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Spiritual Counseling And Care In Health And Prison Services: Diverse Experiences & Practices

Spiritual Counselling and Care, is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry that emerged from bringing together multiple fields in social sciences like; theology, sociology, psychology and others. So as a field of research, Spiritual Counseling and Care is relatively new in Turkey, though in essence is not a novel concept. As in our tradition, it is part of one’s moral commitment and responsibility to express condolences and prayer to a grieving person or family. Also, it is an obligation to visit and console patients, in the frame of family and community culture, so extending help for the ones in need of care and assistance manifest the internal codes of spiritual counselling that rooted in our culture. Today’s changing social conditions and societal needs do in fact necessitate the institutionalization of the services in the field of Spiritual Counseling and Care both theoretically and practically. Therefore, as a Center for Values Education we aim to establish theoretical basis for the field of Spiritual Counseling and Care by developing a body of literature around it, since this field is of relevance to the areas of our inquiry. For about 6 years, we have organized research projects, workshops, seminars and two international conferences in this field. Indeed, during this period, the interest on the subject in the Turkish academic circles has increased, thanks to the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet)’s contributions to the studies on the subject and to the other academic endeavors that significant progress has been made in the development and institutionalization of this field, especially in its recognition as a field of profession. Thus, all the efforts put by the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs regarding the field of Spiritual Counseling and Care, from inter-institutional cooperation to its recognition as a profession, deserve all kinds of appreciation. In this regard, as a Center for Values Education, our goal behind organizing the International Spiritual Counseling and Care Conference in 2016, was to promote the transfer of local and international academic knowledge and to encourage academic circles to produce more knowledge in this field. Given the results presented in our conference, we observed the need of our society and institutions for all kinds of knowledge and information regarding the Spiritual Counseling and Care. Therefore, in 2018 we held the Spiritual Counseling and Care Conference II with special focus on “Prison Health Care Services.” The papers presented in this conference underwent a second peer review and editing process. As a result of this process, selected papers classified into thematic sections and thus this book came into being. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who contributed to this endeavor; the authors, the referees, the editorial board, and our staff who made the layout, design, correction and proofreading. We also hope that this work will contribute to the growing literature in the field of Spiritual Counseling and Care.