Spiritual Support: Services
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Direct care: Spiritual support services
The primary focus of the pastoral care team at Eastern is emotional management to help you cope better during cancer care. The spiritual component focuses on helping you and your caregivers experience calmness and peace, which correlates with a high level of trust in God. Your chaplain will help you draw upon spirituality for inspiration, motivation and strength.
The Department of Pastoral Care offers comfort and support to you and your family members in the following ways:
- New patient group orientation session
- Heart Math (biofeedback program)
- Spiritual counseling
- Family consultations
- Individual and group prayer
- Weekly interfaith worship and sermon
- Forgiveness Program
- Bible study and help group
- Telephone consultations with patients/family members
- Crisis intervention
- Grief and bereavement counseling and referral
- Non-denominational worship service
- Interface with your local pastor and church (with your permission)
Patient and caregiver classes
The pastoral care team also provides spiritual classes, including the Art of Caregiving class, to you and your caregivers. Classes focus healing, faith, life, and forgiveness.
“One of the things we try to encourage people to do is to connect with others. There is probably nothing that makes us feel better than connecting with another human being,” says Rev. Barry.
Classes also focus on teaching caregivers how to care for their loved ones. “Most of our patients’ minds are some other place. They have so many things going on. It’s really hard for them to focus. The caregiver’s job is to help them keep their head in the game of life. My job is to help them enjoy today. That’s huge,” says Rev. Barry.
Teaching you to be happy and joyful
The pastoral care team introduces a philosophy of caregiving and life-living based upon the biblical concept of joy, which we define as the experience of extreme satisfaction.
Rev. Barry focuses on a sanguine attitude, which means cheerful, hopeful and optimistic. He and his team will try to teach you how to experience joy and happiness, also called “learned optimism,” even in the midst of travail.
“The experience of joy in the face of adversity is part of what it means to be human. A patient may not be happy with their health, but they can still experience joy knowing that they are doing everything they can to survive their disease,” says Rev. Barry.
Rev. Barry and his team will help you look at cancer from a different perspective—a positive one. “It takes effort to be happy and joyful. Joy and happiness are found when you stretch yourself a little bit. That’s pretty typical of the human experience. The key is, we don’t just tell them how to be happy and joyful, we literally teach them how to do it,” says Rev. Barry.