Pastoral Report Archives:

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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.

June 30, 2015

The Current Crisis in Healthcare Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Part Two-- By Raymond J. Lawrence

The Current Crisis in Healthcare Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care

(An Extended Review of Spiritual Care in Practice: Case Studies in Healthcare Chaplaincy
George Fitchett & Steve Nolan, Editors)

Part Two

Raymond J. Lawrence

NOTE: See Part I
The Case

Erica is the mother of a two-year-old girl with cancer, admitted to the ER. There are several young children at home, a grown daughter, and a new husband who doesn't understand Erica's religious affections. She describes herself as a "redneck" with a faith in Jesus that was making it possible for her to cope. God has spoken to her directly and powerfully, and she relates stories about the voices. Erica is certain that God has a plan, but she is not sure why God would speak to her. She keeps all this from her husband, who couldn't understand.

Erica had requested a chaplain when admitted to the ER. She responded negatively to the first chaplain she met, a female who was 'dressed too fancy,' unlike the present chaplain who is dressed down, in blue jeans and turtleneck. The chaplain responds to Erica's sharing of her experience of God speaking to her by relating the story of God talking to Moses.

Later Erica rants over the many misleading translations of the Bible in current circulation, arguing that only the King James Version is authentic. She is vexed specifically that the new translations do not declare Mary a "virgin." In response the chaplain offers a mini-lecture on the problems of translating ancient manuscripts. It did not seem to occur to the chaplain that Erica may have some thoughts or feelings about virginity itself, or perhaps the circumstances of her own deflowering, and thus might have become fixed on this biblical text.

It appears that every chaplain visit is ended with a prayer, and sometimes at the chaplain's own request.

The chaplain reports an intuition along the way that Erica might have a substance abuse problem that she was not disclosing. This would seem to be a good guess. In response to this supposition, the chaplain decides to divulge her own past history of substance abuse. She took this action, she says, subsequent to a message from the social work department reporting that Erica had made a request there for referral to a "Christian counselor" for help with one of her older children. The chaplain discloses her knowledge of this request by advising Erica to find a competent counselor rather than a specifically Christian one. There is no inquiry and no speculation as to why Erica went to social workers for referral, and not to the the chaplain herself. One would think this would have been an insult and a negative reflection on the pastoral relationship itself, a devaluation of the chaplain's authority and/or wisdom. Yet, that is not explored.

Continue reading "The Current Crisis in Healthcare Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Part Two-- By Raymond J. Lawrence"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:47 AM

June 29, 2015

Professor Valerie Cooper Reflections on the Charleston Tragedy and the History of the Black Church


Dr. Valerie Cooper, Associate Professor of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School, in a recent interview on WUNC.ORG's NPR station provides a rich and thoughtful perspective on the Charleston, SC killings and the history of the black church.

Go To: WUNC's the State of Things with Frank Stasio, Host and listen to the interview.

Perry Miller, Editor

Continue reading "Professor Valerie Cooper Reflections on the Charleston Tragedy and the History of the Black Church"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 4:08 PM

June 23, 2015

Candy and Pencils-- By Ron Evans


The purpose of my going to the Correctional Centre, aka jail, was to meet with two artists confined to the facility, individuals who I hoped might be able to do some sketching for a writing project I am working on.

Corrections? Or is it jail?

I am tempted to stick with the word jail in that it’s a much less cumbersome term and possibly the more descriptive of reality. Certainly there are forces in our government and society as a whole that are more interested in jailing a person, to hell with correcting anything. But I decided I would not give in to such an attitude and refer instead to this place of incarceration as “Corrections”. Better to pray for what has been lost than to forget it.

Right from the beginning I am reminded that I am entering a different world, one of restrictions, an environment I am not accustomed to. First, I was informed I had to “get clearance”, that is fill out a form, send it in and wait two days to hear if the powers that be deem I am a safe bet to visit the place. I was reminded of applying for visas when we went to the U.S. years back. Our son was then one year old, nevertheless we had to fill out a long questionnaire in which we assured the government he was not the owner of dangerous weapons and was not going to engage in criminal behavior. They let him in just as the authorities let me in yesterday, one old man looking for someone who can draw some sketches and who has paid all his traffic tickets. Can it be any other way? Probably not.

Continue reading "Candy and Pencils-- By Ron Evans"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:06 PM

June 20, 2015

Columbia, SC CPSP Chapter Responds to Charleston Tragedy-- By Hayden Howell


Mother Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, SC

Editor's Note: Below is a Pastoral Letter to the Columbia, SC and the CPSP community from Hayden Howell, CPE Supervisor.

Dear Columbia Chapter, CPSP (other colleagues, and former members of the Chapter)

It is with heavy hearts we must address one another as well as offer our “presence” to those close to the ones who died in Charleston last night while praying at the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church. The African-American community is hurting and grieving this horrible loss. Our Columbia Chapter of CPSP joins heart and soul with our brothers and sisters in the common frailty of our humanity.

We are especially mindful of the impact this has made on those African-Americans who are (or who have been) members of our chapter. The following persons may especially be touched by this tragedy because of their heritage as African-Americans and/or their connection with the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Rosalyn Coleman, CPE Supervisor; former Chapter Convener; and, A Presiding Elder in the AME Church

James Abrams, CPE Supervisor and former Convener

Deberry Cook, Hospital Chaplain; Aspiring Clinical Certification

Jacquelyn Hurston, AME Pastor; Supervisor in Training; Specialist in Grief Counseling

Melvin Coleman, (Husband of Rosalyn; AME Pastor; Provided food; set-up space for Chapter meetings)

Charmaine Ragin, CPE Supervisor; Chaplain; and AME Pastor (moved to another CPSP Chapter)

Robert Freeman, (AME Pastor; Chaplain; Left us to become a CPE Supervisor for the ACPE, Inc.)

As that ole Democrat LBJ used to say: “Let us come together.” And then let us comfort our people.

On behalf of Gene Rollins, who called me to say we needed to say something and in the awareness of our connection to the wider community of CPSP, I am copying this to Raymond Lawrence, Perry Miller, John Robbins and Charles Kirby. The latter two are colleagues in the Asheville/Stoney Mtn Chapter.

Grace and Peace to all,

Hayden Howell
CPE Supervisor, (Retired Emeritus)

Continue reading "Columbia, SC CPSP Chapter Responds to Charleston Tragedy-- By Hayden Howell "

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:31 AM

June 19, 2015

Raymond Lawrence, CPSP General Secretary, Response to Charleston, SC Tragedy


The ghastly event at Mother Emanuel AME Church Thursday in Charleston, South Carolina, was an unspeakable act of violence seemingly motivated explicitly by racial hatred.

We must do all we can to counter these kinds of outrageous assaults, and to be united with those who are victimized by them.

This incident calls attention to the disturbing rise of both overt and covert hostility in this country, particularly directed against racial minorities and the poor.

We in CPSP must do all we can to be in solidarity with the abused, the assaulted, and the oppressed. This is our moral and our prophetic pastoral responsibility.

I call for all in CPSP as well as those beyond the boundaries of our community, to renew our commitment to work toward a just and loving community for all people, with special concern for racial minorities and the poor among us.

Raymond J. Lawrence, General Secretary
College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy

Continue reading "Raymond Lawrence, CPSP General Secretary, Response to Charleston, SC Tragedy"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:04 PM

June 17, 2015

The Current Crisis in Healthcare Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care--By Raymond J. Lawrence


Almost a century ago Anton Boisen changed the face of pastoral work. He taught religious professionals to be healers. Listening to persons suffering mentally or physically was his central theme. To get their stories. To make connections where connections were apparent. To support self-awareness and self-discovery. "It's not what the minister says to the boy (sic) but what the boy says to the minister," he proclaimed. By the time he died his followers were legion. And they, as he, had learned much from the psychoanalytic movement. The role of the minister was transformed in Boisen's own lifetime. He was a religious giant of the twentieth century. Because of him many teachers, preachers, and evangelists morphed by the middle of the century into competent psychoanalytically informed counselors and therapists.

This year a little book containing nine clinical pastoral cases appeared under the title Spiritual Care in Practice: Case Studies in Healthcare Chaplaincy, edited by George Fitchett and Steve Nolan. If this book, and others like it, carry the day we will write fini on Boisen's clinical pastoral movement and all that it represented. Boisen and his inheritance will have been trumped by a new form of evangelism. And then it will be only a matter of what the minister says to the boy. Religious proselytizing and browbeating will have replaced pastoral care and counseling. It's not a pretty picture.

This reversal of the Boisen tradition is well documented in Chapter 1, containing the first of nine revelatory clinical cases presented in this book. It documents with specificity the new order of chaplaincy, or spiritual care, as it is unhappily being called of late.

The patient is a 12-year-old girl stricken with a daunting disease, cystic fibrosis. Her options are limited. Her life likely will be short and confined, under conditions of rather extreme isolation from peers and loved ones. Her family's home is a long distance away, and she is alone most of the day. She has had more than one hundred surgeries in her short life. The chaplain generously notes at least ten substantive visits with her over the course of a year, visits that included burdensome infection-control measures such as gowns, face masks, and gloves. In short, the patient presents a heart-rending case that is almost unbearable to read.

Continue reading "The Current Crisis in Healthcare Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care--By Raymond J. Lawrence"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:48 AM

May 30, 2015

Revison in CPSP's Certification Process-- By Jonathan Freeman


At its most recent meeting, the CPSP Governing Council approved changes to the CPSP certification process. These changes are implemented to strengthen the role of the chapter in the certification process, expedite the certification process, and to contain costs.

The CPSP certification process will move to a two-phase process.

The initial phase of the review will be conducted exclusively under the auspices of the candidate’s chapter, as long as the chapter is in good standing with CPSP and has the critical mass to certify at the candidate’s level (at least 4 certified members holding the certification sought by the candidate). The Outside Reviewer will no longer be a part of the certification process. This change is intended to highlight the role of the chapter (unique to CPSP) in the certification process. The Certification Team has recognized a trend of chapters becoming less involved in the “midwifery” and review of candidates and their work. Many times it is apparent that the chapter has reviewed the candidate’s work and biography, for the first time, just prior to the review with the Outside Reviewer. This is not the intent of the chapter’s role in the candidate’s preparation for certification. The chapter is, rather, intended to be the MOST prepared to speak to the candidate’s work and preparedness for certification.

Continue reading "Revison in CPSP's Certification Process-- By Jonathan Freeman"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:43 PM

May 30, 2015

Reflections on 2015 Spring National Clinical Training Seminar - East ---By Nancy Schaffe


I entered the world of CPSP in late summer of 2011 as a supervisor in training. Since that time I have attended just about every National Clinical Training Seminar (NCTS) and have come to value numerous experiences along the way. As I reflect on the Spring 2015 NCTS I find myself connecting to the movement of my own journey as well as CPSP’s.
The heart of CPSP is what I believe to be the small group experience beginning in our chapters and then expanding to NCTS and the Plenaries where we present our work and experiences in small working groups. For me this is living into our covenant as “We commit to being mutually responsible to one another for our professional work and direction.”

My first presentation in this small working group experience was at the Fall NCTS 2011. I brought with me a complex diagram of a ‘clinical rhombus’ I was subjecting myself to with me in the center holding up how multiple organizations ‘needed’ to relate, ‘balancing’ dynamics as I imagined them and being ‘responsible’ for the relationships. The group process liberated me from the monster I imagined I was responsible for managing. Each NCTS from that first experience has provided me additional opportunities to present my experience and work for feedback and processing toward my growth and development as a professional pastoral clinician. The small working group experience has been invaluable toward my certification process.

The theme of Spring NCTS-East was New Procedures in Certification and Accreditation for Members and Those Interested in The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy Credentials. As the new convener of our chapter these workshops provided me with forth coming changes in processes that affect the members of the chapter who are looking toward certification. We are engaging in how we are accountable and responsible for the candidates we produce from our chapter and what that means for each of us as we growth and develop in our clinical pastoral identity.

Continue reading "Reflections on 2015 Spring National Clinical Training Seminar - East ---By Nancy Schaffe"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 4:30 PM

May 27, 2015

Committee on the Promotion and Certification of Chapters ----By Miriam Diephouse-McMillan


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.

Continue reading "Committee on the Promotion and Certification of Chapters ----By Miriam Diephouse-McMillan"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:39 PM

May 27, 2015

NCTS-West Announces 2015 Fall Gathering


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.

Continue reading "NCTS-West Announces 2015 Fall Gathering"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:05 PM

May 18, 2015

Joanne Martindale, CPSP Diplomate, Promoted to Colonel in Army Reserve -- by Ed Luckett, Jr.


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).

Continue reading "Joanne Martindale, CPSP Diplomate, Promoted to Colonel in Army Reserve -- by Ed Luckett, Jr."

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:02 AM

May 06, 2015

CPSP and the Upcoming AKRI Group Relations Conference by David Roth


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.

<imgRaymond 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.

Continue reading "CPSP and the Upcoming AKRI Group Relations Conference by David Roth"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:38 PM

May 03, 2015

Charles R. Hicks Named CPSP's Administrator


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

Continue reading "Charles R. Hicks Named CPSP's Administrator"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:30 AM

May 02, 2015

"The Safety-Pin: Holding Your Life Together When It's Bursting at the Seams"


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.

Continue reading ""The Safety-Pin: Holding Your Life Together When It's Bursting at the Seams""

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:11 AM

April 28, 2015

Caring for the Human Spirit


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.

Continue reading "Caring for the Human Spirit"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 5:02 PM

April 19, 2015

Miran E. Ukaegbu, Ph.D. Joins CAPPT Board


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.

Continue reading "Miran E. Ukaegbu, Ph.D. Joins CAPPT Board"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:24 PM

April 15, 2015

A HISTORICAL NOTE By Raymond Lawrence


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:

" 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.

Continue reading "A HISTORICAL NOTE By Raymond Lawrence"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:14 PM

April 08, 2015



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.

She continues:

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!

Francine Hernandez

The deadline for registration is April 30, 2015.



Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:43 PM

March 29, 2015

What to do best with what you have left By J. Harold Ellens, PhD


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.

Continue reading "What to do best with what you have left By J. Harold Ellens, PhD"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:21 AM

March 25, 2015

AKRI Dialogues 2

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.

Continue reading "AKRI Dialogues 2"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:54 PM

March 24, 2015

A Report of the CPSP 2015 Plenary in Chicago By Raymond J. Lawrence, General Secretary


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.

Continue reading "A Report of the CPSP 2015 Plenary in Chicago By Raymond J. Lawrence, General Secretary"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:44 PM

March 21, 2015

A Brief Report to the Members By Rev. Dr. David C. Baker


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.

Continue reading "A Brief Report to the Members By Rev. Dr. David C. Baker"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:30 PM

March 06, 2015

The Commission for the Accreditation of Pastoral and Psychotherapy Training (CAPPT) --By Brian Childs, CPSP President


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: Take a look at the site to learn how CAPPT works and to meet the Board of Trustees.

Continue reading "The Commission for the Accreditation of Pastoral and Psychotherapy Training (CAPPT) --By Brian Childs, CPSP President"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 12:11 PM

March 05, 2015

VIDEO:Diversity & Inclusion – Love Has No Labels

Continue reading "VIDEO:Diversity & Inclusion – Love Has No Labels"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:44 PM