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SOCW 6210: Human Behavior and the Social Environment II | Week 9 Week 9: Spiritual Development

Throughout your coursework in HBSE, you have explored many factors that influence an individual’s behavior. This week, you focus on spirituality, a factor that contributes significantly to the way individuals view themselves and find meaning in their lives. Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman (2016) stated, “The spiritual domain is an important means by which many people organize their view of the world” (p. 132).

As you explore the topic of spirituality this week, consider how a client’s spirituality might influence your approach with that client. In addition, consider how your own spirituality might influence your work and why your awareness of spirituality is essential to your effectiveness as a social worker. Learning Objectives Students will: Analyze the role of spirituality in social work practice Apply awareness of spirituality to social work practice Learning Resources Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus. Required Readings Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA:  Cengage Learning.
Chapter 3, Section “Relate Human Diversity to Psychological Theories” (pp. 130-132)
Chapter 7, Sections “Review Fowler’s Theory of Faith Development,” “Critical Thinking: Evaluation of Fowler’s Theory,” and “Social Work Practice and Empowerment Through Spiritual Development” (pp. 350-354)
Chapter 15, Section “Spotlight on Diversity 15.2: Spirituality and Religion” (pp. 694-696) Barker, S. L. (2007). The Integration of spirituality and religion content in social work education: Where we’ve been, where we’re going. Social Work & Christianit, 34(2), 146–166.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases. Crisp, B. R. (2011). If a holistic approach to social work requires acknowledgement of religion, what does this mean for social work education?. Social Work Education, 30(6), 663–674.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases. Day, J. (2010). Religion, spirituality, and positive psychology in adulthood: A developmental view. Journal of Adult Development, 17(4), 215–229.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases. Furness, S., & Gilligan, P. (2010). Social Work, Religion and Belief: Developing a Framework for Practice. British Journal of Social Work, 40(7), 2185–2202.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases. Stirling, B., Furman, L., Benson, P. W., Canda, E. R., & Grimwood, C. (2010). A comparative survey of Aotearoa New Zealand and UK Social Workers on the role of religion and spirituality in practice. British Journal of Social Work, 40(2), 602–621.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases. Document: Wagenfeld-Heintz, E. (2009). Faith and its application to the practice of social work. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 21(3), 182–199. (PDF)(PDF)
Faith and its application to the practice of social work by Wagenfeld-Heintz, E., in the Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 21/3. Copyright 2009 by Haworth Pastoral Press. Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Informa UK Ltd- Journals via the Copyright Clearance Center. Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., Brocksen S. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case histories. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
“The Logan Family” (pp. 9-10) Document: Life Span Interview (PDF)
You will use this document for your Life Span Interview Assignment In Week 10. Required Media Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). Logan family: Episode 3 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes.

Optional Resources Use the link below to access the MSW home page, which provides resources for your social work program.
MSW home page Atchley, R. C. (2006). Continuity, spiritual growth, and coping in later adulthood. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 18(2/3), 19. Linzer, N. (2006). Spirituality and ethics in long-term care. Journal of Religion and Social Work, 25(1), 87–106. Nelson-Becker, H., & Canda, E. R. (2008). Spirituality, religion, and aging research in social work: State of the art and future possibilities. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 20(3), 177–193. Nelson-Becker, H. (2005). Religion and coping in older adults: A social work perspective. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 45(1/2), 51–67. Discussion: Spiritual Development

Furness and Gilligan (2010) stated, “There is a growing body of literature written predominantly for health professionals and more recently for social workers about the importance of developing and incorporating cultural and spiritual sensitivity and awareness in their work with others” (p. 2187). Spirituality, which may or may not include involvement with an established religion, contributes to human diversity and influences human behavior. An individual’s spirituality may be an important factor in his or her social environment. As a social worker, your awareness of a client’s spirituality may help increase your understanding of the client and his or her needs.

Sensitivity to and respect for your client’s spiritual dimension reflects your appreciation of diversity. As you consider the potential impact of your clients’ spirituality on their perspectives and behavior, you must also consider how your spirituality might influence your interactions with a client.

For this Discussion, you consider the impact of spirituality on your interactions with clients.

Post a Discussion in which you explain how considerations about clients’ worldviews, including their spirituality or religious convictions, might affect your interactions with them. Provide at least two specific examples. In addition, explain one way your own spirituality or religious convictions might support your work with a client, and one barrier it might present. Finally, share one strategy for applying an awareness of spirituality to social work practice in general.

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