Book review: Treating Body and Soul
Rev Stephen Wright reviews Treating Body and Soul – A Clinicians’ Guide to Supporting the Physical, Mental and Spiritual Needs of Their Patients
Treating Body and Soul – A Clinicians’ Guide to Supporting the Physical, Mental and Spiritual Needs of Their Patients
Peter Wells (editor)
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
£19.99 | 208pp
It took a while to get past the title and into the substance of this book. The use of ‘treating’ and ‘their’, in relation to spirituality, suggests an outmoded paradigm, with the clinician doing something ‘to’ the patient. There’s not a lot about mental and physical needs; the emphasis is on the spiritual.
The editor suggests there is no definition of spirituality. Actually, there are many, which is part of the problem. However, he has gathered together 11 opinion pieces from various healthcare professionals, and the range is helpful for nurses.
While the stories can be interesting, most lack supporting evidence to help those arguing for the integration of spirituality into healthcare. Each chapter illustrates how the contributor is feeling their way into a contentious subject and is as much about their own story as any proposals for patient care.
Reviewed by the Rev Stephen Wright, chair of the Sacred Space Foundation in Cumbria