Dignity at the Centre

Winnipeg, Manitoba

April 9 – 12 2014

At the Delta Hotel

Margaret Somerville  









Both the pro-euthanasia and anti-euthanasia sides in the debate over legalizing euthanasia rely on upholding respect for human dignity as supporting their position. This seeming paradox can be explained by the different definitions of dignity each side adopts.

Is human dignity intrinsic to all human beings, an innate characteristic that comes simply with being human, the primary purpose of which is to protect all human beings’ lives, as the anti-euthanasia side believes? This definition means that euthanasia – intentional killing – is a contravention of human dignity.

Or, as the pro-euthanasia side argues, is human dignity an extrinsic feature the presence of which depends on a person’s being autonomous and independent and on others seeing us as having dignity and, thereby, conferring it? This means that dignity and the protections it carries can be lost when a person lacks capacities for autonomy and independence or others refuse to confer it, and euthanasia can be characterized as upholding dignity by putting suffering people out of their undignified state.

What are the consequences which flow from each definition, especially with regard to the protection of the lives of vulnerable people, who include people with disabilities? How should we respond to the argument that legalizing euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide is required to uphold dignity? What arguments and strategies are those advocating euthanasia using to promote its legalization and what are the counter-arguments?

Margaret Somerville is Samuel Gale Professor of Law, Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, and Founding Director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University, Montreal, where she has taught since 1978. Her background is both in science and law.

Professor Somerville has an extensive national and international publishing and speaking record and is a frequent commentator in all forms of media.

She authored several books – The Ethical Canary: Science, Society and the Human Spirit (Penguin 2000); Death Talk: The Case Against Eu thanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (MQUP 2002); and The Ethical Imagination: Journeys of the Human Spirit (Anansi 2006), which she delivered as the nationally broadcast CBC 2006 Massey Lectures – and has edited others.

Professor Somerville consults, nationally and internationally, to a wide variety of bodies including governments and NGO’s. She has received many honours and awards including the Order of Australia, seven honorary doctorates and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2003 she was chosen by an international jury as the first recipient of the UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science.

Harvey Max Chochinov, MD, PhD, FRCPC





“Dr. Chochinov will speak on the theme of “Dignity and End of life Care”.
Drawing upon his ground breaking and extensive research in this area, he will explore with us how maintaining and enhancing the dignity of the person at the end of life is a key aspect of providing comprehensive, quality palliative care.”
(Thursday April 10th at 9:00-10:15 AM)

Dr. Chochinov is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba and Director of the Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit, Cancer Care Manitoba. He holds the only Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care and is a member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He also chairs the CIHR’s Standing Committee on ethics.

Dr. Chochinov has been doing palliative care research since 1990. His work has explored various psychiatric dimensions of palliative medicine, such as depression, desire for death, will to live and dignity at the end of life.

Dr. Chochinov has been a guest lecturer in most major academic institutions throughout Canada and United States; he has also lectured in South America, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Cuba, Israel, China, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan. He is the only psychiatrist in Canada to be designated as a Soros Faculty Scholar, Project on Death in America. He is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and his province’s highest honour, the Order of Manitoba, for his work in palliative care. He is the Chair for the Canadian Virtual Hospice, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He is the 2008 recipient of the National Cancer Institute and Canadian Cancer Society 0. Harold Warwick Prize. In 2009, the University of Manitoba bestowed its highest research honor, the Dr. John M. Bowman Rh Institute Foundation Award. Dr. Chochinov is the 2010 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology and has also received the 2010 International Psycho­ Oncology Society’s Bernard Fox Memorial Award, which recognizes an individual’s outstanding contribution in education, research or leadership to the field of psycho-oncology. In addition to over 200 publications, he is the Co- Editor of the Handbook of Psychiatry in Palliative Medicine, published by Oxford University Press, and the Journal Palliative and Support Care, published by Cambridge University Press.

Wednesday April 9 2014

Full Day Workshop (9:00-4:00) Ethics Education Module

Presenters: – Members of the National Ethics Committee

Since dignity is at the centre of all we do, it is vital for CASC/ACSS members to uphold a culture of ethics that values and upholds that dignity in every professional encounter. The National Ethics Committee offers the Ethics Educational Module (EEM) to assist members in understanding the values held by CASC/ACSS and to raise awareness of the ethical principles found within our Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Using the Code
of Ethics, PowerPoint, case studies, and peer reflection, we will provide participants with a supportive environment that will allow them to gain a better understanding of how to live out our values in a way that promotes an ethical/values-driven culture of care both within their work setting and in the life of CASC/ACSS. This interactive day is designed for us to learn from one another and to dialogue with each other about how our Code can assist us in fostering an ethical culture that honours both ourselves as well as those before us. Although the EEM is required for Peer Review, we encourage all CASC/ACSS members to take part in this workshop

If you choose a workshop in the AM and one in the PM the cost will be reduced by 75.00

Half Day Workshops – Morning (9:00-12:00)

1. We regret that the morning pre-conference workshop #1 is cancelled due to circumstances beyond the organizers’control.

2. ”Improving the Quality of Spiritual Care to End-of-Life in Canada: Alleviation of Suffering – Perspectives of the Terminally Ill, their Families, and Professional Caregivers”

: – Rev. Dr. Elaine MacInnis


A common hope when death comes to us or someone we love is that it will be with dignity, peaceful, and free from pain or suffering – this is not always the reality. This two-year study explored the depth and experiences of suffering in the face of impending death. Qualitative research using phenomenological methodology explored the Heideggerian concept of “what it means to be a person diagnosed with a terminal illness”. Narrative inquiry included medical, illness, and belief narratives (stories) revealing the depth of pain and suffering. Existential and spiritual issues that contribute to suffering, from diagnosis through the illness trajectory to death and bereavement will be examined along with the interconnectedness of beliefs, suffering, and spirituality; Three ‘S’ Phases” of suffering; losses related to disease progression resulting in anticipatory grief; and external and internal factors contributing to suffering and loss of dignity for dying patients. Participants will learn to recognize the impact of loss, grief, death, and bereavement and the need for spiritual care and bereavement support; will examine a culturally sensitive approach to determine the patient’s needs using the “I Hope For” Spiritual History and Needs Assessment Guide and interventions to foster hope and promote healing; recognize occupational stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue; and implement self-care strategies.

3. “Interactive, Hands-On Professional Writing Workshop”

Presenter: Rabbi Terry Bard, Managing Editor, JPCP Inc.

This hands-on workshop will focus, build upon, and apply features described at a previous CASC/ACSS professional writing workshop. Participants will utilize a topic or topics of their choosing to write about and learn how to select the model, format, and style consistent with what they wish to convey and how they wish to present it. Participants will submit their written work to peer-participants for review and critique and, in turn, will learn how to conduct and provide critique to peer-participants.

Half Day Workshops – Afternoon

“Dignity in Dying”

: – Sr. Costanza Romano, Lead Chaplain, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Sudbury, ON

Jo-Anne Palkovits, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Centre

St. Joseph’s Health Centre (SJHC) respects the individual’s right to die with dignity, recognizes the inherent worth of every person, and believes that life is sacred and should be reverenced in all its moments. Through its Guardian Angel Program, SJHC emphasizes dying as a natural process that is neither hastened nor postponed, and is committed to providing quality care to dying individuals and their families during the end stage of life. The Guardian Angel Program workshop is an experience-based approach focussing on dying with dignity. The workshop will provide an overall description of the program and an in-depth step-by-step process for preparing and training staff and volunteers to identify and administer the program.

“Reading and Using Research”

Presenters: – Tracy Trothen, ThD and Thomas St. James O’Connor, ThD


This half day preconference workshop examines the various forms of research: quantitative, qualitative, case study, theoretical. The workshop describes how to do a review of the literature in an area of spiritual care and pastoral counselling, and to use the evidence from research (evidence-based) to inform clinical practice in spiritual care and pastoral counselling. Criteria are given for evaluating research. This workshop is meant to help spiritual care providers, pastoral counsellors, students, and supervisors with the research competencies of CASC, and connects these to research competencies of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

3. “Dignity in the Face of Toxic Religion and Spirituality”

: -Daniel S. Schipani, Dr. Psy, Ph.D, Professor of Pastoral Care & Counseling, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

Toxic religion and spirituality always undermine people’s (sense of) dignity while also threatening the integrity and effectiveness of the care-giving relationship. Three goals are expected to be met by participants in this workshop: (1) to gain clarity regarding the meaning and implications of “toxic religion and spirituality”; (2) to deepen understanding of the intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics involved, and (3) to identify competencies for spiritual health professionals, including counsellors. Methodology will include input provided by the leaders, and the presentation and analysis of case studies from multi-faith settings.

Conference Workshops

You may choose one workshop in the morning and one in the afternoon of each day:

Thursday Morning (A)

A1. “A Dignity Approach to the Care of the Grieving and Bereaved”
Presenter – Peter Barnes

A dignity approach to the care of the dying and bereaved implies empowerment of people in order to maximize the quality of dying, grieving, and living. The experience of dying and living demands making sense of living, dying, and grieving with the hope to explore a new perspective on life, i.e. opening to the prospect of a life-enhancing experience for the living and the dying. This workshop will explore how grief and bereavement care may be delivered with dignity to clients and staff/volunteers of a large health region, including programs and training. Participants will become aware of the variety and the value of services available.

A2. Full – Closed “Preserving Self Dignity at the Centre: The Contributions of Relational Self Psychology”

Presenter – Rev. Lawrence Beech, Ph.D.

This workshop will explore the ways in which Relational Self Psychology contributes significantly to preserving “dignity at the centre”, both in the lives of those to whom we minister in pastoral counselling, as well as in our own lives and relationships as spiritual care and counselling professionals. Attention will be given to the basic concepts in self psychology, mirroring, idealization, and twinship, that are foundational in enabling participants to recognize dignity at the centre of the therapeutic engagement, within self care, and in the spiritual overtones of self psychology.

A3. “Spiritual Care of the Incarcerated: Is Dignity at the Centre?”

Presenter – Greg Dunwoody

This workshop identifies key spiritual issues that rise out of the life stories of the incarcerated and the experience of prison itself. These spiritual issues are often crises affecting personal dignity. However, a crisis may become an opportunity for spiritual light. This workshop looks at spiritual care models and practices that affirm dignity. The workshop examines how religious practices and beliefs, given the prison experience, enhance or diminish a spirit of dignity. Lastly, it looks at how prison chaplains develop professionalism, competency, and accountability for spiritual care as a profession with dignity among other professions in the prison.
A4. Cancelled – “’People-Whispering’ – Is It a Viable Model for the Provision of Spiritual Care?”

Presenter – Pamela Estey

You’ve heard of “Horse-Whispering”, but what about “People-Whispering”? Come and explore the principles of this developing technique which provides a model of working alongside people and building trust relationships through the development of unconscious therapeutic alliances. This workshop will set out the framework of the “people-whispering” model and include case studies for application. Attendees will be given the opportunity to participate in new research evaluating this approach and the viability of its development into a spiritual care training module.

A5. “Social Determinants of Health as a Means to Promoting Human Dignity and Social Responsibility”

– Michael Hackbusch and Rebekah Hackbusch

An exploration of the Social Determinants of Health (SODH) will both raise awareness and deepen understanding of public policy advocacy toward the prevention of spiritual, social, and political impoverishment. Dignity at the Centre is uplifted as one’s health is considered to be at the centre of public policy. Understanding these determinants will broaden the spiritual care provider’s lens through which spiritual distress is assessed and by which spiritual care interventions are determined. Workshop participants will learn about SODH through exposure to The Canadian Facts, a publication developed by Juha Mikkonen and Dennis Raphael, and by the demonstration of a model for public awareness-raising and education as offered by the House of Friendship (HOF), a social services agency serving neighbours in Kitchener-Waterloo, ON. The impact of this learning aims to lead to conversations with policy makers which seek to ensure that the needs of the impoverished are known and that their voices are heard.

A6. “The Impact of Trauma on Service Providers (Trauma Exposure Response) and Prevention/ Recovery through Mindfulness Based Strategies”i Presenter – Cheryl Matthews, Manitoba Trauma Information and Education Centre

Providing services in the field of mental health can have a profound impact of our quality of life, the quality of service we provide to our clients, and the health and wellness of our agencies and systems. A vital component of our wellness as service providers is to understand exactly how this work affects us. A clearer understanding of the impact of this work on our wellbeing then allows us to identify ways in which we can prevent becoming debilitated by the effects and explore ways to recover. This presentation will explore various definitions that have been used to describe the impact of this work on us, including burnout, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and trauma exposure. It will outline some of the neurobiological impacts of trauma and how mindfulness can be helpful in prevention as well as recovery. There will be an interactive component to the presentation, as participants will have an opportunity to experience some mindfulness practices as a way to introduce the concept and how it might be helpful.

A7. “If You Build It, They Will Come: The Story of the Development of Spiritual Care, Education, and Evaluative Research in Rural Community Health Care”

– Rev. Margaret McCallum

This workshop will present collaborative research which studied CPE students and their impact on a rural community during a recent two-year pilot project that was a recipient of a 2012 CASC Research Grant. The workshop will tell the story of this project, and provide lessons learned in developing and evaluation of an innovative CPE learning context in which “dignity enhancement” takes on a new and much broader meaning. It will be of interest to practitioners who provide care to diverse populations, educators, administrators, and researchers who wish to broaden their understanding of spiritual care.


Thursday Afternoon (B)

B1. “Building Shame Resilience”

Presenter – Kosu Boudreau

Shame has strong spiritual, religious, and moral implications because it is a reflection of our sense of failings and unworthiness. When shame is present, our sense of wholeness and human dignity is compromised, and we lose the capacity for self-empathy and attunement. Moreover, because of its hidden qualities, shame often goes unnamed and unaddressed in therapeutic encounters by both the spiritual care provider and the patient/client. This workshop will explore the following areas of the growing body of research on shame: understanding the difference between shame and guilt, and how spiritual interventions will differ in response to each; the relationship of empathy and shame; the relationship between spirituality, religion, and shame; building shame-resiliency as an aspect of the “use of self” competency in spiritual care/psychotherapy; and incorporating shame understanding and resiliency into SPE training.

B2. “Tea for Two…or More”

Presenters – Brenda Brand, Lynn Granke, and Helen Holbrook

Tea relaxes the body, keeps the mind alert, and tastes delicious. This session will demonstrate ways of incorporating tea into self care and support practices for spiritual caregivers, other staff, and clients. Approximately 45 minutes will be devoted to experiencing Meditations with Tea, in which slow sipping of tea becomes the entry into a 10-15 minute meditation experience of mindfulness, healing visualization, and an “emptying out” meditation. Description, video interviews, and discussion about other tea-related activities will follow, including Flash/Random Acts of Tea for staff, and the development of tea blends to publicize renaming the chapel and to honour nursing staff.

B3. “The New Look of Peer Reviews”

Presenters – Lillian Curtis, Kathy Edmison and Anke Flohr

The Professional Practice Commission has provided a new way to address Peer Reviews which we believe is more attuned to the work we do as Spiritual Care Practitioners. The process is found in the Handbook as the “Pilot” process for this year and next. This workshop will attempt to express the reasons for the changes as well as how they are directly attached to the competencies under which we guide our attention to particular aspects of our work. We expect to provide a step by step explanation of each of the issues and how members can fit what they are doing into this form. Alongside of the changes, we would like to underline the reasons for doing a Peer Review every five years, and instill into this the understanding of the process as a collegial undertaking. This sub-committee of the PPC is attempting to help each member feel good about what they do and also realize that professionals do need to keep up to date with their education and knowledge.

B4. -Full – Closed “Using Family of Origin Therapy to Affirm the Dignity and Restore Hope in the Family”
Presenters – Cindy Elkerton and Larry Beech

This workshop will explore family of origin dynamics with respect to preserving dignity for members in the family in the midst of working through unresolved family issues. Using the genogram as a backdrop, the workshop will deal with trans-generational patterns, birth order, power imbalance, triangulation, and self differentiation as factors influencing family functioning. Participants will gain knowledge of family systems therapy and interventions for working with families. Participants will learn how building a family sculpture can contribute to the reaffirmation of dignity and the restoration of hope in the interactions among family members.

B5. “Dignity and Dollars – Two Reasons Why You Should Care about Advance Care Planning”

Presenters – Doug Longstaffe and Phillip Crowell

There currently exists an enormous opportunity for Spiritual Care Practitioners to improve patient care and the health care system as a whole by proposing concrete plans in which their unique skills can be intentionally applied to advance care planning. By proposing how to assign specific role responsibilities to Spiritual Care Practitioners within a team/patient decision-making tree process, Spiritual Care is in a position to demonstrate its distinct value in measurable terms. Bolstered by the 99% success rate of Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in Wisconsin, the workshop leaders have developed a detailed proposal in which the skills of Spiritual Care Practitioners are utilized in a sequential process that is based in an accountability framework along with a readiness curriculum to prepare practitioners for specific application.

B6. “Dignity and Self Love in Adolescent Girls: Relationships between Spiritual Well-Being, Religious Involvement, Emotional Health, and Family Meals”

Presenters – The Rev. Dr. Valerie Michaelson and Dr. Tracy Trothen

Adolescent girls in Canada could be healthier in their self-love.

Dignity and a sense of self are influenced during the adolescent years. Building on findings from the 2010 Canadian Health Behaviour of School-Aged Children survey, Michaelson and Trothen explore the relevance of spiritual health to the emotional and physical health of this often overlooked and vulnerable segment of our population. The workshop will focus on two findings related to spirituality:
1) religious group involvement did not correspond with improved emotional health, and 2) regular family meals were associated with health benefits. Workshop participants will engage in discussion throughout the workshop, drawing on their own experiences.

B7 “Cure of the Soul in Abrahamic Faith Traditions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”

Presenter: Thomas St. James O’Connor ThD, Terry Bard, PhD., Ibrahim Long, MA, and Elizabeth Meakes, DMin.

This workshop presents the work of Terry Bard (Jewish), Ibrahim Long (Muslim) and Thomas St. James O’Connor and Elizabeth Meakes (Christian) on the cure of the soul. The cure of the soul began with Greek philosophers before the Common Era. For these philosophers, the cure of the soul involved the pursuit of truth. This concept influenced the Abrahamic faith traditions. The workshop seeks to explain some practices and concepts of the cure of the soul in Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The goal is understanding respect and enlightened identity.


Friday Morning (C)

C1. Full – “Follow the Yellow Brick Road: The Who, What, Where, When, and How of Certification”

Presenter: Lynn Granke and Education Standards Commission members

This workshop will explore the role of the pre-certification mentor, and the role and function of the verifier and review team. We will consider sample specialist papers using the competency scoring. This workshop will be of interest to those preparing for certification, those serving as pre-certification mentors and those wishing or asked to serve on Review Teams.

C2. “Partnering with a Difference – Distinctiveness with Dignity: Recognizing the Value of Volunteers while Promoting Spiritual Care Professionals.

Presenters: Rebekah Hackbusch and Karen Lemaire

Spiritual Care departments have historically celebrated and welcomed the diversity of human giftedness offered by volunteers who contribute to the pastoral care and spiritual well-being of patients within the institutional setting. The threat of position elimination in favour of volunteer spiritual care providers is a growing concern especially in light of increasing risk management initiatives toward ensuring ethically sound and safe optimal patient and community care. This workshop will present a framework to build an enhanced community of care through intentional collaboration between Spiritual Care Professionals and Volunteer Resources. With reference to the CASC Code of Ethics, Competencies and Scope of Practice documents, participants will be presented with: 1) a model for training, team development and education, and 2) a strategy for the implementation of a refined referral process. Together these components will offer an opportunity for the creation of innovative volunteer opportunities while upholding and maintaining the practice standards and contributions of spiritual care professionals, keeping dignity at the centre.
C3. “I Can See All of My Bones: Using Psalms and Laments as an Advocating Voice for Dignity Amidst Suffering”

Presenter: Jonathan Moll

The Psalms and Laments give voice to suffering, loss, pain, lowliness and despair. Their language and emotive Imagery boldly touch the deepest and most painful places within the suffering human spirit. Where some are afraid to acknowledge pain or suffering, the Psalms and Laments provide an environment where the sufferer may find a comforting and empowering voice. The Psalms and Laments give honour to the posture of suffering while providing a dignifying voice and guide to the spirit as it moves through disorientation and despair to hope, meaning and purpose.

C4. Workshop is Full “Transformation Through Spiritual or Theological Reflection: Enhancing the Dignity of the Chaplain”

Presenters: Kathryn Howe and Fr. Roman Rytsar

Spiritual and theological reflection allow one to weave experiences and faith tradition through a process of seeking meaning, drawing on the rich heritage of one’s faith tradition as a primary source of wisdom and guidance. This workshop will present a practical framework of how to engage this dialogue between one’s perceptions, actions, beliefs and faith heritage. Participants will learn how to engage key elements of sound theological and spiritual reflection, as seen in the literature, while remaining within the framework of personal religious or spiritual belief systems. This workshop includes a time for presentation, private reflection and sharing.

C5. “Qu’est-ce la spiritualité pour les soignants impliqués en soins palliatifs?”

Presenter: Guy Jobin, professeur titulaire, Chaire Religion, Spiritualité, et Santé, Université Laval

Qu’elle soit reliée ou non à une tradition religieuse, l’expérience spirituelle est maintenant considérée, dans les soins palliatifs, comme un élément important dont il faut tenir compte dans le soin des personnes mourantes. C’est pourquoi il est important de bien connaître ce que les professionnels soignants impliqués dans les équipes de soins palliatifs pensent de la spiritualité et de son rôle dans les soins palliatifs. Les participants seront invités à formuler sa représentation de ce qu’est la spiritualité; à comparer sa représentation de la spiritualité à celles qui circulent chez quelques professions soignantes impliquées en soins palliatifs.
Cet atelier sera offert en francais.

C6. “Taking Another Look at Both Victim and Perpetrator of Abuse”

Presenters: Joanne Van Beek and Petra Lewing

Nothing shatters one’s dignity more than being a victim of abuse. Being stereotyped and labeled, victims are often blamed for their own demise. Victims of abuse are labeled co-dependent; abusers are labeled with anger management problems. But what if we took another look at the personality and temperament of both victim and abuser…what would we discover? We would discover that many victims are “super-trait” women, and that abusers fall in a continuum of abusive behaviour. Understanding the people behind the labels will allow caregivers to tailor a strategy that honours the dignity of clients impacted by domestic violence and abuse.

C7. “The Challenge of Progressive Illness: Maintaining Identity and Dignity in Parkinson’s Patients and their Families”
Presenter – Rena Arshinoff

The concept that we are created in the image of God is challenged in illness, particularly when a once vibrant individual faces the challenges of Parkinson’s disease or one of the Parkinson’s-related illnesses. Due to the very outwardly observable changes caused by these progressively degenerative conditions, patients “lose” a part of themselves, and their families lose sight of the person they once knew, resulting in loss of identity and dignity of the person with this illness. This session highlights how we can provide spiritual care to such patients and their families and its applicability to patients in other settings.


Friday Afternoon (D)

D1. “Dignity in Spiritual Care Through the Gift of Music”

Presenter: Michèle Barr

“To sing once is to pray twice” (St. Augustine of Hippo). This workshop will explore how music can be used in spiritual care to celebrate, to mourn, to be “in the moment,” to recall memories of good and bad times, to soothe the soul. One need not be a musician to use music as a tool in providing spiritual care. In this workshop, ideas will be shared and resources will be provided so anyone can use music as a way to connect with clients/residents/patients when perhaps other methods will not work, or to enhance the care that is already being provided. Most of us can identify that hearing a certain piece of music bring us back to a place and time from earlier in our lives. Studies have shown how music can bring someone “alive” who may not otherwise connect with the world they are living in—particularly (but not exclusively) with people who are living with dementia. In this workshop we will share experiences of how music has impacted our lives and the lives of others, the dignity that comes with being able to express ourselves through music when we might otherwise not be able to express ourselves, and how we can use this knowledge and experience to reach others in our care.
“Sing like no one is listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it is heaven on earth.” (Mark Twain)

D2. “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Restores Dignity” Workshop is full

Presenter: Cindy Elkerton

This workshop is an introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Participants will gain knowledge of CBT as a therapy that challenges the patterns and behaviours of the client/patient. CBT is based on the premise that emotion and behaviour are influenced by irrational thought patterns, called cognitive distortions. CBT accesses these thoughts and tries to challenge them. Participants will be introduced to thought records and how to use them with a client/patient. CBT has gained in popularity because it is a collaborative, active and focused approach to anxiety disorders, phobias, and depression. CBT is used in a wide variety of setting such as health care, mental health, detention centres, private practice, education/supervision and community based settings such as hospice, congregations and counselling centres.

D3. “Dignifying a Profession: Designing a Model for Spiritual Care”

Presenters: Doug Longstaffe and Phillip Crowell

Each regulated health care profession has a dignity afforded to it by its ability to articulate a model or models which form the basis for determining best practices. Despite a long history rooted in the synergy arising out of the blending of pastoral and psychological approaches, and despite having articulated its competencies and scope, Spiritual Care has yet to articulate its model; This at times has led to some confusion over our identity and what constitutes best practice. This workshop will demonstrate how Spiritual Care premises that have been implicitly present for decades can be converted into the basis for an explicit model that will clearly represent our distinct value to the inter-professional team.

D4. “Engaging the Religiously Preoccupied Client”

Presenter: Shawn Lucas

The difference between hallucination and delusion: are all hallucinations or delusions the same? When is it a spiritual experience and when is it pathological? Many clinicians find it difficult to engage clients with religious preoccupations and prefer to ignore it and hope that medications will address the symptoms. Most clinicians believe that to engage the delusion is to feed the delusion. Relevant psychiatric and psychological literature will be reviewed, as well as case studies for an approach to client care that engages them in their beliefs about their hallucinations/delusions. We believe that it is possible to assist these clients to gain greater self awareness, create a cogent belief system, and find a sense of meaning, purpose and dignity for themselves.

D5. “Losses and Lingers: Affording Dignity to Those with Dementia Through Spirituality”

Presenter: John Moran

Theme: How spirituality affords dignity to the person with dementia despite cognitive diminishment.
Purpose: To provide participants the opportunity to learn and share the intriguing experience of spirituality and its interface with dementia. This workshop will appeal to caregivers of those with dementia: those who work with the elderly, or have family members with dementia.

D6. “Dignity at Work: Nurturing a Spiritual Workplace for All”

Presenter: Bruce Musgrave

In an age of down-sizing and re-structuring, healthcare professionals often feel undervalued for who they are and what they do. This feeling, in turn, may erode one’s sense of dignity and respect in regards to their professional calling and professional practice. Whereas these matters impact upon the meaning which persons derive from their work, these are ultimately spiritual issues and must be addressed from a spiritual perspective. This workshop will do just that, utilizing a spiritual understanding and framework to assess workplace cultures in order to uncover what factors contribute to the erosion of dignity for staff and what might be done to nurture and promote a healthy work environment. Particular attention will focus upon the subject of leadership and the impact that leaders can play in helping to promote a healthy work environment. The use of power by leaders will be considered to see how power can be used in positive ways to nurture an energized and passionate workforce that finds meaning at work, helps to accomplish the organization’s vision and mission, and lives out their chosen values.