Institutional Affiliation
Spiritual Development Wk. 9 6210
Even though some people argue that what one believes in is not important, an individual’s worldview plays a significant role in shaping their actions. Spirituality or religious orientation is one of the key components of worldview that impacts the way people think, interpret experiences, and behave (Argyle & Beit-Hallahmi, 2014). In the context of social work and human services, a client’s worldview, and specifically their faith can affect a person’s interactions with them in various ways.
To start with, a customer’s spirituality can make them view a social or human services worker as disrespectful (Argyle & Beit-Hallahmi, 2014). For instance, some Islamic communities believe that men should make decisions, even those that involve the health of their wives. As such, a woman from that community may feel offended when one talks to them about women’s rights and free will, just to mention a few things.
Moreover, a client’s spiritual beliefs may interfere with the way one relates to them by causing misunderstandings. For instance, a customer may come from an atheist community that does not believe in the existence of a supreme being (Argyle & Beit-Hallahmi, 2014). While conversing, an individual may acknowledge God, which would be difficult for a non- believer to comprehend.
An individual’s spiritual orientation can also support or act as a barrier when working with a client. One’s religious beliefs may hinder them from behaving unethically. For instance, a worker might be tempted to ask for a bribe from a client but refrain from doing so if it is discouraged in their religion. Offering or taking bribes is highly condemned in Christianity and therefore, it supports work ethics.
On the other hand, one’s religious convictions might present a barrier if it conflicts with that of a client or the organizational principles (Argyle & Beit-Hallahmi, 2014). For instance, a social worker may find it hard to ensure that a gay couple is not discriminated against in terms of healthcare if their faith does not support same-sex marriage. As such, the worker may not help such people even though the organization requires all people to be treated equally.
One of the strategies to improve the awareness of spirituality to social work practice is by educating all the employees on various religious perceptions. By doing so, every worker will know how to deal with clients from diverse spiritual orientations.
Argyle, M., & Beit-Hallahmi, B. (2014). The psychology of religious behaviour, belief and experience. Routledge.