Spiritual Care and Logotherapy


  • Heye Heyen University Faculty for Protestant Theology, Brussels, Belgium
  • Evert Jonker Protestant Theological University Groningen, The Netherlands
  • Martin Neal Walton Protestant Theological University




chaplaincy, logotherapy, meaning, self-transcendence, spiritual care


Chaplaincy and logotherapy seem related in several ways (conversational accompaniment, client centredness, confrontation of suffering, attention to meaning), but their practitioners seem little aware of each other. The authors clarify the different roles of chaplain and therapist by referring to Frankl’s distinction between salvation and healing of the soul. “Salvation” is reinterpreted as relationship to God. Concern is expressed on the instrumentalization of religion in coping. Ironically, logotherapy challenges chaplaincy to reconsider the question of truth and differentiation of values and chaplaincy challenges logotherapists to focus on acceptance of clients in a manner that can question some logotherapeutic dogmas.

Author Biographies

  • Heye Heyen, University Faculty for Protestant Theology, Brussels, Belgium

    Heye Heyen is Professor of Practical Theology at the University Faculty for Protestant Theology, Brussels.

  • Evert Jonker, Protestant Theological University Groningen, The Netherlands

    Evert Jonker is (retired) Professor of Practical Theology at the Protestant Theological University, Groningen.

  • Martin Neal Walton, Protestant Theological University

    Martin Neal Walton is Professor of Spiritual Care & Chaplaincy Studies, in the Department of Practical Theology, Protestant Theological University, The Netherlands.


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How to Cite

Heyen, H., Jonker, E., & Walton, M. (2016). Spiritual Care and Logotherapy. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 4(1), 35-50. https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.v4i1.20578