Oxford Health’s head of spirituality and pastoral care is challenging clinicians and health professionals to support patients spiritual wellbeing in his new book launched this week.

Rev Dr Guy Harrison, Director of Oxford Centre for Spirituality and Wellbeing and Head of Spiritual & Pastoral Care, is calling on colleagues to bridge the gap between physical and mental health and spiritual wellbeing.

The book, Psycho-spiritual Care in Health Care Practice, comes out of Guy’s own research into the relationship between spiritual care, counselling and psychotherapy as part of his Doctorate of Psychotherapy studies. It is edited by Guy and includes contributions from Oxford Health colleagues.

Guy said: “The book is an attempt to bridge the gap between spiritual care and practice. Patients do talk about their spiritual needs, the kinds of questions of meaning and purpose, and for some people within the context of faith. We do treat people very well physically and regard their emotional needs as being important but we’re sometimes not confident about being able to address their spiritual needs.

“I’m delighted to see the book in print. For me, it’s not something I would have ever dreamt of being able to do. For me it’s a contribution to good patient care.

“When patients are at a time of crisis, transition or change spiritual needs are to the fore and the book is about trying to respond to those needs and articulating ways in which clinicians can actually begin to do that.”