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.
How do you grow a spirited organization from 15 experienced, audacious, and enthusiastic pastoral professionals who come from the same culture, to an international ministry of qualified certification and accreditation serving over 1100 pastoral care professionals who represent a broad range of cultures, countries, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations and religious traditions? Certainly not by majority vote.
In his article included in this issue of the Pastoral Report, Ed Outlaw himself affirms that this phenomenal growth and development has indeed been the journey of the CPSP in the past 25 years. However, he does not recognize that the answer to the question above includes credit to our consensus model of decision making. The emphasis on consensus has allowed for great diversity of opinion without necessarily dividing the body or excluding the growth of participants. Outlaw claims to represent people who do not like those who promote consensus or the decisions that have come out of consensus; the promotion of majority voting is seen as a way to obtain a different outcome, not an ethically superior process. Since Outlaw himself has regularly participated in consensus governance in the CPSP for decades, he well knows that he is being misleading when he contends that the CPSP has no representative form of governance and that only a few people are in charge of the CPSP and its mission.
When Outlaw requested that his comments be published in the Pastoral Report, he demanded that they not be edited or abridged in any way. In this case, our community deserves to critically evaluate his assertions as he presents them, without any editing, knowing that the Leadership Team of the CPSP takes issue with his statements. Although Outlaw did not refer to him by name, George Hull was the author of the article Outlaw criticized. Hull was entirely correct in stressing that "Removing consensus decision making would radically change the very nature of who we are in CPSP."
Consensus is not in opposition to democracy or good order. Consensus operates on a different plane and seeks decisions based on a full expression of opinion and differences, and the determination to then entertain the needs of one another, not one side versus another. Openly, and often with deliberate patience, our representative process of consensus achieves the decisions for our organization, whether at the level of the local Chapter, the Governing Council, or the Leadership Team. The issue for Outlaw is that he wants results that differ from what has emerged from consensus. He says nothing about concern for what is important to those with whom he disagrees, which makes his exaltation of Robert’s Rules of Order especially disturbing. By definition, the use of RRO presumes an oppositional process in which one side, the majority, has the right to rule the other. One provision of RRO even calls for a voice vote in what is called a “motion to divide the house”, a notion and procedure that are anathema to the spirit of the CPSP.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 3:37 PM
My friend, who is an attorney, reviewed the decision making process of “consensus versus majority vote” and wrote the following “adopting voting up or down by conveners of CPSP following Robert’s Rules of Order is practicing democracy. Voting works. Voting honors each convener’s opinion, each vote counts. Voting objectively gives direction to the organization and officers. Voting avoids many of the troubling, serious difficulties CPSP has been and is currently having. Voting is the American way”.
Raymond Lawrence and the initial founders of CPSP adopted a so-called “consensus method of decision making” for the organization in its infancy. In the recently published Pastoral Report, attempts were made to justify continued use of this non-democratic decision-making process. The author, in defending “Consensus Decision Making: CPSP History and Tradition,” claims, in so many words, that conveners would be failing to live by the covenant if we adopted democratic vote by majority rule. This writer suggests that as “spiritual pilgrims” we promise not to be “predatory” to each other. Our Covenant does not leave room to “attack or diminish one of opposing points of view” whether by consensus or majority vote. (See article)
Incidentally, the statement from the nominating committee to the conveners was a suggestion supported by some, but not all of the committee. I claim ownership as I have strong feelings about the issue, as this article will indicate. I have since resigned from the committee both for health reasons and to enable the committee to function in its nominating process uncompromised by a division that I sensed might develop.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 3:31 PM
A Boston Globe Magazine editor asked William Alberts, a CPSP Diplomate, to write an article for The Boston Globe's commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the desegregation of Boston's public schools.
William Alberts writes in his article published in the Boston Globe.com publication: Comparing Boston 40 years ago to Ferguson, Missouri, today reveals that an entrenched, white-controlled hierarchy of access to political, economic, and legal power still exists in the United States. Today, as then, the aim of many in power is not to resolve these inequities, but to simply regulate them. If “equality and justice for all” are ever to be fully realized — as well as racial peace and harmony — we have to do much better.
He continues: Comparing Boston 40 years ago to Ferguson, Missouri, today reveals that an entrenched, white-controlled hierarchy of access to political, economic, and legal power still exists in the United States. Today, as then, the aim of many in power is not to resolve these inequities, but to simply regulate them. If “equality and justice for all” are ever to be fully realized — as well as racial peace and harmony — we have to do much better.
To read the full article, click here.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:55 PM
Simpsonwood Retreat Center, Atlanta, Georgia
National Clinical Training Seminar - South will be held at the Simpsonwood Retreat Center, Atlanta, Georgia.
The theme of the conference is “SELF REFLECTION IN PASTORAL CARE: THE POWER OF INSIGHT”
NCTS - South will convene Monday October 27, 2014 with registration at 9:00 AM and the Conference will convene at 10:00 AM and ending Tuesday October 28 at 12:30 PM.
Prior to the actual start of the event, on Sunday evening October 26 between 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM there will be a Meet and Greet, especially for those interested in learning about the CPSP community and its opportunities.
The Keynote speaker will be The Reverend Doctor Francine Hernandez. Doctor Hernandez is a CPSP Diplomate, Clinical Chaplain, Pastoral Counselor, former CPSP President, and directs the CPE training center at Episcopal Health Services, Hopewell, NJ.
As always with CPSP National Clinical Training Seminars held in different parts of the country, the central focus and activity will be the presentation of clinical material in small groups using a psychodynamic process model for reflection and engagement. All participants are to be prepared to present clinical material.
This event is open to: Diplomates, Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisors, Psychotherapists, Pastoral Counselors, Chaplains and all others who have an interest in counseling, chaplaincy and clinical focused ministry.
Continuing Education Credits will be provided CPSP members, LPCs, LMFTs, LCSWs.
Leadership for the conference includes: Dr. Francine Hernandez, Dr. David Moss, Bob Griffin and Bryan Jones.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:52 AM
PRNEWAWIRE.COM recently published an article written by Jim Siegel entitled, "Leaders of the 6 U.S. Professional Healthcare Chaplaincy Organizations Hold Unprecedented Meeting to Advance the Integration of Spiritual Care within Healthcare".
Siegel characterizes the gathering as “A welcomed beginning of a broadening conversation” was the theme of a recent meeting hosted by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network in New York City, which brought together leaders of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Association of Professional Chaplains, College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy, National Association of Catholic Chaplains, and NESHAMA: Association of Jewish Chaplains.
The six leaders affirmed their commitment to collaborate to expand the reach of professional chaplaincy and therefore serve more people in need of spiritual care.
ACPE's Executive Director, Trace Hawthorn, is quoted: “Our field has matured to a place where we can move from focusing solely on what’s happening within our individual organizations to a more global approach to advocacy on behalf of chaplaincy in general, to work to advance quality spiritual care wherever our members serve.”
CPSP's George Hankins-Hull further captures the spirit of collegiality and collaboration: "As important as the discussion was the sincerity, and an overall feeling of collegiality that suggests to me that we might accomplish more working together through face to face relationships as we seek to advance the profession of clinical chaplaincy. I was delighted to have the opportunity to represent CPSP, as together our organizations strive to secure the best possible professional future for those we train, certify and credential."
Please click here to read the complete article.
Perry Miller, Editor
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 12:44 PM
The CPSP Certification Team welcomes two new members: Orville Brown and M. Patricia “Patty” Berron, who will serve in the role of Regional Representative. Orville will serve the states that were managed by Beverly Jessup, who stepped down from his position in March. Patty will serve the states that were managed by Jonathan Freeman, who will continue as the Chair of the Certification Team. A map of the regions and their respective representatives may be found on our website. The team also wishes to thank Beverly for his service to the CPSP community.
In an effort to improve the certification experience, the CPSP Certification Team has worked to make several changes to the process that will help to support our certification candidates and organize the way we share information.
The most significant change in the certification process is in the submission of the certification forms, which will now be accessed through a portal on our website. In the past, our forms have been a Microsoft Word form, which was downloaded, completed, and returned as an email attachment or submitted via Dropbox. Now forms will be completed by our certification candidates through our website, after they have been granted access to the certification form page. The access to the new online forms will be given to candidates who are members of a CPSP Chapter, who have paid their annual dues and their certification fee. The new online forms are also now available in Spanish due to the efforts of Patty Berron.
Another change in the process is that only supporting documents will be submitted through a centralized and shared Dropbox folder. The administrative coordinator will create a new Dropbox folder and invite the certification candidate, the candidate’s convener, and the Certification Team Regional Representative to access the folder. Supporting documents such as endorsement letters will be placed in the file. Because centralizing and sharing the folders will help with organization and support, this change should also help to streamline our process.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:07 AM
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