Dr. George Buck earned the lifetime achievement award several lifetimes ago. His history in the Pastoral Care field goes back more than 50 years. George is believed to be the last remaining chaplain who actually met Anton Boisen, the father of the clinical pastoral training movement, whom he met shortly before Boisen’s death.
George trained at Menninger’s clinic, in its heyday, after World War II, where the best in American psychiatry and psychology taught and trained in its classrooms. A sign outside of town said, Welcome to Topeka Kansas, the psychiatric capital of the world. You could hardly say a name in the field that George Buck had not known and worked with at Menninger’s. Anna Freud, Murray Bowen, Robert Wallerstein. As he tells the story, it was an extraordinary experience.
George’s greatest gift as a supervisor was as a model in his care for his chaplain trainees. He gave us the support and acceptance that we, as chaplains, were asked to give to our patients.
George Buck always emphasized the importance of pastoral care as “communicating understanding love.” George would agree with Carl Rogers, the famous American psychologist, who wrote, “ We engage one another in a process, where tentatively, and with great hope and anticipation, we recognize the God in every man.”
I will end with a few comments from George Buck’s trainees’ evaluations of the Clinical pastoral education program here at UAMS.
- Dr. Buck is insightful but tough. He is open and honest and though it was sometimes hard to hear, he really helped me see myself more honestly.
- I always had the sense that Dr. Buck would do all that he could to help me. He helped me to work through the obstacles that arose in supporting my patients and dealing with my own anxiety.
- Dr. Buck is unabashedly himself. He could never be someone else. He is extraordinarily comfortable with who he is. I love when he joins our group when I am not the one presenting the case study.
Dr. Buck is loved and treasured by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Pastoral Care Department, and the hospital administration and employees. Congratulations on a body of work that truly merits a lifetime achievement award.