Learning & Resources

Shalem Mental Health Network

The Congregational Assistance Program: Bringing Occupational Assistance to Faith Communities

Workplace Wellness: Issues and Responses. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press 2014

Rick Csiernik, M.S.W, Ph.D., R.S.W.,


Spirituality is a theme that has been intertwined with the origins of Occupational Assistance, as the pioneers of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) took the twelfth step into the workplace in the early 1940s (Csiernik, 2009) with AA members still actively involved in providing assistance in some workplaces today (Csiernik & Csiernik, 2012). The critical importance of the spiritual dimension of work has been explored by a range of authors (Adams & Csiernik, 2002, Ashmos & Duchon, 2000; Driscoll & Webb, 2007; Karakas, 2010; Tourish & Tourish, 2010), though this should not be surprising given that the foundation of contemporary counseling, particularly social work, comes from early Christian practices and traditions in North America. The concept of spirituality is also a core component of the broader model of workplace wellness along with the more traditional themes of physical, psychological and social well being as has been previously discussed (see Chapters 6 and 10).