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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.

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August 18, 2006


August 28, 2006

The ACPE has lately been taking the low road in its competition with CPSP. Its information and announcements have been marked by faulty claims and aggression.

I urge the leadership to consider taking the high road of competitiveness supported by a gracious collegiality.

The larger community needs a healthy, decent ACPE that travels the high road. We in CPSP especially need for the ACPE to travel that road. We share a crucially important common task. There is plenty of work for both communities. Besides that, ten, twenty, fifty, or a hundred years from now, when small-minded persons take over the leadership in the CPSP, some of us might ourselves seek another, kinder community, one that fosters justice truth, and a generosity of spirit.

Raymond J. Lawrence
General Secretary

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:31 AM

August 10, 2006

CPE Graduation Meditation: A View From the Mat By Stan Yancey

Summer 2006

Mark 2: 1-12

The words of the interns and residents about your experience here could fully serve as our meditation. Thank you.

Four friends took another friend, paralyzed, on a mat to Jesus. Five altogether. The paralyzed man’s sin was forgiven. The faith of the friends moved Jesus, and the paralyzed man walks.

Five interns in each group. You might want to take a minute to look around at your group. I expect the four friends that took their friend to Jesus had quite a connection, or they would not have gone to such trouble, coming down through the roof.

Yes, CPE is about offering a valuable service to the hurting, the scared, the dying, the left, the living, the traumatized, the grieving. However, if you are putting your heart and soul into it, in the midst of it you can be brought to your knees not necessarily out of piety, but by emotional and spiritual exhaustion -that walking through the valley with others can bring. That is where your peers are there to help you on the mat, in IPR, in Case Conference, in Morning Report, in the hallway. A mat made up of trust and vulnerability and risk and confrontation and care and compassion. It has been a mat of support that you have needed in your work this summer.

You can also become paralyzed by the voices of family systems that masquerade as your voice. They get flushed out in this work. “Not good enough. Not competent enough. Don’t know enough. Not skilled enough. Got to have the right answer or I’m not okay. Take the pain away or you’re a failure.” Can you hear it, the footprints of the heart by your group, and Perry or Lil or John or Mac coming with the mat.

You have worked hard, and paid for it in more ways than one. Have you looked at your paralysis? Supported by the mat you and your peers have fashioned. It is a mat symbolic of a simple truth to carry with you as you graduate. If only the typical cultural paradigm for ministers honored authentic community and support, like it honors workaholism. How many ministers have become paralyzed by cynicism as a result of isolation and burn out? You have experienced in your bones a mat of support this summer. Givers of care need it.

We don’t hear in the biblical story what crippled the man, and put him on the mat. Christi, a part of our Urban Ministry group, emailed us from South Africa and told us a moving story of a 27 year old South African man confined to a simple mat with a body imprisoned by spina bifida, but a spirit that touched her. Was the crippling in the scripture from birth like this South African man, or was it an accident?

How about your story? You have gifted your peers and supervisors with it this summer. I expect if I asked each of you to tell me the story of when it was that your paralysis began to set in, and you shied away from standing up, you could tell me. A parent who was shaming in their own sickness and your sense of self began to hunch over. A parent who was not present, and in the silence the paralysis of needing so much external validation crept in and you began to walk with a limp. A limp most noticed when you want to stand up emotionally for your self, and you are paralyzed by the need for approval. Or maybe the paralysis of your own feelings, you needed to avoid them as a necessity because of your needing to take care of family members, and there was neither the time nor the emotional mat to hold your pain.

There can be a paralysis of the heart and sense of self. There can be a paralysis of what possibilities that God might just live out through you. There can be a paralysis of the willingness to trust that what you feel deep in your heart is good, and indeed you are good. I call that sin. Missing the mark of the beauty of who you are. Paralysis of the soul to be accepted.

My question on this graduation day is “Are you a little less paralyzed than when the unit started?”

Or maybe you are thinking, “I have not had to struggle with any paralysis, and life had been pretty smooth walking for me, just a few bumps in the road.” Have you allowed this summer the shoes of the poor in spirit or material things to tell you stories? The shoes of someone that has never had it as good as you. The shoes that have not taken them to a university or even to a dining room table filled with plenty of food, or to a table with adequate love, and opportunity. Life is in no way, shape or form fair. And sometimes the best you have had to offer in the name of God is …………How many times have I heard you say, “provided presence and prayer.”

The song we sang earlier included the words, “Clear the chaos and the clutter, and clear our eyes that we can see all the things that really matter, be at peace and simply be. Have peers in your group helped you see things that really matter, about life, about yourself, about the mystery of following God.

I grew up with different tables, some where it felt like more pain that hope was shared. Tables where I wanted to get up as soon as I had sat down. But there is one table that stands out. It was the old Yancey homeplace. A big white two story farmhouse where my Father grew up and My Aunt Bettie and my Aunt Annie lived there til Annie got married at the ripe old age of 50. I remember my uncles and older male cousins standing outside and kicking in the dirt, and smoking and telling stories. I remember the women inside making lots of noise and cooking and laughing. Maybe you have a table like this. I remember sitting at the base of the hill just down from the wrap around porch, and making a motion with my arm, along with my cousins, to get the truckers to blow. I remember playing poker with an older cousin with the adults and praying for good cards. What colors all these memories is that I was accepted. This was my family. I had a place at the table.

I hope that you have felt accepted at the table of Spiritual Care, even if you preferred the futon or sofa, and did not sit at the big table much. The you that has risen up and been more than you could have imagined in on calls and in every day visits, and the part of you that limps. I hope you have felt accepted here, the you that you have let your peers and supervisors see, and whatever you know only in your heart. I close with some words from Paul Tillich-

Do you know what it means to be struck by grace? We cannot transform our lives, unless we allow them to be transformed by the stroke of grace. Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying, “You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. It is such moments that make us love our life, that make us accept ourselves, not in our goodness and self-complacency, but in our certainty of the eternal meaning or our life. We cannot force ourselves to accept ourselves. We cannot compel anyone to accept himself or herself. But sometimes it happens that we receive the power to say “yes” to ourselves, that peace enters into us and makes us whole, that self-hate and self-contempt disappear, and that our self is reunited with itself. Then we can say that grace has come upon us.

May you carry with you from this summer a deepened sense of acceptance of all of you.


Stan Yancey,MSW,MDiv, is a Pastoral Psychotherapist in practice in Raleigh NC. He is also a member of the Spiritual Care Department at WakeMed Hospital, where he coordinates the Urban Ministry CPE program and Care Network. He is a certified member in AAPC and is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
August 10, 2006

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:33 PM

August 3, 2006

National Clinical Training Seminar (NCTS) October 23-24, 2006

It is time again for us as a community to embrace, embark upon and engage another learning opportunity! The Fall 2006 National Clinical Training Seminar will be held Oct. 23-24, 2006 (Monday and Tuesday). The venue will be at Carmel Retreat, Mahwah, NJ. Registration time is between 10.00 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. Continental breakfast delicacies will be available then. Sessions will begin at 10.30 a.m. Lunch is scheduled for 12.30 p.m.

The Rev. David Franzen will offer a workshop on the themes: Attachment: (1) The Work of John Bowlby, (2) Separation: Anxiety and Anger.

David M. Franzen, Th.M., D.Min., is the director of the Pastoral Care and Counseling Department at Alamance Regional Medical Center in Burlington, NC. He also maintains a small private practice in Pastoral Counseling, Supervision and Consultation from his home office in Durham, NC. Alamance Regional Medical Center offers programs in CPE at all three levels. It also offers a Doctor of Ministry program in Pastoral Counseling and Psychotherapy in conjunction with The Graduate Theological Foundation, South Bend, Indiana.

Dr. Franzen is a CPSP Diplomate, a Supervisor in ACPE, a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and is completing his term of office as Chair of the NC Board of Examiners of Fee-Based Practicing Pastoral Counselors.

This event is open to supervisory and psychotherapy trainees, pastoral counselors and clinical chaplains. Clinical Supervisors and Pastoral Counselor Conveners are urged to inform and encourage your supervisory/ psychotherapy candidates, pastoral counselors and chaplain interns to attend. This kind of seminar fosters the development of those in clinical training. It affords individuals opportunities to process their work with trainees/patients and to receive feedback from a wide spectrum of peers and colleagues.

Every participant is expected to bring clinical material either in video or written form for presentation. Participants will be assigned a time slot in a peer group. All participants are encouraged to participate fully until the end of the two-day event. Early departures tend to adversely impact the group experience. (For those uninformed about the Tavistock model, there is a wealth of information via key word: Tavistock/group relations)

For directions you may visit the website at: For Registration Form and detail information go to: Download file

Hope to see you there!

-Francine Angel, Coordinator, NCTS

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:45 PM