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.
Salt Lake Regional Medical Center's 2014 Fall publication, Views and News, starts out with congratulatory remarks regarding CPSP's Debra Hampton, Clinical Chaplain:
Congratulations Debra Hampton, Pastoral Care Coordinator Salt Lake Regional Medical Center’s 2014 Chairman’s Award Winner.
She is acknowledged for her ministry and special feeling for the homeless. Having worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India no doubt has shaped who she is as a person and her clinical ministry as chaplain.
The writer comments further on Chaplain Hampton's unique ministry:
She finds family members of homeless patients, and if family can’t be found, she allows no one to die alone. She inspires her coworkers with patience, support, kindness and guidance every single day. She follows her heart and never looks away or becomes complacent. Debra is a rare gem of humankind, indeed.
In the article's side-bar is a quote from Chaplain Hampton:
Do not be afraid of what other will think, or that you have to something big to make a difference. Not knowing what to do is a great obstacle, like being stuck in indecisiveness. It takes faith to step forward in uncertain territory. But all acts of kindness count.
To read the full article, Download file.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 2:53 PM
Fall 2014 National Clinical Seminar - East
Fall is all around us, with colors and leaves and the mix of warm sun and cool air. While nature is pulling back and preparing for winter, I went to CPSP's National Clinical Training Seminar - East in Morristown, New Jersey hoping to grow and help others develop through clinical learning, networking and especially the small groups. I found a fellowship there growing out of diversity, sharing and a wonderful program and presenters.
The Loyola House of Retreats provided a beautiful mansion on a wooded site, with walking trails, gardens, a Koi pond and lots of room for quiet reflection or walking with old and new friends. We started with case presentations in our small group sessions. Each member of the small group brought either a case, a supervision issue, or a paper to share and gather peer review. Like careful gardeners, each presenter had to harvest and attend to what they gleaned from their peers. Back in the large group, they would offer a brief summary of what they learned, with other members of their group occasionally reminding them of other important points.
The evening brought us together for a large group presentation on "Reflecting on Group Process" by Drs. Howard Friedman, Jennifer Lee and Frank Marrocco of the A. K. Rice Institute for the study of social systems. These same presenters provided the consultation for the evening's Large Group Event, which brought some excitement and energy to everyone there. Many commented on how much they learned from the work of this year's "Tavistock" large group. I found the shifts in the group fascinating. The energy around the issues that came out around social issues and parallels to change in our CPSP all seemed reflective of our unconscious group processes. The abrupt ending when we reached the time boundary added to the excitement, as many of us didn't want to stop! Of course, we had to stop for the social hour, and that turned out to be a great time for unwinding and chatting with colleagues after a long day of clinical training.
Day two brought more, and in our small group we met early to make sure everyone had a chance to present their own case. The early presentation was followed by breakfast, and another Large Group Event / Debriefing that continued the focus on working in the present and addressing the conscious and unconscious aspects of our group. All in all, most thought it a success, and from where I sat (not in the back row :o) there was a lot of interest in both the content of the expressed concerns and the process of the group's trying to work in the present. It may sound a bit technical, but if you love group process, it was a great time.
We held our final gathering over lunch, and I said goodbye to some new friends. This was my first National Clinical Training Seminar, but now I can see why these are so worthwhile. It was a chance to learn from others and offer collegial feedback to fellow members of our covenant; to continue to grow through the winter and prepare for spring. See you next year!
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 2:36 PM
Bylaws creating a new chapter-based form of governance for CPSP were adopted by consensus on November 13, the first day of a two-day Governing Council meeting in Chicago.
The spirit of the meeting was constructive and amicable.
The gathering of more than fifty participants, mostly conveners of chapters from throughout the United States, accepted a proposal drafted by David Baker and David Roth after discussion. CPSP chapters had more than five months to review and provide feedback on the proposal.
While the document was adopted, several matters were delegated by the Governing Council to the members of the Operations Team for their consideration and possible incorporation into the final text. The Operations Team is made up of leaders who have been working in the key areas of accreditation of training, certification of members, certification of chapters, hospice and palliative care, standards, and the plenary. David Roth is convener of the group.
The newly adopted bylaws replace the old bylaws from 2009. The new bylaws were drafted at the request of the Governing Council at its Plenary meeting last March in Virginia Beach. Their adoption marks the culmination of two-and-a-half years devoted to finding a suitable governance plan for CPSP in light of its enormous growth in numbers and geographical expansion in recent years.
The new Governing Council, comprised of a representative Chapter of Chapters and Chapter of Diplomates, along with an Executive Chapter, is expected to assume full governance of CPSP at the 25th anniversary Plenary on March 18th, 2015, also in Chicago.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:55 PM
Danita Perkins, a CPSP clinical chaplain at Nash Health Care located in Rocky Mount, NC provided the Pastoral Report the following announcement:
Chaplain Richard Joyner, a CPSP certified clinical chaplain, pastoral counselor and founding member of the Goldsboro, NC CPSP Chapter was awarded a $25,000 Purpose Prize on October, 28, 2014. Out of a pool of 800 nominees, he was one of six individuals who distinguished themselves through their passion, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and impact.
Chaplain Joyner serves as lead chaplain and community liaison for Nash Health Care (an affiliate of UNC Health Care), Rocky Mount, NC and pastor of Conetoe Baptist Church, Conetoe, NC. In the hospital and from the pulpit, Joyner could see firsthand that unhealthy eating was one of the root causes of poor health. To address this problem, he and others planted a 25-acre community garden and made it a part of the Conetoe Family Life Center (CFLC). The garden is steadily improving the health of his rural congregation, boosting students’ high-school graduation rates and economic potential because they have taken ownership of it, and providing a model for more than 21 church communities.
The change in dietary practices have resulted in weight lost, a decrease in the number of deaths, and a decrease in emergency room visits as the primary health care resource. Joyner was quoted as saying that “his encore work speaks to life ‘on both sides of existence’ – the pulpit and the garden field.” The Brody School of Medicine of East Carolina University has taken an interest in the success of the CFLC’s garden and the impact that it is having on the health of the community. The medical school is attempting to measure this success and have allowed the church to participate in a diabetes and heart disease study that they are conducting.
According to their website, www.encore.org, “The Purpose Prize, now in its ninth year, is the nation's pre-eminent large-scale investment in people over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for social good. The Prize awards at least $100,000 annually to individuals creating new ways to solve tough social problems. The 2014 Purpose Prize awarded $300,000 to six individuals.” Two individuals received $100,000 each; the remaining four received $25,000 each.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 12:38 PM
I was paged to the intensive care unit, where an older black woman was about to be terminally extubated. Her daughter was sitting by her bedside, and her son was standing beyond the foot of the bed. A niece, two grandchildren and the daughter’s female friend were also present. It would prove to be an intense hour-and-forty-minutes of pastoral care.
When I entered the room and introduced myself, the family accepted my presence. The patient was listed as a “Baptist,” but not affiliated with a church, her daughter said. There was sacred music playing softly in the background: “The soulful moods of Marvin Gaye,” whose R & B songs and singing style had deep meaning for the patient and her family.
The daughter asked if I would offer a prayer. My prayer expressed God’s shepherd-like, eternal loving care for the patient, and the preciousness of her life to her family and of their lives to her, and ended in Jesus’ name. That was the easy part.
The challenging part was soon communicated by the son, John.* I had made it a point to stand next to him, having shook his hand and asking his name. The challenging part: he pointed to his intubated mother, and said that pulling the tube from her mouth was like pulling the switch when an inmate was electrocuted in prison. He saw his mother as experiencing pain and punishment, like a condemned criminal—this punitive image possibly part of his psyche, being black in an oppressive white-dominated society. When he repeated his observation, his sister, Marcia*, responded that their mother had been given morphine and is not in pain.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:05 PM
In the Long Ago Times, before recorded history, humans have gathered in order to worship that which is greater than themselves. Primeval man worshiped the sun, thunder beings, the waters and various species of animals which they felt had influence over their lives and their destinies. They sought union, communion and reunion with these entities. They also gathered to celebrate benchmarks in their lives such as birth of a child, the rites of passage into manhood and womanhood, marriages and, at the end of this earth walk, death and burial. Thus began ceremony.
Where these gatherings took place ranged from a solitary spot on a mountaintop surrounded by a circle of stones to a cave deemed special to a hut or kiva used only for such rituals. Over the millennia, such simple sites continued but were also added to with elaborate temples, churches and mosques.
Sacred space, regardless of the site or structure, was and continues to be created first and foremost by “intent”. That is, that those gathered, be it one, two or the full complement of a tribe or community, “intended” that the work done within that space and time was sacred in nature. It could be a shaman visiting a sick member of the tribe in their home. It could be the gathering of a faith community to recall key events in their heritage. Whatever the occasion, a sacred dimension was always present.
As religious practices became more structured, not only the gathering places became more specified, the rituals carried out in them and by their elders also became more codified and, as humans are inclined to do, became more restricted and limited.
The Psalmist tells us:
My House shall be called a House of Prayer, says the Lord.
In it anyone who asks he shall receive,
And he who seeks, finds,
And to him who knocks, it shall be opened.
“Audience with God” is omnipresent. The line of connection occurs when a person or persons “intend” or seek such union, communion or reunion. Access to grace is always there but an individual must seek, must knock, and must open the door from their side before the link is opened. Ours is to facilitate this connection, to provide witness to the event and to help those estranged from their Creator with the words to navigate a path long forgotten, overgrown with fear or even non-existent.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 4:34 PM
The Fall 2014 National Clinical Training Seminar-East will be held November 10-11 starting at 9:00 AM with Registration/Continental Breakfast.
The theme for the event is Reflecting on Group Process with the following presenters: Drs. Howard Friedman, Jennifer Lee and Frank Marrocco.
The venue for the NCTS-East is the The Loyola House of Retreats located at 161 James Street, Morristown, NJ 07960.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 4:36 PM
If you have not already noticed, CPSP can be found on a number of the popular social media networks. This development is through the efforts of Krista Argiropolis, CPSP's Administrative Coordinator.
The beautify of this expansion means that those who contribute articles to the Pastoral Report for publication will find their writing available via many web sources and will be more likely picked up, read and linked far beyond its original PR publication.
Krista, seen in the photo with her son, Kristopher, with the White House as a backdrop, provided the following descriptions and links to these social media sights:
CPSP has a new page, which is more dynamic and has features that were missing from the former group page, such as an Events page. Click HERE to visit us on Facebook.
You can now follow us on Twitter, @CPSP_tweets, or click HERE to go to our Twitter page.
As a professional community, we are now on LinkedIn, and you can follow our page by clicking HERE.
Join our Google+ Community, as we share interests and updates. Click HERE to join.
Pastoral Report remains the main source for news and information about CPSP, but the social media pages will provide another avenue for those who wish to share ideas and experiences, even on their mobile devices, while staying connected to CPSP events and initiatives.
In addition, Krista Argiropolis has provided leadership to insure CPSP remains current in the use of the most recent technology. This includes discovering the software, Wild Apricot that has streamlined many functions in CPSP web presence, including documents that can be completed online and returned with ease, the CPSP Directory, etc. She also insured CPSP remains green by running an essentially paperless office.
-Perry Miller, Editor
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 8:31 PM
Author's Note: Artistic liberties were taken by intertwining fact with fiction to create a relatable story although based on facts from The ACPE History Network’s website presentation of: "The Biography of Anton Theophilus Boisen".
Location: Boston Psychiatric and Westboro State Hospitals
It’s been a while since I’ve seen my friend, Anton. We have been the right hand for the other since we attended Union Seminary together and I am most anxious to sit with my friend after such a lengthy absence. He is in Boston Psychiatric Hospital and all I know for certain is that he has summoned me.
The air is crisp today even though the sun shines brightly. I am anxious to see my friend. I long for a good, long, intellectual delving into a topic or two. The sound of my shoes’ stacked leather heels echo through the empty green-walled corridors. The blinding sunlight floods through the wall of windows lining the hallway leading to the sunroom, at its end, where I am told I will find Anton. I notice how perfectly polished the asbestos tiles of gray are; most likely what is accentuating my every step.
Anton, I find, is sitting in a large wooden chair with equally large wheels. He is dressed in a crisply ironed white cotton sleeping suite and a red plaid woolen robe. His leather slippers seem a bit too large for his withering frame. I am unnerved by what I see.
Fred: Placing a hand gently on his shoulder, Fred announces, “Anton, I am here, my friend.” However, Anton sits, motionless, starring out at the uniformed nurses wheeling patients out onto the gardens below. He does not focus on anything in particular; he is simply starring.
My hand remains on his shoulder. There is not a flicker of recognition. I look for a chair to pull up beside him. I am so longing to tell him everything that has happened since he left the university and how my continued research has gone in his absence. Seated, now, with my back to the window and facing Anton, I speak with enthusiasm, hoping to snap my friend out of his sullenness.
Fred: “I’ve continued on with our research project but it’s nearly impossible to make the impressive headway that you and I make as a team. I will be delighted to have you back ole’ chap!”
Still, nothing. Not a blink, a flicker, a movement of an eye. My determination heightens as does my concern.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:05 PM
At the opening session of this year’s AK Rice Institute (AKRI) International Residential Group Relations Conference I found myself sitting in a large meeting room with 40 other participants. We were arranged neatly in rows and gazed expectantly at the nine consultants who sat facing us in a straight line at the front of the room.
At precisely the appointed time the director of the conference stood up, went to the podium and talked to us for 20 minutes about the boundaries, authority, roles and tasks of the conference. He talked about how AK Rice conferences had evolved from the work at the Tavistock Clinic in the United Kingdom. His tone was imperious and unemotional. His description was so nebulous that I understood little of what was said and what the conference was actually about. The leader then sat down with the rest of the consultants who looked silently and vacantly at the participants.
I had no idea what we were supposed to do next. The participants proceeded to ask questions that either were not answered by the consultants or were responded to in very nonspecific terms. We had 20 more minutes before the opening meeting was scheduled to end. Silence and growing confusion filled the room. The tension became almost palpable.
Suddenly, one of the participants stood up and said, “Let’s pick up our chairs, make a big circle and get to know each other.” Pandemonium ensued as the room burst into action. Chairs were noisily shuffled and dragged across the room. Within minutes we were looking at each other in one large circle. I felt proud that we, as participants, had taken some ownership of the conference and were exerting direct responsibility for joining together as a cohesive group. If the consultants were not going to give us specific direction, then we had to take the authority.
Or so I thought at that moment. It was only after the conference that I read in Tavistock Primer II, “[M]embers frequently attempt to change the seating arrangement set up by the consulting staff in an attempt to flee from the anxiety the Large Group experience creates in them and to express their fury at the staff for putting them in such a situation” (Hayden and Molenkamp 2003). This type of revelation would be a common theme as I processed what occurred at conference. In the large and small group meetings I firmly believed that my actions and the actions of the group were rational and conscious, only to find later that a common unconscious force was leading us forward or, on occasion, backwards.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:11 PM
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