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.
Lecture: CPSP Chicago 15 March. 2015
What to do best with what you have left
J. Harold Ellens
Boisen was psycho-spiritually both a pragmatist and a mystic. His capacity to see both the transcendent dimension and the practical opportunities of his unfolding experience led him to the kind of perspective he adopted for both faith and life. He turned his five episodes of psychosis into the stage for a sturdy pursuit of practical healing moves, and enlightened teaching regarding the forms of mental illness and pastoral relevance. He saw that “some forms of mental illness can be a profound and productive experience, equivalent in some respects to a religious experience, and experience of radical upheaval and spiritual healing” (Aden and Ellens, p12). Herein is seen both his pragmatic perspective and his mystical sense.
Boisen was not focused primarily on psychotherapy but on the meaning of the specific mental illness itself, which he viewed as a moment of potential divine illumination. For him these numinous events had a transcendent dimension that thoroughly changed his life and led to a profound and durable sense of personal calling. His psychoses set the agenda of his life, namely, “to study acute mental disturbances of the functional type in order to increase both our understanding of them and our ability to minister to those experiencing them.” (Op Cit , p11).
Today progressive Christian scholarship and much church programming are devoted to issues of justice. This emphasis is honored more in the breech than in the practice. Nonetheless, it is a cardinal virtue to be insisted upon. However, for it to become a passionate inner drive it must well up psycho-spiritually from a force that is much deeper and more profound in the human spirit/psyche than the force of politics. All forms of motivation to healing of the individual and society surely had that inner depth and spontaneity for Boisen.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:21 AM
AKRI Dialogues 2 will convene April 30 and end May 3, 2015.
The A. K. Rice Institute's AKRI's Dialogues 2 will meet at The Cenacle Chicago 513 W. Fullerton Parkway, Chicago, IL.
By clicking here you will see a full report of the rich variety of workshops and presentations. For example, The Tavistock Learning Group: Exploration Outside the Traditional Theoretical Frame Group Relations, Existentialism and the Lacanian Discourses with Clive Hazell, PhD & Mark Kiel, PsyD as presenters.
A further discription of this one among many workshops and presentations:
In the forthcoming book, The Tavistock Learning Group: Exploration Outside the Traditional Theoretical Frame, authors Clive Hazell and Mark Kiel attempt to expand the heuristic, theoretical, and applied dimensions of Group Relations paradigms by pairing classical Group Relations concepts with typically non-Tavistock psychology paradigms and social sciences concepts. Under the broad domain of psychologically-informed constructs, Lacanian psychoanalysis, existential philosophy and body psychotherapy are applied.
As many know, Tavistock has been a significant component of CPSP as a means for understading groups and the unconscious processes. For those seeking CPSP Diplomate certification, participation in Tavistock or Intensives, or similar group training experiences, is required.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:54 PM
2015 Plenary - our Twenty-fifth Anniversary - was a Plenary to remember, for many reasons. It was also the fiftieth year since the death of Anton Boisen in 1965. We celebrated both our longevity and Boisen's contribution to our religious and psychological health.
David Roth chaired the meeting as he had the Plenary Planning Committee. With the help of Evan Boyd, the librarian and archivist of Chicago Theological Seminary, he also constructed a stunning display in what he set up as "The Boisen Room," which contained a large collection of Boisen memorabilia, books, letters and photographs. This collection in one place of Boisen artifacts was unprecedented and highly enlightening.
We awarded the Helen Flanders Dunbar Award this year to the Rev. Dr. Glenn Asquith, who followed up with a memorable address that will be available on our website. Asquith is of course a preeminent Boisen scholar, now a retired professor of the Moravian Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.
The Rev. Dr. Allison Stokes also gave a memorable address. She is one of the leading authorities on Boisen. Helen Flanders Dunbar's only child, Dr. Marcia Dobson, was also present. She is a psychologist and therapist living in Colorado Springs where she teaches classics and established the program in psychoanalysis at Colorado College. Dr. Dobson responded to the lecture by Stokes. She attended the meeting accompanied by her husband, the philosopher Dr. John Riker, and two grandchildren.
Dr. J. Harold Ellens also addressed the Plenary. He is one of the most widely published pastoral clinicians in our field and last year’s Dunbar awardee. He has also joined CPSP as a Diplomate in Pastoral Psychotherapy, and received his diploma at this meeting.
And of course our own Dr. Robert Powell was with us and addressed the Plenary, sharing with us, as usual, his wisdom and erudition.
All of these presentations will be available in cyberspace in due course.
As in previous years the small groups were evaluated as a highly significant part of the Plenary. With one exception, groups reported being highly satisfied with their small group experience.
Ed Outlaw served as Chaplain, and declared on his own authority that CPSP was now in a process of healing after a brief contretemps.
Our eleventh president, Brian Childs, passed the torch to Bill Scar to begin his two-year term as our twelfth president.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:44 PM
The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy's 25th Anniversary Plenary was one of celebration and connection.
The formal presentations addressed the history of the Clinical Pastoral Movement, especially Anton Boisen's contribution.
As usual, CPSP's commitment to small group interaction where clinical and life material is the focus, continued to give meaning to the declaration that CPSP Plenaries are "working conferences". These groups being a prominent structure within the Plenaries underscores CPSP's commitment to the clinical arena and the continued development of its practitioners. In addition to learning, general networking and fellowship, the Plenary was imbued with a good spirit and celebration.
The hotel facilities, rooms, and food were great. Ed Outlaw, functioning as chaplain for this gathering, set a nice tone for our meetings. Special thanks to David Roth for making the Anton Boisen recognition event special; Raymond Lawrence, our General Secretary, for his visionary leadership; Dr. Brian Childs for his statesmanship over the past three years; Cynthia Olsen, for her tireless coordinating efforts as Interim Administrator; and the support of Past CPSP Presidents, Francine Hernandez, John Develder, Ken Blank and Esteban Montilla.
The Governing Council met on Wednesday morning, and CPSP's President, Bill Scar, conducted a fruitful, collegial meeting, the minutes of which should be coming out in the near future.
Dates and location of the 2016 (Salt Lake City, UT) and 2017 (Orlando, FL) plenaries will be announced soon.
The fall Governing Council will be September 20-21, 2015 at the Loyola Retreat Center in New Jersey.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:30 PM
The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy is pleased to announce the formation and establishment of an independent organization that will assure the proper thorough accreditation of its training programs and its training organizations.
The Commission for the Accreditation of Pastoral and Psychotherapy Training (CAPPT) in the independent commission that will audit and attest the work of the CPSP process of training accreditation. While related to CPSP CAPPT is independently incorporated, has its own board of trustees, and consists of professionals outside of CPSP as well as within CPSP.
Having such an independent accrediting commission is consistent with other specialized professional organizations such as the American Association for Marriage and Family Counseling, the American Psychological Association, and the American Association of Medical Colleges. Each of these organizations and others like them submit their own accreditation reviews to such independent organizations in order to assure the public and potential employers that an independent commission can attest that an accredited training center fulfills the standards for quality professional training.
The Commission for the Accreditation of Pastoral and Psychotherapy Training has its own website: http://www.pastoralaccreditation.org. Take a look at the site to learn how CAPPT works and to meet the Board of Trustees.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 12:11 PM
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:44 PM
From Healthcare Chaplaincy:
Please petition Congress on the value of professional health care chaplaincy
We are collecting signatures for a petition that will be disseminated to members of Congress. It explains why and how professional health care chaplains cost-effectively improve patient and family experience and satisfaction with their health care. We urge you to sign the petition at http://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/sign-on-statement and to share this with your professional network and everyone you know (does not need to be chaplains) who support the statement. The deadline for signatures is April 15th. Thank you.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:07 PM
CPSP’s chapter conveners and diplomates have nearly completed the process of selecting representatives to the new Governing Council.
The Governing Council will meet for the first time on March 18, the day after CPSP’s 25th anniversary Plenary.
New Bylaws, adopted by consensus at a Governing Council meeting in November, establish a chapter-based form of governance that includes a Chapter of Chapters (CoC), a Chapter of Diplomates (CoD) and an Executive Chapter (EC), with an Administrator.
The CoC and CoD representatives were selected by their peers. Selection was regional, from among the chapter conveners, for the CoC, and “at large” for the CoD.
The two groups are both scheduled to meet for the first time within the next week.
The next step leading up to the Governing Council meeting on March 18th is the collaborative process of setting an agenda. Cynthia Olson, the interim Administrator, will coordinate the meeting.
Rounding out the Governing Council, the Executive Chapter (EC) will include the General Secretary, Treasurer, and President, along with three Chairs of Standing Committees.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:24 AM
Every Plenary is special but this is CPSP’s 25th anniversary. It’s going to be a gathering unlike any before. If you’re still undecided about going, or simply haven’t made your plans, here are five more reasons to come to Chicago besides what brings us to the Plenary year after year.
1. BOISEN This year marks not only only CPSP’s 25th but also the 50th anniversary of Anton T. Boisen’s death. A full day Sunday is being devoted to the legacy of founder of the clinical pastoral care movement and his significance for our work today. Glenn Asquith will speak and receive the Dunbar award and Dr. Robert Charles Powell will offer a workshop on “Boisen as Clinician.” A special exhibit from the Boisen archives will be on display. A very special bonus: one lucky Plenary participant will be given a copy of The Exploration of the Inner World actually signed by Boisen.
2. FOOD (and ENTERTAINMENT) Chicago is a foodies paradise and the food at the banquets on Sunday and Tuesday will be excellent. But for the free meal times, within a block of the hotel in any direction, there are more outstanding places to eat than you could try out in a dozen Plenaries. The Weber Grill is literally right across the street. So is the famous Redhead Piano Bar (no food served here, just music and libations, no cover charge). Around the block is the Hard Rock Café. And the list goes on and on and on….
3. PARTY! Some loved karaoke at Plenary in years past but more than a few hated it. This year after Tuesday’s banquet there will be music and dancing as usual but it isn’t karaoke, it’s not old 45s, and it’s not a cheesy lounge singer. One Night Band, Chicago’s premiere cover band, will be playing Sinatra, Lenny Kravitz, Bruno Mars, James Brown, Elton John, Aerosmith, and more – and they’re really, really good!
4. ART Considered by many including TripAdviser to be the best art museum in America, the Art Institute of Chicago is just minutes from the site of the Plenary. This is not just another great art museum in a great city. Every painting at the Art Institute is considered a world-class masterpiece. Even if you can spend just a couple of hours there on your way back to the airport, don’t miss it.
5. FREEBIES No CPSP ballcaps this year. Instead, there’s a 25th anniversary coffee mug (with Anton Boisen’s image on it). A 25th anniversary Plenary poster (with Boisen’s image on it). And a free copy of Glenn Asquith’s book Vision From a Little Known Country: A Boisen Reader. Did we mention Boisen yet?
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:38 PM
The AK Rice Institute (AKRI) has announced a three-day group relations Conference in Chicago, April 27-29.
The experiential group relations conference, commonly referred to as Tavistock, is a requirement for all SITs to be certified as diplomates in CPSP. It is highly recommended as continuing education/training for diplomates and others.
The Conference titled "Leadership, Learning, and Change. Who's in Charge? Why Listen to Each Other?" precedes a major four-day event called The AKRI Dialogues 2 open to all those interested in group relations. CPSP members are invited to register for and attend both events but only participation in an actual Conference is a training requirement for SITs.
There will be other 2015 group relations conference opportunities. The 51st annual six-day AKRI conference, themed "Living with Differences," will be held in Dover, Mass., this June
Also, GREX, the West Coast branch of AKRI, expects to offer a three-day conference in the Bay Area in the Fall. Dates have not yet been announced.
For more information about the April conference, and to register: http://grouprelations.us/preconferencebroch.pdf
For information about the full seven days, including the Conference and the Dialogues: http://grouprelations.us/
About the AK Rice Institute for Social Relations: http://akriceinstitute.org/
For an article by CPSP trainee Bill Sewall following his participation in the AK Rice 6-day conference: http://www.pastoralreport.com/the_archives/2014/09/first_impressio_1.html
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:41 PM
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network will launch a web site called Chaplaincy Care for Veterans in early February. We are seeking military chaplains, VA chaplains, and other board-certified chaplains who have experience with Veterans (or who are veterans themselves) to staff our Chat With A Chaplain support line. Qualified candidates would need to be available to respond to requests for spiritual support through email, telephone and web cam. See attached job description for details. Interested applicants should submit their resumes to Ed Haran, VP of Human Resources at HCCN, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 7:49 PM
The Operations Team is working diligently to involve the CPSP community in forming the new Governing Council but to do so we need to be certain that everyone's personal and chapter information is current in the Directory.
Every chapter and each diplomate has an opportunity to participate in selecting representatives for the Chapter of Chapters and the Chapter of Diplomates, respectively. But this is only possible if we can reach you.
Please check to see that your email address is current. It is the only way we will be able to reach you. If your email is not current, please contact Krista Argiropolis to update it. And while you're at it, update anything else--snailmail, employment, phone, etc.--that may be out of date or incorrect.
Also, please check to see that your chapter convener is listed as such. You can do that by searching for their name in the directory. If the Convener is not identified as such, please contact Krista Argiropolis and let her know. If we don't know who your convener is, your chapter will not be able to participate in the governing process.
We will begin the new governance work within a week. Do not delay.
for the Operations Team
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:28 PM
Francine Hernandez, Convener of National Clinical Seminar - East, announces the dates of 2015 National Clinical Training Seminar- East training events: May 4-5, 2015 and
Monday, November 2-3, 2015. The venue will be Loyola Retreat Center in NJ.
NCTS- East, as always, participants will be involve in small psychodynamic group participation where clinical cases and life issues will be shared by all participants. Training Supervisors are expected to refer their trainees to the NCTS- East or NCTS-West training seminars.
Please enter these dates on your calendar.
Check back with the Pastoral Report for more details.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 5:44 PM
The Governing Council met last November in Chicago and adopted a framework for a new chapter-based form of governance of CPSP. By consensus, forty-five of our leaders, most of them conveners representing their chapters, accepted the proposed bylaws that were developed by my colleague David Baker and me at the request of the Governing Council when it met in Virginia Beach in March 2014.
The members of the Governing Council also delegated to the working group referred to as the Operations Team, which is led by me, short-term authority to act in its behalf as well as some additional work. We were asked to review, decide upon and make certain modifications to the bylaws and then to implement the governance plan by our Plenary in March.
My colleagues and I have taken up this charge and a finalized the text of the bylaws. We have selected one of our members, Cynthia Olson, to act as interim Administrator, a position that is defined in the newly adopted bylaws. We are about to begin the processes of selecting representatives for the Chapter of Chapters and the Chapter of Diplomates. All chapter conveners, as identified in the CPSP directory, will be contacted by email and by a member of our team to assure that the selection process for the Chapters is underway. We will also be contacting all diplomates to select their representative to serve the Diplomates. We expect these processes to be done expeditiously but responsibly.
Our new governance will be representative and the process of selection transparent. We have every reason to be hopeful that the spirit of the Covenant will pervade the process and that the results will include greater commitment to one another, to collaboration between chapters, and to seeking and promoting the highest standards of our pastoral care community. We are confident that the necessary governance groundwork will be finished in time to seat the new Governing Council by its scheduled meeting in March, following the 25th anniversary Plenary.
You will find the new CPSP Bylaws, along with a message from our team here:
The Operations Team
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:27 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.
May 12, 2014 the Pastoral Report publish Michael's "It's Magic".
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:56 PM
Celebrating 25 years as a community and honoring the memory of Anton T. Boisen, founder of the clinical pastoral care movement, members of CPSP and their guests will gather in Chicago from March 15-17 for the Plenary, our annual international conference.
Since 2015 is the 50th year since Boisen’s death, Sunday is devoted to "The Boisen Legacy for Today and Beyond: Thinking and Feeling Together about the Things That Matter Most." Dr. Robert Charles Powell will conduct a seminar on “Boisen as Clinician” and at the evening banquet Glenn H. Asquith, Jr., editor of Vision From A Little Known Country: A Boisen Reader, will speak on 'Anton T. Boisen: A Vision for All Ages' and receive the Helen Flanders Dunbar Award.
Monday and Tuesday will focus on small group work, with case studies and other presentations, as is our tradition, Workshops on certification, accreditation and chapter life will be offered. Plenary culminates and officially ends on Tuesday evening with a special 25th Anniversary Dinner, the presentation of certificates, and live entertainment and dancing.
On March 18, a newly formed, representative Governing Council will meet for the first time since CPSP adopted new Bylaws last November.
The Plenary is always a very special event gathering together of a diverse group of colleagues from around the world. It is an opportunity to meet, share with and learn from one another. We expect this year’s Plenary to be an event like none before. Register now and join us in Chicago!
The Plenary Planning Committee
Robert Charles Powell
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:43 PM
“Spiritual Well-Being”—by Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D.
The Theme of the 2014 Pastoral Care Week
(Condensation of presentation given at the annual Pastoral Care Week celebration at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pa on October 21, 2014, and at Neptune, NJ’s Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s first celebration on November 3, 2014. Photo by Chaplain Dianna S. Wentz, D.M., UPMC Mercy Hospital)
This year’s Pastoral Care Week theme is “Spiritual Well-Being.” If you Google the word “spiritual,” 18,100,000 references appear. Spirituality reveals not only the infiniteness of divinity, but the infinite varieties of humanity.
Spirituality can represent a wellspring, or a wastebasket. A wellspring of comfort and strength that enables coping and wellness and empowerment and direction and reflection and “love-your-neighbor-as-yourself” connectedness with other human beings.
Spirituality can also represent a wastebasket, in which insecurity may lead one to dumb down his or her god with absolutes that provide certainty, are dismissive of cause-and-affect understanding of human behavior and the natural order, can’t stand ambiguity, nurse “exceptionalism” that is intolerant of diversity, and lead one to act as if “loving your neighbor as yourself” actually means wanting your neighbor to be like yourself.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 7:46 PM
Gathering of the Community
25 YEARS OF CPSP
Still Learning From Boisen
50 Years After His Death
We cordially invite you to join us
from March 15 – 18, in Chicago, IL.
We will meet for informative speakers,
dynamic group process,
and to celebrate our successes.
The CPSP Community will gather in Chicago March 15 - 18, 2015 to celebrate our 25 years together as a vibrant and innovative certifying and accrediting community dedicated to excellence in the clinical pastoral field. The theme of the conference is "Still Learning From Boisen 50 Years After His Death".
The schedule is as follows:
Sunday, March 15 – Thinking and Feeling Together About The Things That Matter Most - Anton Theophilus Boisen (1876-1965)
Workshops and gatherings will take place during the day.
The Presentation of the Helen Flanders Dunbar Award will be made by Robert C. Powell, Ph.D., M.D..
The Keynote Speaker is Glenn H. Asquith, Jr.
The event is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. that evening.
This will be a very special day - please be sure to join us!
Monday, March 16 –
Opening Session, Small Groups, and Presidential Luncheon.
Tuesday, March 17 –
Tavistock, Small Groups, Presentation of Certificates, and live entertainment.
Wednesday, March 18 –
Governing Council Meeting, closing.
The gathering will be held at the Embassy Suites Chicago - Downtown
Just steps from Magnificent Mile, and one block from the subway station, this newly renovated hotel has a dramatic 11-story atrium, filled with blooming foliage and a rushing waterfall.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:16 PM