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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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May 30, 2015

Reflections on 2015 Spring National Clinical Training Seminar - East ---By Nancy Schaffe


I entered the world of CPSP in late summer of 2011 as a supervisor in training. Since that time I have attended just about every National Clinical Training Seminar (NCTS) and have come to value numerous experiences along the way. As I reflect on the Spring 2015 NCTS I find myself connecting to the movement of my own journey as well as CPSP’s.
The heart of CPSP is what I believe to be the small group experience beginning in our chapters and then expanding to NCTS and the Plenaries where we present our work and experiences in small working groups. For me this is living into our covenant as “We commit to being mutually responsible to one another for our professional work and direction.”

My first presentation in this small working group experience was at the Fall NCTS 2011. I brought with me a complex diagram of a ‘clinical rhombus’ I was subjecting myself to with me in the center holding up how multiple organizations ‘needed’ to relate, ‘balancing’ dynamics as I imagined them and being ‘responsible’ for the relationships. The group process liberated me from the monster I imagined I was responsible for managing. Each NCTS from that first experience has provided me additional opportunities to present my experience and work for feedback and processing toward my growth and development as a professional pastoral clinician. The small working group experience has been invaluable toward my certification process.

The theme of Spring NCTS-East was New Procedures in Certification and Accreditation for Members and Those Interested in The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy Credentials. As the new convener of our chapter these workshops provided me with forth coming changes in processes that affect the members of the chapter who are looking toward certification. We are engaging in how we are accountable and responsible for the candidates we produce from our chapter and what that means for each of us as we growth and develop in our clinical pastoral identity.

Also at the heart of the CPSP experience is the Tavistock experience focused on group relations as we work toward discovering the task of the group in conjunction with various agendas arising. At this particular Tavistock encounter I found myself wondering if the work we were doing at that particular time was what Recovery of soul looks like when We commit ourselves to a galaxy of shared values that are as deeply held as they are difficult to communicate. During the past year I have experienced a change in attitude at our gatherings as we welcome this ‘uncertain’ new beginning after hard labor. I understand it as being faithful to the labor of growth and change. It was the first time I felt I was living the covenant and not just reading the covenant and liking what it said.

The next NCTS-East gathering is November 2-3, 2015. I encourage you to attend if you haven’t already. It will not only enrich your professional growth and development but will deepen and add to the whole CPSP experience. We are invested in offering a living experience that reflects human life and faith within a milieu of supportive and challenging community of fellow pilgrims.
Nancy Schaffer

Nancy Schaffer is ordained with the United Church of Christ (UCC) and is a supervisor-in-training at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Far Rockaway, NY under the supervision of Francine Hernandez. She is Head Chaplain for the Long Island Council of Churches at the Nassau County Correctional Center, East Meadow, NY. Nancy has completed her doctorate concentrating on Prisons, Public Policy and Transformative Justice through a pastoral care lens from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, NJ. She is exploring community building through a community-based CPE program.

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at May 30, 2015 4:30 PM

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