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.
Our covenant reminds us that chapter life is the heart of our organization. The values and commitments that we uphold each time we read this covenant – collegial professional community; mutual responsibility; personal authority and creativity; persons over institutions—are each expressed most profoundly in our individual chapters. If CPSP as an organization wants to work towards better national recognition and accountability, we can’t afford to ignore the life of the chapters. In many ways the chapters provide the foundation for our reputation as a certifying and accrediting body.
For this reason, the new “Committee on the Promotion and Certification of Chapters” has begun the work of reviewing annual chapter reports and reaching out to conveners with comments and suggestions. The goal of this process is not to enforce a set of rules or create a bureaucratic structure that prevents individuality or creativity at the chapter level. The goal is to set standards that ensure the health and strength of our chapters: to learn from the wisdom of our oldest chapters and provide guidance for those who are just beginning the journey. Our hope is also to work with the Standards committee to add more specific guidelines about what chapter life entails so that the expectations are clearly communicated.
Here are a few major themes that the committee is looking at:
Chapter Size: The Covenant and our current Standards limit chapter size to a dozen (12). This may seem arbitrary, but group dynamics begin to shift when there are more than twelve people in the room. The ability to maintain deep relationships and mutual accountability requires an intimate group. The same applies to minimum size: our suggestion is no less than six members to ensure diversity of perspectives and avoid insular tendencies.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:39 PM
National Clinical Training Seminar-West ( NCTS-West) announces the dates and venue of the next gathering. Please mark on your calendar the dates of October 18-20, 2015 for the event which will be held at Christ the King Retreat Center in Sacramento, CA.
Keep in mind that the NCTS-West is designed for Clinical Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors and Psychotherapist, CPE Supervisors and Supervisors-in-Training. The event represents a unique opportunity to focus on clinical work and developing further ability for the use of self in clinical practice and doing so within the context of psychodynamic group training process.
Further details will be announced. For now, set these dates on your calendar and plan to attend.
Ruth Zollinger is serving as the coordinator for the fall event. She request that we contact her if more information is needed at this point.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:05 PM
Chaplain Joanne S. Martindale, a CPSP Diplomate CPE Supervisor, member of the Nautilus Pacific Chapter, and Veterans Administration chaplain at David Grant Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, CA, was recently promoted to the rank of Colonel in the US Army Reserve.
She received her promotion on May 2 in a ceremony at Moffett Federal Airfield, CA. The chapel was filled to capacity with members of her unit, the 351st Civil Affairs Command, family, and friends from across the country. Trainees of her current CPE group attended and Nautilus Pacific/CPSP was represented.
Chaplain Martindale, a 25-year veteran of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, served as lead trauma counselor for Rwandan and Bosnian victims of atrocities in 1996. She was a first responder on 9-11 and served at Fresh Kills landfill for months afterwards. She also served as Division Support Command Chaplain for the 42nd Infantry Division in Iraq in 2005. She was also mobilized for 3 ½ years as Deployment Support Chaplain for the Schweinfurt and Bamberg Military Communities in Germany.
With this promotion, Chaplain Martindale joined a very select group within a select group: she is now one of three female O-6 (rank of full colonel) chaplains serving in the entire US Army (Active, Guard, and Reserve).
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:02 AM
Whenever I talk with fellow members of CPSP, recurring themes emerge. Among the most common are struggles with pastoral identity, how the chaplain should use and work with authority, our roles on interdisciplinary teams, how to manage boundaries in our work, and the forms pastoral leadership might take when we work with groups.
It is not only trainees in CPE who struggle with these and related issues but seasoned chaplains, SITs and CPE supervisors as well.
So what can we do to address these issues?
Getting a handle not only on what is most obvious but grasping our and others’ unconscious processes – “what’s really going on” – is key.
Raymond Lawrence and I have just returned from Chicago where for the first half of last week four CPSP supervisors-in-training participated in an experiential group relations conference sponsored by the AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems (AKRI). This event was followed by four days of seminars and workshops about group relations theory and practice, known as the AKRI Dialogues, that the two of us attended.
Over that past few years CPSP has been working with AKRI and its regional affiliates on the West Coast and in New York. NCTS-West and NCTS-East have both been venues for introducing our members to the methods of group relations. Charla Hayden and Jack Lampl, AKRI fellows and internationally recognized leaders in the group relations field, joined the CPSP community at the 2013 CPSP Plenary in Las Vegas.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:38 PM
The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP) is delighted to announce the appointment of Charles R. Hicks as its new Administrator. 'Administrator' is equivalent of what would be referred to in the corporate world as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Charles will also continue serving as our Legal Counsel. He will oversee and work closely with Krista Argiropolis, our Administrative Coordinator.
Charles is an attorney and former Arkansas Department of Human Services Chief Counsel. He earned his LLM in Health Law from the University of Houston Law Center, his Doctor of Law (J.D.) from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law. He is currently a partner in Health Law Associates, Little Rock, Arkansas. He will be taking leave from his law firm.
Charles has served CPSP for the past six years as attorney and advisor, for the most part on a pro bono basis. He believes strongly in the values and vision to which CPSP is committed. Charles has in many ways demonstrated his deep commitment to our commitment to our community
The occasion for bringing Charles onto the CPSP staff is the fact that our community has grown so large and diverse that volunteer staffing is inadequate for managing all our affairs. For the past quarter century we have employed only one person, Krista Argiropolis. Krista has served us well and plans to continue doing so.
I ask the CPSP community to welcome Charles aboard, and assist him in the many tasks facing him.
Raymond J. Lawrence, General Secretary
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:30 AM
Francine Hernandez, CPSP Diplomate and CPSP Past President recently authored a book: The Safety-Pin: Holding Your Life Together When It's Bursting at the Seams.
The author sets the book's mission as:
It's your season to soar toward your destiny! It's your season to discover the power of being your sister's keeper! It's your season to re-author your story... The journey you will embark upon will liberate you to: * Know yourself more intimately * Evoke the power of your personal story and its relationship to your destiny...Create sacred spaces where brokenness can be shared...To help your sister give birth to her destiny.
The Reverend Christine Bridges, an ordained minister with the African Methodist Episcopal Church who is a nursing manager for Visiting Nurse Services of New York, reviewed the book and was obviously impressed when she writes:
What a timely gift! When many persons are trying to do it all, “The Safety Pin” invites women to be. Be the new you God intended. Live your purposeful life. Dr. Francine L. Hernandez shares her thoughts and personal experiences, and she ignites others to do the same to discover their “safety pin” of faith.
Pastoral counselors and ministers will find this book a contribution to pastoral care and counseling as familiar biblical stories are retold, become new stories, and empower others to re-author their own stories. No one journeys alone. Women and men are encouraged to become self aware and to be accountable to others. Reading Dr. Hernandez’s book is a personal retreat experience for anyone who desires to be in the intimate presence of God.
The Safety-Pin can be purchased at Amazon in Hardcover, Paperback and Kindle editions.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:11 AM
Health Care Chaplaincy of New York City sponsored a conference on April 20-22 in Orlando entitled Caring for the Human Spirit. A number of CPSP persons attended, including General Secretary Raymond Lawrence, and three Orlando clinicians who organized and managed the CPSP display table. They did a superb job of constructing a very informative, interesting, and professional display. The three clinicians were: Missouri McFee, Scott Fleming and Richard Smith.
CPSP received considerable interest from attendees to the conference. The majority of the speakers and workshop leaders for the conference were physicians, psychologists, and sociologists. It was therefore quite interesting to get their take on the role of chaplains in the current medical setting.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 5:02 PM
Brian H. Childs, Ph.D. Chair of the Board of the Commission for the Accreditation of Pastoral and Psychotherapy Training announces the appointment of Miran E. Ukeabbu, Ph.D. to the Board of Trustees.
In his public announcement Dr. Childs stated:
Dr. Ukaegbu will make a significant contribution to our board and our work. She has an extensive background in founding CPE training centers and has a particular interest in global CPE. In addition to being an outstanding trainer and educator Miran is a skilled clinician. Her expertise in clinical work will be important to our work of accrediting psychotherapy training programs.
Dr. Ukaegbu’s biography is posted at the CAPPT website.
The Commission for the Accreditation of Pastoral and Psychotherapy training (CAPPT) is an independent agency that oversees the proper accreditation of training sites offering CPE/T as well as psychotherapy training. While incorporated as a stand along organization it is related to CPSP and works closely with the CPSP accreditation process. With CAPPT recognition of accreditation a training organization can assure all of its stakeholders, including trainees, the public, and employers, that the training is of the highest quality and follows best practices.
Please visit the CAPPT website by clicking here.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:24 PM
A joint meeting of the Council for Clinical Training (CCT) and the Institute of Pastoral Care (IPC) was held in Miami, Florida, October 18-22, 1965. Anton Boisen had recently died, on October 1. Princeton Seminary professor Seward Hiltner gave the keynote address, entitled "The Debt of Clinical Pastoral Education to Anton T. Boisen." In that address Hiltner made the following comment:
"...it will be a few years hence when a meeting like this will find no one who ever shook hands with Anton Boisen."
Hiltner was in many respects prescient. He did not miss much. But he missed this one. Those 'few years' have now become fifty years.
At the previous year's joint meeting of the CCT and IPC, in 1964, our own George Buck was certified as a Clinical Pastoral Supervisor by the CCT. The meeting was held at the Playboy Mansion in Chicago. This was three years prior to the creation of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education in 1967. Boisen was rather frail by that point, with less than a year to live. He was living gratis at Elgin State Hospital nearby, in a hovel off the hospital kitchen, with no door, and he appeared on at least one day of the Council's meeting. That seems to have been his last appearance at any gathering of his many hundreds of protégées.
At that meeting George Buck was standing in conversation with Tom Klink, his training supervisor, when Boisen came over to greet Klink, who in turn introduced George to Boisen. After shaking hands Boisen turned and left, and Klink, according to George, said, "That's the way he is." Boisen with his flat affect was known to be not much given to socializing, which illustrates the fact that one does not have to be 'a hail fellow well met' to have a major impact on history.
It seems unlikely that anyone else is now alive who attended that Chicago meeting and might have shaken the hand of Boisen. If there is, please pass on to us that information.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:14 PM
The spring gathering of the National Clinical Training Seminar - East will occur May 4-5, 2015 at the Loyola Retreat Center, Morristown, New Jersey.
Dr. Francine Hernandez, Director of NCTS, announced the conference theme:
New Procedures in Certification and Accreditation for Members and Those Interested in The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy Credentials.
Register now to become aware of the new procedures. As you prepare for certification and seek to have your CPE program accredited there are required actions. Team members of both committee will be at NCTS to discuss these new procedures and to answer your questions and/or concerns. As always we will have the small group experience which is the crux of NCTS! Please bring clinical work!
Hope to see you there!
The deadline for registration is April 30, 2015.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:43 PM
Lecture: CPSP Chicago 15 March. 2015
What to do best with what you have left
J. Harold Ellens
Boisen was psycho-spiritually both a pragmatist and a mystic. His capacity to see both the transcendent dimension and the practical opportunities of his unfolding experience led him to the kind of perspective he adopted for both faith and life. He turned his five episodes of psychosis into the stage for a sturdy pursuit of practical healing moves, and enlightened teaching regarding the forms of mental illness and pastoral relevance. He saw that “some forms of mental illness can be a profound and productive experience, equivalent in some respects to a religious experience, and experience of radical upheaval and spiritual healing” (Aden and Ellens, p12). Herein is seen both his pragmatic perspective and his mystical sense.
Boisen was not focused primarily on psychotherapy but on the meaning of the specific mental illness itself, which he viewed as a moment of potential divine illumination. For him these numinous events had a transcendent dimension that thoroughly changed his life and led to a profound and durable sense of personal calling. His psychoses set the agenda of his life, namely, “to study acute mental disturbances of the functional type in order to increase both our understanding of them and our ability to minister to those experiencing them.” (Op Cit , p11).
Today progressive Christian scholarship and much church programming are devoted to issues of justice. This emphasis is honored more in the breech than in the practice. Nonetheless, it is a cardinal virtue to be insisted upon. However, for it to become a passionate inner drive it must well up psycho-spiritually from a force that is much deeper and more profound in the human spirit/psyche than the force of politics. All forms of motivation to healing of the individual and society surely had that inner depth and spontaneity for Boisen.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:21 AM
AKRI Dialogues 2 will convene April 30 and end May 3, 2015.
The A. K. Rice Institute's AKRI's Dialogues 2 will meet at The Cenacle Chicago 513 W. Fullerton Parkway, Chicago, IL.
By clicking here you will see a full report of the rich variety of workshops and presentations. For example, The Tavistock Learning Group: Exploration Outside the Traditional Theoretical Frame Group Relations, Existentialism and the Lacanian Discourses with Clive Hazell, PhD & Mark Kiel, PsyD as presenters.
A further discription of this one among many workshops and presentations:
In the forthcoming book, The Tavistock Learning Group: Exploration Outside the Traditional Theoretical Frame, authors Clive Hazell and Mark Kiel attempt to expand the heuristic, theoretical, and applied dimensions of Group Relations paradigms by pairing classical Group Relations concepts with typically non-Tavistock psychology paradigms and social sciences concepts. Under the broad domain of psychologically-informed constructs, Lacanian psychoanalysis, existential philosophy and body psychotherapy are applied.
As many know, Tavistock has been a significant component of CPSP as a means for understading groups and the unconscious processes. For those seeking CPSP Diplomate certification, participation in Tavistock or Intensives, or similar group training experiences, is required.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:54 PM
2015 Plenary - our Twenty-fifth Anniversary - was a Plenary to remember, for many reasons. It was also the fiftieth year since the death of Anton Boisen in 1965. We celebrated both our longevity and Boisen's contribution to our religious and psychological health.
David Roth chaired the meeting as he had the Plenary Planning Committee. With the help of Evan Boyd, the librarian and archivist of Chicago Theological Seminary, he also constructed a stunning display in what he set up as "The Boisen Room," which contained a large collection of Boisen memorabilia, books, letters and photographs. This collection in one place of Boisen artifacts was unprecedented and highly enlightening.
We awarded the Helen Flanders Dunbar Award this year to the Rev. Dr. Glenn Asquith, who followed up with a memorable address that will be available on our website. Asquith is of course a preeminent Boisen scholar, now a retired professor of the Moravian Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.
The Rev. Dr. Allison Stokes also gave a memorable address. She is one of the leading authorities on Boisen. Helen Flanders Dunbar's only child, Dr. Marcia Dobson, was also present. She is a psychologist and therapist living in Colorado Springs where she teaches classics and established the program in psychoanalysis at Colorado College. Dr. Dobson responded to the lecture by Stokes. She attended the meeting accompanied by her husband, the philosopher Dr. John Riker, and two grandchildren.
Dr. J. Harold Ellens also addressed the Plenary. He is one of the most widely published pastoral clinicians in our field and last year’s Dunbar awardee. He has also joined CPSP as a Diplomate in Pastoral Psychotherapy, and received his diploma at this meeting.
And of course our own Dr. Robert Powell was with us and addressed the Plenary, sharing with us, as usual, his wisdom and erudition.
All of these presentations will be available in cyberspace in due course.
As in previous years the small groups were evaluated as a highly significant part of the Plenary. With one exception, groups reported being highly satisfied with their small group experience.
Ed Outlaw served as Chaplain, and declared on his own authority that CPSP was now in a process of healing after a brief contretemps.
Our eleventh president, Brian Childs, passed the torch to Bill Scar to begin his two-year term as our twelfth president.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:44 PM
The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy's 25th Anniversary Plenary was one of celebration and connection.
The formal presentations addressed the history of the Clinical Pastoral Movement, especially Anton Boisen's contribution.
As usual, CPSP's commitment to small group interaction where clinical and life material is the focus, continued to give meaning to the declaration that CPSP Plenaries are "working conferences". These groups being a prominent structure within the Plenaries underscores CPSP's commitment to the clinical arena and the continued development of its practitioners. In addition to learning, general networking and fellowship, the Plenary was imbued with a good spirit and celebration.
The hotel facilities, rooms, and food were great. Ed Outlaw, functioning as chaplain for this gathering, set a nice tone for our meetings. Special thanks to David Roth for making the Anton Boisen recognition event special; Raymond Lawrence, our General Secretary, for his visionary leadership; Dr. Brian Childs for his statesmanship over the past three years; Cynthia Olsen, for her tireless coordinating efforts as Interim Administrator; and the support of Past CPSP Presidents, Francine Hernandez, John Develder, Ken Blank and Esteban Montilla.
The Governing Council met on Wednesday morning, and CPSP's President, Bill Scar, conducted a fruitful, collegial meeting, the minutes of which should be coming out in the near future.
Dates and location of the 2016 (Salt Lake City, UT) and 2017 (Orlando, FL) plenaries will be announced soon.
The fall Governing Council will be September 20-21, 2015 at the Loyola Retreat Center in New Jersey.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:30 PM
The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy is pleased to announce the formation and establishment of an independent organization that will assure the proper thorough accreditation of its training programs and its training organizations.
The Commission for the Accreditation of Pastoral and Psychotherapy Training (CAPPT) in the independent commission that will audit and attest the work of the CPSP process of training accreditation. While related to CPSP CAPPT is independently incorporated, has its own board of trustees, and consists of professionals outside of CPSP as well as within CPSP.
Having such an independent accrediting commission is consistent with other specialized professional organizations such as the American Association for Marriage and Family Counseling, the American Psychological Association, and the American Association of Medical Colleges. Each of these organizations and others like them submit their own accreditation reviews to such independent organizations in order to assure the public and potential employers that an independent commission can attest that an accredited training center fulfills the standards for quality professional training.
The Commission for the Accreditation of Pastoral and Psychotherapy Training has its own website: http://www.pastoralaccreditation.org. Take a look at the site to learn how CAPPT works and to meet the Board of Trustees.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 12:11 PM
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:44 PM
From Healthcare Chaplaincy:
Please petition Congress on the value of professional health care chaplaincy
We are collecting signatures for a petition that will be disseminated to members of Congress. It explains why and how professional health care chaplains cost-effectively improve patient and family experience and satisfaction with their health care. We urge you to sign the petition at http://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/sign-on-statement and to share this with your professional network and everyone you know (does not need to be chaplains) who support the statement. The deadline for signatures is April 15th. Thank you.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:07 PM
CPSP’s chapter conveners and diplomates have nearly completed the process of selecting representatives to the new Governing Council.
The Governing Council will meet for the first time on March 18, the day after CPSP’s 25th anniversary Plenary.
New Bylaws, adopted by consensus at a Governing Council meeting in November, establish a chapter-based form of governance that includes a Chapter of Chapters (CoC), a Chapter of Diplomates (CoD) and an Executive Chapter (EC), with an Administrator.
The CoC and CoD representatives were selected by their peers. Selection was regional, from among the chapter conveners, for the CoC, and “at large” for the CoD.
The two groups are both scheduled to meet for the first time within the next week.
The next step leading up to the Governing Council meeting on March 18th is the collaborative process of setting an agenda. Cynthia Olson, the interim Administrator, will coordinate the meeting.
Rounding out the Governing Council, the Executive Chapter (EC) will include the General Secretary, Treasurer, and President, along with three Chairs of Standing Committees.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:24 AM
Every Plenary is special but this is CPSP’s 25th anniversary. It’s going to be a gathering unlike any before. If you’re still undecided about going, or simply haven’t made your plans, here are five more reasons to come to Chicago besides what brings us to the Plenary year after year.
1. BOISEN This year marks not only only CPSP’s 25th but also the 50th anniversary of Anton T. Boisen’s death. A full day Sunday is being devoted to the legacy of founder of the clinical pastoral care movement and his significance for our work today. Glenn Asquith will speak and receive the Dunbar award and Dr. Robert Charles Powell will offer a workshop on “Boisen as Clinician.” A special exhibit from the Boisen archives will be on display. A very special bonus: one lucky Plenary participant will be given a copy of The Exploration of the Inner World actually signed by Boisen.
2. FOOD (and ENTERTAINMENT) Chicago is a foodies paradise and the food at the banquets on Sunday and Tuesday will be excellent. But for the free meal times, within a block of the hotel in any direction, there are more outstanding places to eat than you could try out in a dozen Plenaries. The Weber Grill is literally right across the street. So is the famous Redhead Piano Bar (no food served here, just music and libations, no cover charge). Around the block is the Hard Rock Café. And the list goes on and on and on….
3. PARTY! Some loved karaoke at Plenary in years past but more than a few hated it. This year after Tuesday’s banquet there will be music and dancing as usual but it isn’t karaoke, it’s not old 45s, and it’s not a cheesy lounge singer. One Night Band, Chicago’s premiere cover band, will be playing Sinatra, Lenny Kravitz, Bruno Mars, James Brown, Elton John, Aerosmith, and more – and they’re really, really good!
4. ART Considered by many including TripAdviser to be the best art museum in America, the Art Institute of Chicago is just minutes from the site of the Plenary. This is not just another great art museum in a great city. Every painting at the Art Institute is considered a world-class masterpiece. Even if you can spend just a couple of hours there on your way back to the airport, don’t miss it.
5. FREEBIES No CPSP ballcaps this year. Instead, there’s a 25th anniversary coffee mug (with Anton Boisen’s image on it). A 25th anniversary Plenary poster (with Boisen’s image on it). And a free copy of Glenn Asquith’s book Vision From a Little Known Country: A Boisen Reader. Did we mention Boisen yet?
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:38 PM