Caritas Coaching: A Journey Toward Transpersonal Caring for Informed Moral Action in Healthcare

Contributor: Sara Horton-Deutsch
September 28, 2018

Editors – Sara Horton-Deutsch, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, Caritas Coach and Jan M. Anderson, EdD, MSN, RN, AHN-BC, Caritas Coach

Year First Published – 2018
Major Concepts  

The first part of the book is an overview of the theory of human caring and caring science, a description of the Caritas Coach Education Program (CCEP), the CCEP curriculum, Caritas Coaching, and caritas ontological literacy, including the concepts of self-awareness, self-exploration, transpersonal care, reflective practice, and caring literacy.

The next five parts of the book, which share contributor stories, were sorted by focus. (Note that this is an artificial organization, as many of these stories transcend any particular characterization.) The categories are as follows:

  • Caritas education in academic settings
  • Caritas education in clinical settings
  • Caritas praxis
  • Caritas leadership (creating a foundation for praxis)
  • Caritas leadership (creating a vision for the future)

The final part of the book provides a brief synthesis of the narratives and a path for moving forward through the integration of all ways of knowing and informed moral praxis.

Brief Description

Nurses have always been the source of heart and healing in the healthcare system. In recent years, these roles and responsibilities have expanded to other formal and informal caregivers.

Care providers of all kinds have little opportunity to make sense of their own experiences. Being ill-prepared for the heavy toll of the work, we often end up depleted. Over time, to cope with the myriad complexities in providing care, we develop habits and routines to ground us. However, many of us reach a point in our careers where we find ourselves at a crossroads, realizing we either accept things the way they are, leave, or search for a different way.

In this book, nurses and other formal and informal caregivers—including those in medicine, social work, and education—share deeply intimate stories about how they found a different way: by integrating caring science into their practice. By doing so, they reconnected with and strengthened their ethics and values, expanded their consciousness, and found new ways of being, becoming, knowing, and doing in all aspects of life.

Book Editions

Deutsch, S. H.-, & Anderson, J. (2018). Caritas Coaching: A Journey Toward Transpersonal Caring For Informed Moral Action In Healthcare. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau.


Sara Horton-Deutsch 

Dr. Horton-Deutsch joined the faculty at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions in fall 2018 as a full professor. Over the past 4.5 years she served as the Jean Watson Caring Science Chair at the University of Colorado. In this role, she advanced the art and science of human caring knowledge, ethics, and clinical practice in nursing and health sciences. She fostered research, teaching, and practice of human caring through an interprofessional PhD program and continuing education training programs that integrated new knowledge from humanities, arts, cross-cultural spiritual disciplines, and emerging scientific disciplines.

Sara’s work in reflective practice has been published in two books coedited with Dr. Gwen Sherwood: Reflective Practice: Transforming Education and Improving Outcomes (Sigma Theta Tau International, 2012 & 2017) and Reflective Organizations: On the Front Lines of QSEN & Reflective Practice Implementation (Sigma Theta Tau International, 2015). The latter was recognized as 2015 AJN Book of the Year. Clinical nurses and academic programs around the world use these books to support deep learning that leads to intentional, reflective, and thoughtful action. It was through the iterative process of reflection that Horton-Deutsch deepened her own work in reflective practice, resulting in the integration of Caring Science. In spring 2018, she co-edited the textbook, Caritas Coaching: A Journey Toward Transpersonal Caring for Informed Moral Action in Healthcare with Dr. Jan Anderson. In fall 2018, The Handbook of Caring Science, an encyclopedia, representing over 30 years of caring science scholarship was co-edited Drs. Billy Rosa and Jean Watson.

Sara has previously been an active participant in the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) initiative, contributing to the publication of web-based teaching modules on mindfulness, narrative and reflective pedagogies, and cultural equity and inclusion. Since 2011, she had co-facilitated a 3-week summer institute for Thai Faculty on Reflective Practice at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. In summer 2018, she served as the first nurse “wizard” at the 25TH Annual Health Professions Educators’ Summer Symposium, an interprofessional community of health professions educators, whose mission is to nourish and sustain leaders to catalyze improvements in healthcare.

Jan M. Anderson (1952 – ) 

Jan Anderson, EdD, MSN, RN, AHN-BC, Caritas Coach is a faculty associate for the Watson Caring Science Institute and Director of the Caritas Coach Education Program. She completed the first formal study to examine Caritas Coaches® titled, Exploring Application of the Caritas Coach Role in Nursing Practice. This study was a hermeneutic phenomenological exploration of the graduates of the CCEP designed to explore the Caritas Coach role, those experiences that affected role development and implementation, and the impact of the role in professional nursing practice.

Dr. Anderson has studied with Dr. Watson for many years completing both the International Certificate Program in Caring and Healing from the University of Colorado, Health Sciences Center School of Nursing, Boulder, Colorado and the Caritas Coach Education Program. She has served on several Boards; Adventures in Caring, a local organization that helps to teach compassion in nursing, the Daughters of Charity, whose mission is to provide housing, education and care for single women with children and seniors living in poverty in Santa Barbara; and the International Association for Human Caring. In her position as Director of the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program at Santa Barbara City College in California, she had the opportunity to work with faculty and staff to integrate Dr. Watson’s Human Caring Theory and Philosophy/Caring Science into all aspects of the nursing program. Dr. Anderson also collaborated with other nursing programs in the region to expand and strengthen the program through partnerships, grants, and other financial support.

Dr. Anderson has enjoyed opportunities to learn and share her love of nursing, healthcare, education, and caring science around the world. Dr. Anderson’s love of teaching and learning has offered so much to her life and Dr. Jean Watson’s Caring Science has added a depth and dimension to everything she does. She has found that there is nothing like the joy of watching each person grow and develop into a loving caring nurse and health professional! Her passion is to be able to share in the lives of students and make a difference for each person she comes in contact with.