituality in the Workplace" (2001) Presence: The Journal of Spiritual Directors International, June 2001, pp 46-53.
Fosarelli, Patricia D. “Facilitating Healing of the Healers: Spiritual Direction and Health Professionals.” Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction 18, no. 4 (2012): 40–44.
Geans, George, Andrea Henson, and Debie Lewis. “Spiritual Direction in Health Care: The Continuing Formation of a Spiritual Direction Program at Orlando Health.” Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction 17, no. 2 (2011): 53–59.
Groff, Kent. I. “Writing in the Dark to Love: Using a Pen as a Tool in Spiritual Companioning.” Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction 15, no. 1 (2009): 34–41.
Nolen, Kenneth L., and Harper, Julie. “Integrating Work And Spirit: Spiritual Direction and Orlando Regional Healthcare” from Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction volume 13.2, published by Spiritual Directors International.
O’Donoghue, Hannah, and Scott Quinn. “Presence in a Health Care Setting: Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Sacred Touch.” Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction 17, no. 4 (2011): 28–32.




Arora, Kelly. “Spiritual Direction as Psychospiritual Care for Women with Autoimmune Diseases.” In Chronic Illness and Spirituality: Diverse Disciplinary, Religious, and Cultural Perspectives, edited by Rebecca Green, Darla Schumm, and Michael J. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Burton, Chad M., andLaura A. King. “Health Benefits of Writing about Intensely Positive Experiences.” Journal of Research in Personality 38, no. 2 (April 2004): 150–63.
Cassell, Eric J. The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004/1991.
Charon, Rita. “At the Membranes of Care: Stories in Narrative Medicine.” Academic Medicine 87, no. 3 (March 2012): 1–6.
Charon, Rita. Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Curlin, F. A., Lantos, J. D., Roach, C. J., "Religious Characteristics of 1 U. S. Physicians: A National Survey", J Gen Intern Med 20(7), 629-634 retrieved from http://pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1490160.
Davis, Christopher G., Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, and Judith Larson. “Making Sense of Loss and Benefiting from the Experience: Two Construals of Meaning.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 75, no. 2 (1998): 561–74.
Fosarelli, P., "Medicine, Spirituality, and Patient Care." JAMA, August 20, 2008, 300(7), 836-838.
Frank, Arthur. The Wounded Storyteller: Stories of Illness and Healing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.
Gallagher, Nora. Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic. New York: Knopf, 2013.
Grossoehme, D. H., Ragsdale, J. R., McHenry, C. L. (2007). "Pediatrician Characteristics Associated With Attention to Spirituality and Religion in Clinical Practice." Pediatrics 119 (1), e117-e123.
Holmes, S. M., Rabow, M. W., Dibble, S. L. (2006). "Screening the soul: Communication regarding spiritual concerns among primary care physicians and seriously ill patients approaching end of life." Am J Hosp palliat Care 2006: 23;25-31. retrieved from http://ajh.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/23/1/25.
Kenyon, Jane. “Having It Out with Melancholy.Poets.org. Accessed September 25, 2013.
Kleinman, Arthur. The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, and the Human Condition. New York: Basic Books, 1988.
Larimore, W.L., Duininck, M. W., Morsch, G.B. (2007). "Spiritual Needs of Physicians Duringand Following a Catastrophe." Southern Medical Journal, 100(9), 940-941.
Ostriker, Alicia S. The Crack in Everything. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996.
Pakenham, Kenneth I. “Making Sense of Illness or Disability: The Nature of Sense Making in Multiple Sclerosis (MS).” Journal of Health Psychology 13, no. 1 (January 2008): 93–105.
Pargament, Kenneth I., Harold G. Koenig, Nalini Tarakeshwar, and June Hahn. “Religious Coping Methods as Predictors of Psychological, Physical and Spiritual Outcomes among Medically Ill Elderly Patients: A Two-Year Longitudinal Study.” Journal of Health Psychology 9, no. 6 (November 2004): 713–30.
Pattison, Stephen. Alive and Kicking: Towards a Practical Theology of Illness and Healing. London, England: SCM Press, 1989.
Pennebaker, James W. Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions. 2nd ed. New York: Guilford Press, 1997.
Puchalski, Christina, MD, MS, FACP and Ferrell, Betty, PhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN. “Improving the Quality of Spiritual Care as a Dimension of Palliative Care: The Report of the Consensus Conference.” Journal of Palliative Medicine, Volume 12, Number 10, 2009.
Reeve, Christopher. Still Me. New York: Ballantine Books, 1999.
Sinclair, S., Raffin, S., Pereira, J., Guebert, N. (2006). "Collective Soul: The spirituality of an interdisciplinary palliative care team." Pallliative and Supportive Care (2006), 4, 13-24.
Steinhauser, K. E., Voils, C. I., Clipp, E. C., Bosworth, H. B., Christakis, N. A., Tulsky, J. A. (2006).“Are You at Peace?” One Item to Probe Spiritual Concerns at the End of Life. Arch Intern Med, 166,101-105. http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/132/10/825.
Trevino, Kelly M., Kenneth I. Pargament, Sian Cotton, Anthony C. Leonard, June Hahn, Carol A. Caprini-Faigin, and Joel Tsevat. “Religious Coping and Physiological, Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Outcomes in Patients with HIV/AIDS: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Findings.” AIDS Behavior 14, no. 2 (April 2010): 379–89.
Weiner, E.L., Swain G. R., Wolf, B., Gottlieb M. (2007). "A qualitative study of physicians’ own wellness-promoting practices." West J Med 174 (1):19-23 retrieved from http://pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1071222.




Author Title
Benefiel, Margaret The Soul of a Leader: Finding Your Path to Success and Fulfillment
Benefiel, Margaret Soul at Work: Spiritual Leadership in Organizations
Douty, Linda How Can I Let Go If I Don't Know I'm Holding On?
Flach, Frederic Resilience: Discovering A New Strength At Times of Stress
Francis, Karen Ander The Soul Friend: Spiritual Direction with Adults Abused as Children
Koenig, Harold Spirituality in Patient Care: Why, How, When, and What
Linn, Matthew Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life
McSherry, Wilfred Making Sense of Spirituality in Nursing And Health Care Practice: An Interactive Approach
Pattison, Stephen, Hannigan, Ben, Pill Roisin and Thomas, Huw Emerging Values in Health Care: The Challenge for Professionals
Puchalsi, Christina Making Health Care Whole: Integrating Spirituality into Patient Care
Robinson, Simon Spirituality, Ethics and Care
Rupp, Joyce Your Sorrow Is My Sorrow: Hope and Strength in Times of Suffering
Schlim, David and Rinpoche, Chokyi Nyima Medicine and Compassion: A Tibetan Lama's Guidance for Caregivers
Sulmasy, Daniel The Rebirth of the Clinic: An Introduction to Spirituality in Health Care
Sulmasy, Daniel The Healer's Calling: A Spirituality for Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals
Sulmasy, Daniel A Balm for Gilead: Meditations on Spirituality and the Healing Arts
Vest, Norene Tending the Holy: Spiritual Direction Across Traditions
Wagner, Nick Spiritual Direction in Context (Spiritual Directors International)