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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 21, 2009

Health Care Reform and End-of-Life Decisions by George Hankins Hull

Health care reform is a scary subject for ordinary Americans and this is not been helped by the tone of the current national debate on this issue which has turned terrible nasty.


One of the most heated concerns to have emerged recently relates to end-of-life conversations. End-of-life conversations are difficult at the best of times and made all the more difficult in these uncertain days of economic upheaval when many Americans have lost their jobs, health care insurance and homes. Unfortunately some public figures and national leaders have chosen to offer their critique of the proposed health care reforms using only the most inflammatory language possible.

End-of-life conversations invite everyone involved in the conversation to figure out the right thing to do in each individual case and to have the courage to follow through on the difficult decisions reached.

The tenor of this debate does not bode well for the American public in terms of any real substantial change to a health care system which is too costly to sustain and unequal in terms of access. The American public needs national leaders who will engage the health care reform debate with the same gravitas as those loved ones involved with end-of-life decisions.

Rev. George Hankins Hull
Director of Pastoral Care and Clinical Pastoral Education
University of Arkansas For Medical Sciences
Little Rock, AR

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:47 AM

August 8, 2009


The meeting will begin at noon on Thursday with lunch, and adjourn at noon on Friday.

Each Chapter has a place at the table at the Governing Council. We encourage all Chapters to send a representative to this meeting. The Governing Council is the highest decision-making body in CPSP. It meets twice a year.

This meeting will take place at the Radisson Hotel and Resorts in Newark. They will give CPSP persons a rate of $70 per night, plus taxes. Persons who fly into Newark Airport may call the Radisson shuttle for pick-up at Passenger Pick-Up P-4. To reserve a room call the hotel at 732-541-2005 no later than September 14.

Questions may be addressed to Barbara McGuire or Krista Argiropolis.

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 3:46 PM

August 6, 2009

Book of Remembrance - Herbert W. Hildebrand (March 24, 1918 – December 7, 2008) -- By Ken Blank, CPSP Diplomate

Herb was born on March 24, 1918 on a farm near Napolean, Missouri. Herb always considered himself a “farm boy,” though he was glad to leave behind the hard work incumbent with being a farmer.
He attended Elmhearst College and Eden Theological Seminary during WW II before being ordained in the United Church of Christ in the mid-1940’s.
He married Eleanor and they had four children; Stephen, Timothy, Karen and Ethan. He was divorced after 40+ years from Eleanor and married Guerda. Both Eleanor and Guerda remain alive.
Herb went to work as a Chaplain at Washington D.C. Hospital in 1945 and received his CPE training through the Council on Clinical Training Centers in the Washington D.C. area. He was certified a CPE Supervisor in 1947. In 1964, he went to Dunedin, New Zealand where he began the first CPE program at the Wakari Hospital. In 1968, he became the Director of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Education at the University of Michigan Hospital where he served for 14 years. In 1982, he became the Associate Director for Pastoral Education at the City of Faith Medical Center at Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK. From there, he retired to Florida where he remained until his death

Herb was active in the early days of the College of Chaplains (Now the Association of Professional Chaplains), serving as its President in 1964. In that year, the College published its first booklet identifying the importance of chaplain certification and hospital staffing resources.

Herb did his CPE training in the days when primary relationships and personal mentoring of students was paramount. Herb told me he had three units of CPE training in Washington, DC. In two of those units, he was the only student, writing 5 verbatims a day for presentation to his supervisor. In the third unit, he had three other peers. One day, after completing his third unit, he met with several other Council on Clinical Training Supervisors and was certified that evening while sitting at the bar. They told him: “Since you already have a hospital position, we think we should certify you a CPE Supervisor.” After supervising a couple of units of CPE, he realized he had no idea what he was doing. From there, he attended the Washington School of Psychiatry, founded by Harry Stack Sullivan, MD. He was a student of the Interpersonal Theory of Psychotherapy which was his basis for understanding the dynamics of his students for the rest of his career. In fact, Herb admitted that in the 1940’s through the 1970’s, he did mostly 20 hours a week of group psychotherapy with his CPE students.
One story Herb told me occurred in 1947. He attended the Council on Clinical Training annual meeting in Washington, DC where an out-of-state hospital administrator asked the Council to remove the certification of a Supervisor who was using the Orgone Box Accumulator in treating his patients and CPE students. The theory of Orgone Energy came from psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich. MD, who associated it with Freud’s libido. Reich’s early work, such as Character Analysis was very respected but later, his work fell into disrepute for a number of reasons, one being him touching his patients, asking them to undress during therapy sessions, etc. The Orgone Box Accumulators were never approved for medical use and in fact, were ordered destroyed by the Food and Drug Administration in the mid-1950’s. In response to the administrator’s request, the Council removed the Supervisor’s credentials and decided they needed to write some standards covering the certification and practice of Clinical Pastoral Education.

I have no way of confirming this story, told to me by Herb in the mid 1980’s. It’s interesting to note that there may be a link between Orgone Therapy and the creation of the earliest set of CPE standards.

Posted by freeman at 2:28 PM

August 3, 2009

CPSP PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: Mark Allison, CPSP Diplomate

<imgMark Allison's CPE Program, at the Salt Lake City VA Medical Center, has been featured in several recent news articles. The most recent article hightlights the trasformative training an Iraq war veteran received through Mark's program and how that transformation impacts the lives of other veterans.

Michael McFall of the Salt Lake City's Desert News writes: "Iraq war veteran Perry Schmitt, 50, has learned to let go of his depression by listening to the grief of other former soldiers.

Schmitt was a chaplain in Iraq during the worst years of the insurgency. He witnessed 46 of his friends and compatriots die in his unit, the 1st Stryker Brigade's 25th Infantry. He returned to the U.S. furious and full of questions about why he returned and they didn't. But then he was introduced to the Clinical Pastoral Education residency program at Salt Lake City's Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

"I got my life back," he said Thursday in the medical center's crowded chapel, which was full of friends and family there to wish him well after graduating from the yearlong CPE program.

Schmitt and 19 other Utahns, most of whom have previously served as Army chaplains, joined the program last September to return to chaplain work and to get on with their lives.

To view the entire article click, here

You can also view a television news segment on Mark's program by clicking, here

Posted by freeman at 2:14 PM

August 1, 2009


We are saddened to announce the unexpected death of the Rev. Douglas L. Stowe of Hampton Virginia. Doug was a CPSP Diplomate in Pastoral Supervision and a member of the Chesapeake Chapter. Born in North Carolina, he came to Hampton forty years ago to become pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Doug was visionary who expanded the church's mission by creating a parish-based clinical training program accredited by CPSP. He also founded an elementary school in the church which today has over 700 students and 100 faculty. He created Gloria Dei Ministries, a non-profit center to reach out to special needs in the community, and Sunrise House, a medical adult day care program. His church houses the largest Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs in the Peninsula area. And much more. Doug was a mover and shaker whose energy and vision will be greatly missed, more especially in Tidewater Virginia. CPSP is proud to have been associated with him, and we grieve his untimely death.

Raymond J. Lawrence

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 3:49 PM