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  1. What does this person need emotionally right now?
  2. What major losses has this person experienced that may sometimes resurface painfully?
  3. What religious or unique spiritual needs may be inhibiting this person"s human spirit?
  4. What complex personal issues of this patient may benefit from referral to another form of care?

  21 Spiritual Needs that Commonly Arise in Health Care

Spiritual needs can be described in practical terms as unpleasant or painful experiences of having difficulty finding meaning and purpose. They erupt in situations that challenge the human spirit to maintain resilience and hopefulness.  They generally cannot be met simply by naming them or by reassurance, and often not at all. But they can generally be addressed and modified by a skilled spiritual clinician, and sometimes even by a good friend. As you might expect spiritual needs can be acute, episodic, and transitory, resulting from a specific crisis. Or they can be chronic, debilitating and  lasting for years. Either way they frequently open up to assistance through the process of seeking health care.

            Twenty-one such needs that commonly occur in health care situations can be divided into a framework of four axes similar to psychiatrists' DSM-5. A clinician can sort them out with a given patient/family member by deftly pondering four basic questions carried inwardly. They are: