Spiritual Directors International

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Spirituality and Health Care Institute

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Spirituality and Health Care Institute: Connecting with Vulnerability to Engage Suffering's Potential for Healing and Growth

Tuesday, 14 April 2015
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

When we care for and accompany those who are suffering, we often encounter a level of vulnerability that offers both opportunities and challenges. At such times, the hope for healing can include the desire to grow spiritually. 

The Spirituality and Health Care Institute will provide participants the chance to broaden their understanding of suffering and consider new ways to respond that deepen the sense of connection to self, other, and larger creation. We will also explore our own response to suffering, especially as it relates to the service we provide others.

The Spirituality and Health Care Institute will focus on:

  • discovering how suffering and vulnerability presents in ourselves and those we accompany;
  • recognizing the bio-psycho-social-spiritual impact of accompanying those who suffer;
  • noticing how suffering can heighten the desire to heal and grow spiritually;
  • gaining knowledge and experience regarding existing spiritual assessment tools;
  • learning a new behavioral and spiritual response to pain and suffering individually and in a group setting; and
  • blending both traditional and scientific cosmology in response to suffering and vulnerability.

(Includes midday meal)

Spirituality and Health Care Institute USD$175

2015 Presenters

Dr. Lisa Azzam has been a physical therapist for thirty-six years and a spiritual director for the past three. She has a master’s degree in theological studies from Boston University, as well a supervised practicum in spiritual direction from Boston College. Dr. Azzam’s special areas of expertise include holistic and twelve-step spirituality, spiritual mentoring of young professionals, as well as lectio divina prayer for individuals and groups.

Dr. Jane Marie Thibault spends her time companioning persons dealing with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. She also consults with businesses dealing with older adults; provides retreats and workshops on topics of spirituality and aging, especially “dedicated suffering;” teaches Centering Prayer, and engaging as a member of the Contemplative Aging Cenobium of Mepkin Abbey.

Dr. Robin Youngson is an anesthesiologist in New Zealand and the co-founder of Hearts in Healthcare, an international movement to rehumanize healthcare. He's an honorary senior lecturer at Auckland University, on the editorial board of the Journal of Compassionate Healthcare, and a member of the Global Compassion Council of the international Charter for Compassion. Robin is the author of the acclaimed book, Time to care—How to Love your Patients and your Job.

2015 Planning Team

Lisa Azzam, PT, DPT, MTS, physical therapist and spiritual director in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Colleen Sharka, MA, LMHC, psychotherapist and spiritual director at Still Harbor, South Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Dr. Jane Marie Thibault, clinical gerontologist and clinical professor emerita of family and geriatric medicine at the School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

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Spiritual Directors International Spirituality and Health Care Institute, Tuesday 14 April
Join spiritual and health care providers from around the world as we explore how suffering and vulnerability can impact healing, compassion, and growth. Learn about spiritual assessment tools. The Spirituality and Health Care Institute features Dr. Robin Youngson, Dr. Jane Marie Thibault, and Dr. Lisa Azzam. Tuition includes midday meal. CEUs available.


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