By Holly Oxhandler and Ann Boyd

Holly Oxhandler: The Soul of the Helper

"We have to do this work of discerning, 'What is ours to do?'"​​ — Holly Oxhandler

Join us for this conversation with author and professor Holly Oxhandler as we discuss the image of God in each of us, its importance for our own flourishing, and the tools we can harness to learn more about it.

Let me invite you into a conversation with Dr. Holly Oxhandler, social work professor and researcher at Baylor University. Holly’s research in the connection between spirituality and mental health led her to an important insight, namely that growing in our awareness of the image of God inside each of us can help us to flourish. She writes about this in her recent book entitled The Soul of the Helper: Seven Stages to Seeing the Sacred Within Yourself So You Can See It in Others. In our conversation, Holly and I talk about both the mindset shift and the practical habits we can adopt to attend to the divine spark in each of us. I found Holly’s story so remarkable in the way she describes her own transformation from a person who fully embraced the fast-paced nature of life into one that is more accepting of human limitations while still continuing to pursue her personal and professional goals. Holly has great things to say about spiritual practices and mental health resources, and I think you’re just going to love this interview.

So have a listen! We're so glad you're here.

— Ann Boyd

You can listen on iTunes or at All Shall Be Well: Conversations with Women in the Academy and Beyond. We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did.

Further resources for this interview:


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About the Author

Dr. Holly Oxhandler is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and an Associate Professor at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Holly studies religion/spirituality, health and mental health, and is especially interested in whether and how mental and behavioral health therapists discuss their client’s religious/spiritual beliefs in treatment. She developed and validated the Religious/Spiritually Integrated Practice Assessment Scale in addition to other instruments to measure the integration of clients’ religion/spirituality in mental health treatment, has written for numerous academic journals, and her research has been featured in the Washington Post, Consumer Affairs, Religion News Service, Business Standard, Baptist News Global, and more. She also co-hosts the weekly podcast, CXMH: Christianity & Mental Health.

Holly lives in Waco, Texas with her husband, Cory, and the couple has two children, Callie and Oliver. She loves to read, paint, meditate, learn about others’ stories over a cup of coffee, and most of all, spend time with her loved ones.

Ann is the Women Scholars and Professionals Podcast host and the interim editor for The Well. She has worked for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship since 1997, exploring her interests in community, spiritual formation, and writing. Ann has a BM in Music Education from Northwestern University and lives in Chicago, Illinois with one husband, two spunky teenage daughters, and three snuggly cats. You’ll often find Ann baking sweet treats in the kitchen while listening to a podcast or audiobook.

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