Inner space as a precondition for spiritual care
Spiritual care demands an open attitude of the nurse/midwife and the creation of an atmosphere of trust and attention that enables the patient to open up. Professor Leget calls this ‘inner space’. This is a state of mind in which one is able to experience thoughts and emotions, without identifying with them or being swept away by them. As a communication technique inner space enables to reflect the expressions of the patient. As a spiritual attitude, inner space is a way of connecting with one’s inner life and discovering the many inner voices that inhabit us. Inner space opens up to new experiences and new insights. In his keynote lecture professor Leget will further explore the relevance of the concept of inner space within the context of spiritual care and how nurses and midwives can create this inner space for themselves to become a better spiritual caregiver.
Carlo Leget (1964) is full professor of care ethics at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands. At the same university he holds an endowed chair in palliative care, established by the Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation (IKNL) and the Association Hospice Care Netherlands (AHZN). As chair of the care ethics department he is responsible for the Master in Care Ethics & Policy at his university, and his research focuses on the intersection of care, meaning and end of life issues. He is a member of the Health Council of the Netherlands, was vice-president of the EAPC from 2012-2019, co-founder of the EAPC reference group spirituality, and developed a contemporary model for spiritual care based on the medieval ars moriendi tradition, which is much used and researched in the Netherlands and Belgium (C. Leget, Art of Living, Art of Dying. Spiritual Care for a Good Death. London/Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2017).