What is Spiritual Care?

Spiritual Care encompasses all the ways in which attention is paid to the spiritual dimensions of life. It is most commonly offered in a one-to-one relationship, is person centered and makes no assumptions about personal conviction or life orientation.

It offers a way for people to experience and make meaning of their hopes and fears.

Spiritual Care is provided by practitioners to appropriately meet the individual’s spiritual and emotional needs. It may include presence, conversations, ritual, ceremonies, and the sharing of sacred texts and resources.

Spiritual Care is not about proselytising and does not impose the practitioner’s beliefs or values.


What is spirituality?

A commonly accepted international definition from the health sector (but broadly applicable) is this:  

‘Spirituality is a dynamic and intrinsic aspect of humanity through which persons seek ultimate meaning, purpose, and transcendence, and experience relationship to self, family, others, community, society, nature, and the significant or sacred.’[i]


[i] Puchalski CM, Ferrell B, Virani R, Otis-Green S, Baird P, Bull J, Chochinov H, Handzo G, Nelson-Becker H, Prince-Paul M, Pugliese K, Sulmasy D: Improving the quality of spiritual care as a dimension of palliative care: The report of the consensus conference. J Palliat Med 2009:12:885–904