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 business of CPSP has for the past 25 years been conducted with goodwill, collaboration, and a sincere desire to serve on the part of our leadership. That does not mean to say that we have not had our tensions and conflicts. We are certainly not an organization without faults. However, we are an organization that has flourished and with a remarkable diversity, all the while being served in leadership by those who receive no compensation for their time and work.
For two decades and more, CPSP has maintained a tradition of consensus decision-making.
When conflicts have arisen, they have been resolved through discussion, debate and collaboration. In making decisions in the Governing Council, we do not vote. This is why it is of concern that Ed Outlaw and the Nominating Committee are recommending to “...lay aside the By-Laws provision that all CPSP decision making will be by consensus, declare this to be a bonafide election with the majority vote being accepted method of selection. “ of new officers.
Voting is Divisive
In the main, when groups vote using the majority rule principle or Parliamentary Procedure, a competitive dynamic evolves within the group because it is being asked to select between two or more possibilities. In this dynamic it is as acceptable to attack and diminish an opposing viewpoint as it is to promote and endorse one’s own position on a given issue. The goal and object of voting is to defeat the opposing viewpoints by a majority and means acting on a 51-49 decision. Even an 80-20 division can be divisive in a community, especially if those who carry the vote want above all else to carry the day.
This is especially problematic when there are complex or multiple issues involved. Establishing consensus requires expressing an opinion in terms other than a choice (a vote) between stated options. It requires one to expand on the reasoning behind the belief, addressing the points that others have left, until all may come to a mutually agreeable solution.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 4:06 PM
The Leadership Team has named the Rev. Dr. William C. Scar President-Elect, effective immediately. This appointment is subject to ratification at the next meeting of the Governing Council. He was nominated by the Pacific Chapter.
Bill has been a CPSP Diplomate Psychotherapist for twenty-three years, having joined CPSP in the early years. He also holds Diplomate credentials with AAPC and Supervisory credentials with AAMFT. He trained at the Menninger Foundation.
He has had a distinguished career, founding Samaritan Counseling Centers in Cincinnati and Los Angeles, as well as a Lutheran mission congregation. He is our first Lutheran President. He is scheduled to take office as President for a two year term at the 2015 Plenary.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 5:30 PM
NCTS Fall 2014 at the beautiful Loyola Retreat Center in Morristown, New Jersey!
Date: November 10-11, 2014
The theme for the Fall NCTS is: REFLECTING ON GROUP PROCESS
Featured leadership for the seminar are three Tavistock practitioners who are members of the New York Chapter of the A. K. Rice Institute. They will conduct the group relations seminars. In addition, the design of the 2014 Fall NCTS will explore both theory and practice as related to the large group experience.
Historically NCTS-East has demonistrated its commitment to the immense value of Tavistock to those dedicated to the clinical pastoral field with Raymond Lawrence as group relations consultant. The three visiting consultants from the A. K. Rice Institute will be Howard Friedman, Jennifer Lee, and Frank Marrocco. They will offer two two group events along with discussion and review of the theory and reflection on the practice.
This event is open to Diplomates/Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisors, Psychotherapists, Pastoral Counselors, Chaplains and others who may have an interest in group process.
As always, we will have time for small group process. Please be prepared to present a clinical case and/or other relevant clinical material.
For CPSP members the cost of the seminar is $150. For non-members: $200.00.
Important: Please download the The Large Group Experience as it will provide an overall view of the agenda for NCTS-East participants.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 4:23 PM
Gabrielle Urciuoli authored an article for NJ.COM featuring Ted Taylor, Director of Pastoral Care & Training at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton as "A modern-day hospital chaplain makes his rounds at RWJ in Hamilton". The author quotes Taylor saying, “The focus is listening...noting that this is especially important when it comes to end-of-life decisions. Sometimes it’s just being with people. Allowing people to be scared.”
The article makes note of the fact that in order to address the demands of chaplain services he directs a training program of CPE Interns, largely from Princeton Theological Seminary, who provide 24/7 clinical chaplain services.
To read the complete article, click here.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:12 PM
The video provides a brief but yet informative overview of the 2014 Proposed Bylaws.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:19 PM
Dear CPSP Conveners,
At the 2014 Plenary in Virginia Beach last March, the Governing Council appointed us, David Roth and David Baker, to update the CPSP bylaws to make our organization run more effectively and efficiently with better representation and greater transparency.
That work is now done. Having consulted widely and after reviewing the work of governance task forces over the past two and a half years, we have revised and updated our governance in ways that are faithful to the Covenant, respectful and supportive of the Chapter, and build upon our strengths as a Community.
What we are presenting is a way of governing that is congruent with what has been the best in CPSP life and at the same time adapts to the rapid growth we have seen. The concept is a truly representative 18-person leadership team comprised of three bodies – a Chapter of Chapters, a Chapter of Diplomates, and an Executive Chapter -- that will be nimble enough to meet regularly to discuss the business of the organization, to make decisions, and to communicate clearly and in timely fashion the needs and direction of the organization.
This fall, all those who make up the Governing Council under the existing bylaws, especially conveners, will gather to address and resolve the governance issue. That’s why we ask you to please review the bylaws document with your chapter members. We believe you will see that it envisages a responsible, accountable, engaged, and empowered CPSP community. Also, there is a13-minute YouTube video that explains the governance concept and certain considerations behind our work.
Our specific charge was to create new bylaws that will allow us to govern effectively and get things done in CPSP. To that end we have designed a workable governance structure for you to consider. The proposed bylaws will not and cannot be expected to address all of the particular issues that concern us at the present but they are a place to begin.
The work you asked us to do at this point is completed. Please make the time to become familiar with it and to share it with your chapter members. We look forward to seeing you when the Governing Council meets in the fall.
Proposed CPSP Bylaws
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 12:51 PM
On June 14, I marched with Boston Medical Center’s (BMC) Gay/Straight Alliance in Boston’s 44th annual Gay Pride Parade. It was far different from Boston’s 3rd Gay Pride Parade in 1973, at which then State Rep. Barney Frank and I were the honored guests—seated in a convertible. The parade route that year took us past Old West Church (United Methodist), where I served as minister for eight years, and had just been forcibly retired after performing the same-sex marriage of two male members of the Church-- which led to my being an honored guest of the 1973 Parade. (For write-up of that Parade, see “300 begin Pride Week with Parade,” By Paul Kneeland, Boston Sunday Globe, June 17, 1973) You could not see it, but as the parade passed Old West Church, I was bleeding inside. (For that story-- and more, See Alberts “Easter Depends on Whistleblowers: The Minister Who Could Not Be ‘Preyed’ Away,” Counterpunch, March 29-31, 2013)
Forty-one years later, at Boston’s 44th Gay Pride Parade, I was beaming inside—and outside from ear to ear. It was very meaningful to be a joyous member of Boston Medical Center’s Gay/Straight Alliance: a contingent of doctors, hospital chaplain and close friend and colleague, Jennie Gould, and other BMC staff-- including two women whose same-sex marriage I had performed on the lawn of Boston University Medical School, the three of us seated at a picnic table, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, freshly picked from their garden, as the table’s centerpiece. And right behind us BMC Parade marchers was a group from Boston University Medical School, with people from other health care organizations also marching.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:08 PM
The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP) is pleased to offer its National Clinical Training Seminar-West (NCTS–W) this year at the beautiful Episcopal Church Center of Utah, a peaceful location and relaxing environment in Salt Lake City, which is nestled in a valley below the Wasatch Mountains.
October 26-28, 2014
NCTS–W is open to clinical chaplains, pastoral counselors and psychotherapists, supervisors-in-training, clinical pastoral trainees, and training supervisors. Members of new CPSP chapters and especially members in the West are strongly encouraged to attend.
The design of NCTS–W is based on the small-group experience where all participants are expected to bring and share clinical material for consultation with their peers under the care of CPSP diplomats and supervisors.
The fee for CPSP members is $150, and the fee for non-members is $225.
Registration includes attendance at all training sessions plus five meals, from dinner on Sunday through breakfast on Tuesday. There will be a box lunch available for purchase on Tuesday to take with you to the last meeting of the day or on your travel home. The chef will personalize meals and snacks for gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, and other needs.
Registration fees will be refunded for cancellation notices received by CPSP prior to October 10, 2014.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:47 PM
I am CPSP is a video promoting the values of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. Depicted in the video are members of CPSP community sharing how their involvement has significantly impacted their personal and professional lives.
The brainchild of the I am CPSP video production was George Hull. Through the years he frequently commented on the imressive diversity found within CPSP that is strikingly observable when the community gathers at its Annual Plenary.
The video was produced by Susan McDougal, a CPSP Diplomate with ability and expertise in this area of such media productions. Leonard Chamblee of Creative Motion Media filmed the production.
Given CPSP's commitment to "traveling light", the production of this video is one of many examples of CPSP's historical reliance upon the good spirit, creativity and effort of those at the grassroots who are willing to contribute to the wellbeing and mission of the entire CPSP community.
Chapters and CPSP training centers are encouraged to embed the video in their websites and pass it on to their professional colleagues.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 7:10 PM
The May, 2014 National Clinical Training Seminar-East was held once again at the Loyola Retreat House in Morristown, New Jersey and, with its, spacious terrace and greenery proved to be a refreshing contrast as a backdrop for the theme “Disaster Spiritual Care-the Chaplain’s Response”.
Linda Walsh-Garrison, BCCC reviewed for us the impact of the overwhelming emotional impact of the disaster on families and loved ones but also on those who serve the community, including spiritual care professionals.
The topic of September 11, 2001, stirred memories for many of us as I spoke to colleagues during the breaks. It was a humbling experience and for some, a recognition that there is still unresolved grief. This was a reminder that we need to continue to check in for our own self-care and recognize that those around us may be wrestling with issues easily resurfaced when trigger points are touched.
The media technology broke down during Linda’s presentation and was unresponsive to relentless tries to resuscitate it. Linda was model of calmness and used the equipment malfunction as an example of unexpected breakdowns and crises in our lives. She coached us to be flexible and observant of others and ourselves as we look for ways to manage the crisis and draw on other resources.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:38 PM
Over the years CPSP has been fortunate to have many good and dedicated individuals who have stepped up to the plate to volunteer their service for the larger well-being of the community. In fact, over the 25 years that CPSP has been in existence there have been countless hours of labor rendered by these good people who nurtured and supported a community growing from the original 15 founders to over 1200 members currently.
Folks like Bill Carr, a founding member and CPSP’s first treasurer was one whose signature attested to the business of CPSP in the required filings for the state of Virginia, together with Raymond Lawrence, the General Secretary. As a treasurer of CPSP, Bill meticulously attended to the finances of the organization and the disbursement of its funds.
In a similar way, CPSP is served by Charles Kirby, our current treasurer to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude for his dedication and unassuming service on behalf of the CPSP Community. Like Bill Carr once did, Charles oversees the disbursements of funds and signs the necessary corporate filings, together with Raymond Lawrence, the General Secretary. Neither Bill Carr, nor Charles Kirby nor countless others ever received any compensation for their many years of service to CPSP. Without such generosity of commitment CPSP could not exist.
Affirming the thorough work of Charles Kirby was the recent outside audit performed by the firm of Carl Shaw, CPA, Hendersonville, North Carolina, specializing in audit services for not-for-profit organizations, whose recent audit found that CPSP’s financial matters are in good standing.
Similarly, CPSP members owe a great debt to former CPSP Diplomate, Ben Bogia, who died November 19, 2009. Ben pioneered the way for a CPSP web presence at CPSP.ORG in the early days of the web. Ben also served as the Secretary to the Governing Council, and was one of the earliest Clinical Pastoral Supervisors to throw his lot in with CPSP in the early 90’s. Building on Ben’s work and expanding the web presence of CPSP is Perry Miller, who was also a founding member of CPSP. Perry, a Diplomate in Clinical Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, serves as the Editor of Pastoral Report www.pastoralreport.com . Through the dedication of these two men, CPSP has had a continuous presence on the web for over two decades, and, also, as is usual for CPSP, have received no compensation for their long hours of work. Such dedication characterizes who we are in CPSP.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 2:43 PM
David Roth and Ed Luckett
When David Roth was in the process leading to certification as a diplomate in pastoral supervision, he had a keen sense of the importance of gaining a deeper understanding what really is going on in groups, whether they were trainees in CPE, the family members and friends gathered in a patient’s room, or the hospital staff.
When Ed Luckett joined CPSP and attended his first Plenary, he experienced “Tavistock” – CPSP’s quasi-sacred ritual, both structured and spontaneous, mysterious and (sometimes) tedious.
As early as 2011, David had seen the need to renew both our understanding of group relations and our ties with the institution that best maintains the Tavistock tradition in the US, the A.K. Rice Institute (AKRI). He arranged a meeting between Jack Lampl, AKRI president, and Raymond Lawrence, our General Secretary, at the National Clinical Training Seminar-West in Malibu in the fall of that year. Their conversations led to CPSP inviting Jack, along with Charla Hayden, to take the lead in our 2013 Plenary program in Las Vegas. Download Brochure
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 12:56 PM
Michael Eselun is a CPSP Board Certified Clinical Chaplain and a member of the Los Angeles, CA Chapter. He serves as the interfaith chaplain for the Simms-Mann/UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 3:20 PM
Brian H. Childs, PhD will be retiring from Maryland Shore Regional Health where he served as director of clinical ethics and spiritual care since 1998.
This is what the institution had to say about Dr Childs:
Dr. Childs is a guiding light at Shore Regional Health,” said UM Shore Regional Health Chief Medical Officer William Huffner, MD. “His longstanding commitment to the well-being of our caregivers and community has made a lasting impact on our team’s dedication to quality patient care. We sincerely thank Brian for his service and wish him well in his retirement.
For more details go to The Compass, the Maryland Shore Regional Health's webiste.
Perry Miller, Editor
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:35 AM
Standing in the Midst of Hopelessness and
Hearing that G-d has Embraced Us
in Spite of Ourselves
– Comments Honoring the Rev. Dr. J. Harold Ellens –
delivered at the 22nd Plenary Meeting of the
College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy, Virginia Beach, VA.
“There is a discernible interaction between
experiencing G-d’s unconditional acceptance,
experiencing the therapist’s transference acceptance, and
experiencing the ability to accept and change oneself … .” 1
“Dunbar … . held that becoming
‘free to think and act’ was
an accomplishment open to all … .” 2
– on the 235th anniversary of John Newton’s “Amazing Grace”.
– on the 85th anniversary of H[elen] Flanders Dunbar’s Symbolism in Medieval Thought ….
– on the 65th anniversary of Seward Hiltner’s Pastoral Counseling.
– on the 55th anniversary of Wayne Oates’ Introduction to Pastoral Counseling.
– on the 25th anniversary of Carroll Wise’s The Meaning of Pastoral Care.
– on the 10th anniversary of Perry Miller’s “A Reflection on CPSP’s Chapter Life”.
– on the 5th anniversary of the CPSP report, “Task Force on the Future”.
Forty-five years ago – in 1969 – I first became curious about the work of Helen Flanders Dunbar – when I learned that this pioneer in psychosomatic research had a bachelor of divinity degree. The next five years of my life then were devoted to demonstrating that Dunbar’s earning of a theological degree was no accident. While Anton T. Boisen was the indisputable founder of the movement for professional chaplaincy – specifically, clinical pastoral chaplaincy – it was Dunbar who – from 1931 until 1936 – ran both the psychosomatic and chaplaincy movements, side by side, out of one office. Dunbar had no problem viewing therapy as all encompassing – of religion and medicine – of all of religion and all of medicine – of mind and body.
Who of us has not – at more times than we might want to remember – needed therapy? Who of us has not – at more times than we might want to remember – been among the world’s suffering, bewildered, or vulnerable souls?
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:23 AM
Helen Flanders Dunbar Award Lecture
CPSP 2014 Annual Plenary
J. Harold Ellens, PhD
The Significance of Anton Boisen for American Religion
From the beginning of Jesus' ministry the Jesus Movement introduced a new way getting at the issues of "people-care." Second Temple Judaism and hence the mode of the Pharisees assumed that to induce vital psychospiritual health it was necessary to start in the theory of an apocalyptic world-view; that is, the notion that God is engaged in a cosmic war with the forces of evil, the battlefield being human history and the human heart. Then it was important to deduce the theological and moral implication of such a theoretical perspective and impose those claims upon persons and societies. Thereby appropriate behavior could be induced in society from the top down, and that would be internalized as psychospiritual renewal.
Jesus insisted from the outset that the Pharisees, with their 613 laws for behavioral improvement, had the formula of spiritual renewal exactly upside down. His program asserted that you cannot change the inner psychospiritual world by imposing laws, regulations, and codes of conduct, from the outside in, that is, from the top down. Jesus was sure that it is necessary to change people on the inside and then their external behavior will more likely line up with their inner psychospiritual renewal. It is clear from Jesus' ministry, and from the key to it that St. Paul expressed in Ephesians 2 and Romans 8, that the only way to effect that interior psychospiritual change, which both he and the Pharisees desired to see, is to get across to persons the fact that God's grace is radical, unconditional, and universal. Jesus clearly believed that anyone who really gets that point will turn his or her face to God with the cry, "If that is how God feels about me, I want to be God's kind of person."
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:57 AM
On Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26, forty-seven (47) ministers and chaplains met at Piedmont-Henry Hospital in Stockbridge, GA (greater metro-Atlanta) for an initiation and training event. Three Chapters, Atlanta (GA), Atlanta South (GA), Columbia (SC), collaborated to sponsor this SPRING EVENT.
There were two focuses of the conference: “Medical Ethics: Death and Dying in America and the Chaplain’s Role.” Dr. Brian Childs, the president of CPSP, Ethicist, and University of Maryland Professor, was the presenter. He is the Director of Ethics at Shore Regional Health Center and professor at the graduate school of the University of Maryland University College.
A second focus was the gathering of CPSP members in the south-east for networking and initiation of persons interested in the College. Participants from Georgia, South and North Carolina met to hear updates and news from the CPSP President and to participate in discussions regarding CPSP membership and issues regarding training and Chapter life. Many participants are active members in CPSP, but most were students and persons interested in learning about the College.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:40 PM
REPORT TO PLENARY
MARCH 31, 2014
Raymond J. Lawrence, General Secretary
Myron Madden has been our wisest pastoral resource. He died last June 4. Brian Childs and I attended his funeral, along with three other CPSP persons. There were also five pastoral clinicians present who were not part of CPSP. The church should have been packed with pastoral clinicians at his funeral. Myron was a giant in our field. We will not see the likes of him again soon. Fortunately we in CPSP had the best of him in his last two decades of life. He functioned as chaplain to every Plenary until his health failed him at age eighty-eight. What he meant to us cannot be measured. And I have letters describing how much we meant to him as well.
It would be a mistake to claim blithely that Myron was widely recognized and honored. He wasn't recognized and honored as widely as he deserved to be. He was recognized and honored by too few. He was too much Freud and too much Shakespeare for typical Christians. And he was too brilliant and insightful for most pastoral clinicians. Tulane University Medical School hired him to teach their young psychiatrists, but the Christian seminaries kept him at arm's length.
In 1999, Myron wrote about his experience attending Wayne Oates' funeral in Louisville, Kentucky. Wayne had been his sometime-mentor, older brother, and finally his dear friend. As you may know, Wayne Oates was rejected much of his life by the clinical training movement as well as the seminaries and the religious community at large. Again, too much Freud. Myron noted that Wayne's mother seminary sent no representative to honor and claim him as one of their own as they laid him in his grave. Myron added that it could be said of Oates, as it was said of another, that "he came unto his own, and his own received him not." So, too, could the same be said of Myron.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:11 PM
NCTS-East will address the theme "Disaster Spiritual Care – The Chaplain’s Response". Linda Walsh-Garrison, BCCC will be the principle presenter.
Reaching out to those in need in the face of overwhelming disasters, terrorist attacks and spontaneous mass injuries is both humbling and life-giving. As chaplains, sometimes we are called to be in places where there is great loss and pain and through these individual moments, we help create a safe place for survivors to feel the depth of their pain without embarrassment or alienation; promoting healthy recovery. Very few individuals across our nation are trained with the degree of expertise and training that you bring. Yet, in the face of overwhelming disasters and loss of life, few of us are prepared to handle and coordinate the massive effort and courage, that it takes to manage teams of chaplains through the minute-by-minute challenges that are encountered by volunteers and survivors alike. Many of us will learn for the first time when it affects our neighborhood.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:39 AM
From the Boisen Book Project:
"The Boisen Books Project will reintroduce Boisen to a new generation in the 21st century. As relevant today as when they were first published, Boisen’s three major books will appear, one-a-year, beginning in Spring 2015, marking the 50th anniversary of his death in 1965."
This is great news for all of us in the clinical pastoral field who have been shaped, guided and inspired by Anton T. Boisen's writings.
No doubt many have been instrumental in launching this enterprise. At this writing we know that CPSP's David Roth, PhD and Robert Charles Powell, MD, PhD were a part of the creation of the Boisen Book Project.
The website for the project pays tribute to Dr. Powell: "The new editions will each include a new Introduction by renowned historian of the pastoral care movement and psychiatrist Robert Charles Powell, MD, PhD, as well as a new foreword and afterword."
Keep checking with boisenbooks.com to learn more and for pre-order information.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:36 PM
I am currently enrolled in a multi-faith chaplaincy program at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Ct., having completed my first Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) unit last summer. It was during this time that I came across Rev. Alberts’ book entitled, A Hospital Chaplain at the Crossroads of Humanity.
I found this book to be extremely rich in content and purpose. Each story drew my interest for the encounters were so beautifully described in terms of their simplicity and realism. Dr. Alberts shares his experiences as a chaplain, and what it means to be open and present to the divine encounters in hospital chaplaincy in the most human manner. Each story illustrates invaluable lessons on the many ways a chaplain can respond to patients, with sacred yet simple acts of being totally present and in listening without judgment. It is through these acts that one is able to "empower the patients and their families." This allows the chaplain and patient to recognize the divine at work within the patient’s life.
Dr. Alberts’ stories reveal his experiences of learning to show his humanity, naturalness, and humility with patients and, in so doing, be present with the patients wherever they are in their suffering and spiritual journey. This book goes beyond any religious tradition or social condition, making the lessons applicable to all types of encounters.
The book is truly a gem. I highly recommend it for all those seeking a deeper encounter with others, whether as a chaplain or in other care giving vocations.
(Editor’s note: The book is available on Amazon.com, and on Kindle books.)
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:35 PM
The Peace Corps is looking for 3 Disaster Preparedness and Response Program Officers for the Philippines for 6 months disaster response to Typhoon Yolanda starting this May. What they indicate is that they prefer returned Peace Corps volunteers for this short-term job. Sometimes they also take those who have not served in the PC yet, especially for these disaster response manager jobs.
Here are the links to Peace Corps Response: http://www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/response/
Peace Corps Response
1111 20th St. NW Washington , DC , 20526
855.855.1961 ext. 2250
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:27 PM