The College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy is a theologically based covenant community, dedicated to "recovery of the soul" and promoting competency in the clinical pastoral field.
The Reverend Dr. Trace Haythorn is now The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education's new Executive Director.
The CPSP leadership Team send Dr. Haythorn and the ACPE CPSP's best wishes and congratulations in the letter repainted below:
December 4, 2013
Association for Clinical Pastoral Education
1549 Clairmont Rd
Decatur, GA 30035
Dear Dr. Haythorn:
On behalf of the membership of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy we offer you our congratulations as you fulfill your calling as the Executive Director of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. We welcome you and your leadership as you join with us in our common mission of advancing clinical pastoral education and training in a world of travail and spiritual flux but also with joy in fulfilling our mutual vocations.
CPSP Leadership Team:
Brian H. Childs, President
Raymond Lawrence, General Secretary
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:49 PM
In the Fall of 2012, the Executive Committee appointed a task force to formulate new models for the future structure and governance of CPSP. Recently, after 12 months of work, the Governance Task Force completed its work and submitted its Report to the CPSP Executive Committee.
The Task Force was composed of both pastoral clinicians and diplomates who worked separately and together to produce this Report.
The Report offers three models of governance for the Executive Committee to consider:
Divisional Model: This model emphasizes the different roles, responsibilities and needs of diplomates and pastoral clinicians in CPSP. The Divisional model seeks to support the members in each of these professional groups and provides the structure to design specific programs to improve professional standards, ongoing training, chapter development, institutional accountability and certification process.
Regional Model: This integrated model shifts most of the daily operations of CPSP to regional operational and governance systems with the overall legal, and fiduciary functions of the organization as well as professional standards handled by an International Board of Directors. The Regional Model is designed to expand the capacity of the organization to manage growth while maintaining international standards of practice and our historic covenantal commitment to a relational philosophy.
Existing-Revised: This model keeps our historic CPSP structure while adding components which provide for elected representation, systems of accountability, and delineation of roles and responsibilities for diplomates and clinicians within the organization.
The Report also strongly recommends that the Executive Committee engage in a “Community/ Regional Listening” process to share information about governance and to receive feedback from CPSP members.
All Chapter Conveners have received an email from the CPSP Governance Task Force which contains a link to the full Report. Please ask your Convener for a copy of this link. All comments and feedback on this Report should be sent directly to members of the CPSP Executive Committee.
The members of the Governance Task Force have invested serious thought and an inspiring level of passion into this project. The members are to be commended for their determination, breadth of inquiry, and commitment to CPSP. We hope you will join us in appreciation of their efforts.
John Jeffery, Chair (April 2013 – October 2013)
Dallas Speight, Chair (October 2012 – March 2013)
Task Force Members:
Henry Huffernan (chair of Pastoral Clinician Task Force)
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:52 AM
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:49 PM
NCTS is a unique group. We meet twice a year. It's an opportunity to get together with a diverse representation of chaplains of all denominations and types of work places. It's also a chance to get away from it all and to spend quality time at a quality place. Old friends meet up and catch up.
New chaplains find a place where they can learn from their peers and find mentors who share their years of expertise, skills and knowledge. We always have a one of a kind professional development opportunities in a relaxed environment surrounded by the wonders of nature.
This past November 12 and 13 we met at a new facility, the San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, NJ which is right on the Atlantic Ocean. It was large and had spacious views of the water to inspire us. We got to see the work they have had to do since being hit by hurricane Sandy. There were 60 people present and about a third were first time attendees.
Everyone had an opportunity to bring a case that they presented to their small group. With ten groups, feedback abounds and thumbnail reports give us all a chance to catch the jest and then seek out the presenter if it peaks our interest to learn more in a one on one conversation.
This time around the presentations were on the topic of mental health and were presented by long standing member, Dr. Dwight Sweezy, who just retired after 33 years at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital. He presented in a style that gave insight to the population of people that we serve everyday in some way or another and could identify with in our experiences. He told us quips and quotes.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 3:12 PM
The gathering of the CPSP Community for its 24th Annual Plenary will occur March 30 through April 2, at the Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
A block of rooms has been re-served at a special rate of $119, single or double, per night. Reserve your room online today by clicking on this link: Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel, or call 800-325-3535 or go to the Sheraton Oceanfront website.
Please download the 2014 CPSP Plenary Brochure listed below for detail information.
Make your reservations now!!
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:46 PM
Finding Our Way As Midwives
It seems to me that people who feel unsafe retreat to extremes. When uncertainty surrounds us, it is preferable to run to one end or the other, to have a wall against which you can put your back, to have a group whose identity and number can be a support. I don’t think I need to name the number of arenas in public life where this occurs—we are all too painfully aware of it. But what has surprised me is how pervasive such dynamics and divisions can be in chaplaincy.
Dividing Line: Presence or Surgery
While such a description of a very common divide in chaplaincy will no doubt be overly-reductionistic, the divide seems to go something like this—many chaplains view their work as primarily about presence, heart, and empathy. Then, some seem to think that supervisors care only about “surgery”, the head, and maintain a critical (or safe) distance.
More than being a struggle between two groups within our organization, it might be best understood as a struggle within each one of us. And yet it is easier to suspend the struggle and run to one camp or the other.
“I’m presense. I won’t fail. I’ve made sure of it by not taking risks. I don’t make interventions and lead the patient somewhere new because if I do, they might reject me.”
Or, “I’m a surgeon. I take risks, but the risk is really owned by the other person. I don’t get close enough to feel the pain of it myself. That’s why I keep the mask on.”
With presence alone and no intervention, we don’t risk failure. With surgery alone and no presence, we protect ourselves from feeling the failure. I want to propose that if we can offer anything prophetic as chaplains, it is a willingness to fail. And on these terms, both of these extremes fail.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:53 AM
Now "hear" this... The issue is not about getting too comfortable. The issue is so impressive upon our consciousness that we must ease into it and take a bit of a circuitous route.
Cyber technology and social media have conspired with some practical constraints to stimulate numerous changes in the practice of psychotherapy. Many people expect, or are prepared for, different dynamics from professional helpers than the usual 50 minute hour in an office that is rather emotionally plastic, even if the seating is wool and leather. There are movements to involve active computer interaction and diagnosis, as well as remote treatment, such as using Skype, etc. Insurance companies and clinical ethicists are striving to provide guidelines that are economically self serving and avoid undue liability. And of course, this is all in the name of providing the best care to patients and clients. Oh, Sigmund...
I have always delighted in the fact that he was born Sigismund Schlomo Freud. Just the sound of that name is stirring and evocative, and even joyful... As my own hearing has deteriorated a bit over the past several years, sounds are increasingly treasured. Over the years I wondered, as we often do, which sense I would rather be without, my sight or my hearing, and I usually concluded I would prefer to lose my hearing; I could not contemplate the question if the matter was considered a condition from birth. I then remember my first CPE supervisor, a man who had lost his sight as an adult and was a marvel to watch as he ministered throughout the large hospital where he was in charge of pastoral care.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:12 AM
UPDATE: Hundreds of survivors were moved to Manila, where the local churches are now overwhelmed. They quietly lament “we have lost everything”. There was a report of a woman whose family members survived Haiyan, the worst typhoon on record; but then later died from starvation. The little island they lived on was completely devastated and no help arrived in time to bring them food or water.
Our CPSP colleagues have been training chaplains in Baguio to be ready to go to Manila to provide support. The needs are endless.
Many generous donations have been coming in and we thank those who have already donated but we need additional support. Please consider sending a donation today. Any amount you can afford will make a BIG difference.
The New Amsterdam Chapter, New York with the Philippines team is committed to bringing help and healing to our typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors.
Relief For The Philippines
The stories coming out of the Philippines are unimaginable. Rushing water and wind tearing children away from their parents' arms.
Haiyan was one of the most intense typhoons on record. This storm left catastrophic and unimaginable destruction behind.
The New Amsterdam Chapter is organizing a relief effort along side our CPSP Philippines colleagues. The CPSP Philippines will distribute funds collected along with non-perishable items to the places where they are most needed.
The New Amsterdam CPSP Chapter requests your assistance by donating canned goods, clothing, toiletry items (shampoo, medical supplies, etc.), along with cleaning supplies, learning materials for children, or monetary donations.
Please bring or mail clothing, and non perishable items to:
Barbara A. McGuire
3207 William Street
Wantagh, NY 11793
Question call: Barbara at:
All checks need to be made out to:
CPSP (Philippines Relief Fund)
Mail checks to:
C/O CPSP - Philippines Relief Fund
3207 William Street
Wantagh, NY 11793
All donations are greatly appreciated and will go directly to the people via our CPSP Philippines colleagues.
The New Amsterdam Chapter:
Barbara A. McGuire, Cesar Espineda, John Jeffery, Geof Tio, Susan McDougall, Sergio Manna
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:49 AM
Clinical Chaplaincy is relational, neutral and non-judgmental. It is a patient centered approach in keeping with the person centered model as advocated by Carl Rogers, integrating the arts and sciences relative to psychodynamic theory in pastoral practice.
Around any illness is a collection of stories. The chaplain endeavors to be present to the patient as a fellow human being, as the patient’s stories unfold; bearing witness to the patient’s dilemma- not judging the patient for what they say or how they choose to express themselves. This narrative approach places the chaplain in the unique role as the interpreter of metaphors, assisting the patient in making the connections to their story.
At times these stories are confessional in nature, as a patient, through narrative seeks to reconcile themselves with the life that they have lived. At other times, the stories they relate represent more a review of their life inextricably interwoven with finishing the business of living.
Consequently, clinical chaplaincy is a patient centered narrative approach. Integral to that, is the patient’s family. Working with the stories that patients and families share, the clinical chaplain can begin to assess how the family approaches illness, and in particular, this hospitalization.
The Clinical Chaplain also assesses how the patient utilizes their religious experience or their philosophy of life as a means of support as they seek to come to terms with their diagnosis and its attendant ambiguities of living each day.
Extensive clinical training and a proactive integration of the social sciences, especially in the fields of counseling and psychotherapy is essential to the work of the Clinical Chaplain.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:25 AM
Orlo C. Strunk, Jr., Ph.D., former Managing Editor of The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling (JPCP) died September 24, 2013.
Dr. Strunk's contribution to and leadership in the clinical pastoral field was considerable.
In April of 2011 the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP) honored him with the prestigious Helen Flanders Dunbar Award with Dr. Robert Charles Powell, MD, PhD presiding over the occasion.
The Pastoral Report published Dr. Powell's presentation. Embedded in the following remarks was Dr. Powell's keen observation and appreciation of Dr. Strunk's uniqueness and ability:
To say that our honoree has been open to new ideas – and new ways of knowing – about a great number of things – would be an understatement. A “comprehensive and authentic understanding of religious experience and behavior requires a broad and inclusive kind of perspective.” Specifically, today’s honoree has discussed, with courageous persistence, open-mindedness versus closed-mindedness within the fields of religion and psychology, as well as concern about an uncritical/ unexamined acceptance of the Zeitgeist and various “isms”. Complexity, in this view, should be embraced, not avoided or rejected. “After all, there is no such thing as a unified psychology; and certainly to think of religion generically strains credibility. What we have, of course, are psychologies of religions.” Thus the newest Dunbar honoree, with courageous persistence, promoted and defended the formulation of new views, even if these were not popular. An episode ten years ago especially stands out, but there were others: an early book , for example, was dedicated to “those adversaries who unwittingly reminded” today’s honoree of a core value – privacy.
For many of us in the CPSP community and beyond take heart in Dr. Powell's assertion that Orlo C. Strunk ... with courageous persistence, promoted and defended the formulation of new views, even if these were not popular.
Perry Miller, Editor
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 5:03 PM
Tolerance and Encouragement:
Making Room for Divine Presence –
instead of “Paging” Him or Her
Engaging Others in Their Faiths
Robert Charles Powell, MD, PhD
care, counseling, and psychotherapy
become “pastoral” – or even “theological” –
when there is “trialogue” –
when the discussion between a clinician and
a suffering, bewildered, or vulnerable soul
allows enough silence for both to
be aware of divine presence and
be open to divine insight.
Such was the view of Wayne Edward Oates, PhD (1917-1999), a fascinating chaplain who knew the works of Sigmund Freud as well as he knew the books of the Bible. The notions of “interfaith” and “multifaith” chaplaincy probably did not mean much to him. Certainly the Rev. Dr. Oates worked with those who did not share his religious tradition – yet I have trouble believing that he would have considered such care, counseling, or psychotherapy as either “interfaith” – focusing on commonalities – or “multifaith” – focusing on differing beliefs. His work with others just “was” – just was work valued by both. Whether it was the chaplain who made room or it was the patient who made room for the Deity probably did not matter much to either of them – as long as there was “trialogue” – as long as there was Divine Presence in the midst of their work.
In a nutshell, this is why I have very mixed feelings about the recent book, Paging God: Religion in the Halls of Medicine, by sociologist Wendy Cadge, PhD. She is able to observe clinical chaplains trying quietly “to … create … sacred spaces …” in their work. She is able to observe hospital chaplains trying to assist “people at their most vulnerable” times. However, throughout the book, she somewhat scornfully rues the day that clinical pastoral chaplaincy was wooed down a bland interfaith path while she half-heartedly envisions that medically-immersed chaplaincy might embrace a multifaith approach. It is hard to be sure whether she does or does not respect professional chaplains – and one is left with the lingering suspicion that she does not. It would appear that she views professional chaplains, in their efforts toward political correctness, as having created the bureaucratic morass in which they now frequently find themselves. Furthermore, rather than respect that clinical chaplains are embedded within specific religious traditions, she would re-embed them within large (usually secular) universities having schools of medicine, theology, and public health, modeling their training and education more along the lines of that provided in nursing and social work. Only vaguely does she appear to recognize that financial issues have channeled – and still channel – the nourishment of professional chaplaincy.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:51 AM
"Reconciliation," by Josefina de Vasconcellos
We faced another crisis in the Middle East as we recently marked 9/11 -- with outcome uncertain.
Last month I attended the dedication of a labyrinth I helped to build. Afterward, the pastor invited me to his Friday morning service when I told him I liked small churches (mine has 12,000). As we few men gathered the word "shul" popped into my head along with the memory of a dimly-lit room where I formed minion for two Jewish friends.
I value Sacramental reconciliation and religious practices such as Yom Kippur and labyrinths that aid inner healing. We can help people with spiritual healing by accepting the efficacy of their own reconciliation, in words and in silence. A few years ago I found a kind of inner healing in my first labyrinth and visiting the grave of my fallen brother in France. We each heal differently. To require a standard of silence or word reconciliation could mean judging others who may already harshly judged themselves. The only standard for a labyrinth is in its own construction, not what goes on inside the person who walks it. I would like to become a conduit like that.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:37 PM
We are excited about the fall meeting of the National Clinical Training Seminar-East on Nov. 11-12, 2013 at San Alfonso Retreat Center, Long Branch, New Jersey.
Our is presenter is Dr. Dwight Sweezy. He is a Diplomate with CPSP and a member of Princeton Chapter. Dr. Sweezy is an ordained elder Free Methodist Church of North America. He has 12 years of parish experience. He holds a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation. He attended a Summer Theology program at Oxford University. Ten units of his CPE training was in two mental health settings. He recently retired as the Director of Pastoral Services, Trenton Psychiatric Hospital (33 years). There he developed a dynamic equivalent clinical pastoral program that has become a CPE extended resident program. He continues to supervise CPE Training Residents and Supervisors-in- Training. He is a retired US Army Reserve Chaplain (L TC) – 26 years. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Linda, who is a retired ordained United Methodist minister. For fun, he likes motorcycling, sailing, camping SCCA Solo racing, reading and bicycling.
For three years, Dr. Sweezy served as a consultant for the supervisors in training at Episcopal Health Services, Inc. Far Rockaway, New York.
As always, the National Clinical Training Seminar-East is a working conference built around psychodynamic small group process. Participants are to bring clinical work and life material for reflection and review with in the group process.
Click here for additional information and online registration.
Please make your plans to attend as together we address the theme: Mental Health Issues Impact Pastoral Care.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:18 AM
PROPHETIC VOICE - Pastoral Care Week is proud to celebrate it’s 28th year by reflecting on the Prophetic Voices in our daily rounds. Historically voices spoke loudly through pastors and chaplains – promoting self-awareness and social action. Today, chaplains are privileged to find the truth in small places each day….how does it speak?
From the website:
The Prophetic Voice is always in our midst. It calls us to reach for action and peace - to sustain that which brings us hope, well-being, dreams, and renewal. Like a seed caught in the wind - quiet and inconspicuous. It may be in disguise and mistrusted, yet it endures the foul weather and seasons to prove true. When acknowledged, it grows into a wise tree to shelter, nourish and teach us.
(The 2013 logo represents this quieted seed.)
Regardless of faith tradition, Pastoral Care Week celebrates those who provide pastoral care to others. It is endorsed by the Congress on Ministries in Specialized Settings (COMISS), whose members provide pastoral care in specialized settings such as hospitals, prisons, businesses, industries, long term care facilities, pastoral counseling centers, hospices, military settings, nursing homes, congregations of sisters, priests and brothers, schools, universities, and seminaries throughout the world. CPSP is a proud member of COMISS.
Educate your community, colleagues, institutions and friends - many resources, including governmental proclamations, artwork, seminars and merchandise, are available for local celebrations. For more information, visit www.pastoralcareweek.org.
*The last date for ordering is this weekend - September 13th! Make your plans today.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:35 AM
I never would have believed I would be grateful to see a hand rail beside a toilet seat. Or feel cared for by a woman’s voice somewhere in telephone never never land instructing me on how to fix my TV. Nor could I have imagined the comfort felt in a nurse’s touch.
Such are the surprises when you fall and break your hip. Surprised by facts you knew long before but which must be lost and found again and again.
Six weeks after the “accident” it is hard to write about what happened, difficult to visit the scene, and remember again the details. It is nothing that dramatic really- a fall on the cement walk resulting in a clean break in the hip. Far worse things befall us. Nevertheless there is a darkness about it, images the mind resists. It is as if your system has been frightened and is trying to protect itself, still wanting to be done with the whole thing. Put it all out of mind.
Coupled with this reluctance, however, there is also the embarrassment of it all, the difficulty of facing the fact of your own carelessness. One old man in a rain storm on a step ladder. Could disaster be far off? It will be referred to as an accident but in your own mind you know it wasn’t; it was carelessness. And however many times you go over the details the end of the story is always the same. So you put on your hair shirt and beat yourself up about it.
But time passes and if you watch there are other moments, openings that arise as if by chance, that will not be sent away.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 2:39 PM
Pictured from left to right: Patricia DeHart, Mac Wallace, Marcelle Brathwaite, David Franzen, Matthew Rhodes, Maria Sobremisana, Cesar Espineda, Emma Wallace, Joan Alevras, Emeka Nwigwe, Phillip Pinckard, Joel Harvey, and Robert Griffin.
The Institute for Psychodynamic Pastoral Supervision ) met for its second annual Summer Intensive week of study at Avila Retreat Center in Durham, NC. Present were the four faculty members: David Franzen, Joel Harvey, Cesar Espineda, and Mac Wallace, four doctoral student in the first cohort, and five doctoral students in the second cohort. These students are enrolled in the Doctor of Psychology or Doctor of Ministry degree program in pastoral supervision offered by IPPS and the Graduate Theological Foundation (GTF).
The first cohort of doctoral students focused on cultural understandings and misunderstandings that are inevitable working with international and intercultural students. The second cohort focused on understanding and using Tavistock methods of group leadership. Additionally, the daily Group Relations Seminars involved both cohorts and the faculty members. These were rich and intense sessions that provided the participants an opportunity to work with some intimate, interpersonal dynamics along with consultation from the faculty.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:17 PM
Frederick Memorial Hospital, the Reverend Kay Myers, PhD, certified CPE supervisor,
the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, DC, Rabbi Jim Michaels, D.Min., certified CPE supervisor,
Hospice of the Panhandle, satellite site of Meritus Medical Center, Martinsburg, WV,
Hospice of Washington County, Inc., satellite site of Meritus Medical Center,
Meritus Medical Center, Hagerstown, the Rev. David C. Baker, PhD, certified CPE supervisor,
Washington Adventist Hospital (WAH), the Rev. C. K. Sim, D. Min.,certified CPE supervisor.
On June 20, 2013 Frederick Memorial Hospital and the Pastoral Care Department hosted
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) day, sponsored by the Baltimore Chapter, College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. Approximately thirty six participates attended from four accredited CPE sites and two satellite centers attended. They are:
Also participating was a 50 hour Clinical Pastoral Orientation program at Western Maryland Hospital Center led by the Rev. Richard Bower.
The morning presentation was Responding When the Family Wants a Miracle, Presenter: Phil Pinckard, Chaplain, Meritus Medical Center, Hagerstown, MD . The afternoon presentation was The Ethics Committee as a Venue for Pastoral Care, Presenter: James Michaels, Director of Pastoral Care, Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, DC . The morning and afternoon presentations were followed by 90-minute small groups of students, diplomates and supervisors-in-training in which students presented case presentations.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 3:33 PM
Francine Hernandez, NCTS-East Coordinator, announced that the
National Clinical Training Seminar-East will meet Nov. 11-12, 2013
at San Alfonso Retreat Center, Long Branch, New Jersey. She
encourages all to mark these dates on your calendar and plan to attend.
Check back with the Pastoral Report for further information
as it becomes available.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:07 PM