What does it mean that we describe ourselves as a faith-informed practice?
It means firstly that we serve clients of all beliefs. Faith and the concept of the Incarnation fuel our core value of the dignity of every person. We believe the best way to honor that value is to serve anyone who might benefit from our services to the best of our ability and without proselytizing or other practices that could undermine a client’s autonomy.
Each of our team members has experience working in secular healthcare settings. We model our practice after the many religious associated hospitals which serve all individuals and uphold high quality evidence-based care for all.
Being specifically informed about Catholic and Orthodox Christianity, through various levels of education and experience, means that we are also uniquely equipped to support individuals who express a need for understanding in this area.
At times, someone’s pursuit of health behaviors may be supported and/or challenged by their context of Christian identity. For example, someone may struggle with moralizing food choices or body size in a way that is closely linked with scrupulosity, a spiritual anxiety over what is right and wrong. Or someone recovering from an eating disorder may feel triggered around traditions linked to food, such as fasting seasons, but also desire to participate. Sometimes Christian communities inadvertently contribute to messages that do not serve body positivity or healthy eating behaviors. At the same time, there may be clients who find great comfort in aspects of their faith, and for whom faith informs a great deal of their values toward recovery. We are uniquely prepared to support clients through these and other intersections of their faith and health, without compromising effective care or the client’s spiritual integrity.
Our chaplain, Deacon Basil Balke, has master’s degrees in both mental health and Christian theology. He supports us with resources and accountability in these areas to ensure we remain informed and within our scope of practice.