Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

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St. Joseph's Care Group

St. Joseph's Care Group


Spiritual Care

Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education owes its origins to a psychiatrist, Dr. Charles Boisin, who practiced in a mental health context in Worster Massachusetts during the 1940-60's. In the course of his tenure, he prevailed upon the credible theological colleges of his day, to formulate a clinical training program that would enable faith group leaders to be able to more effectively respond to human beings experiencing significant existential crises in a more meaningfully healing manner. He advanced the idea that persons present to us as "living human documents", for those who have the eyes to see, and the ears to hear the import of their information. The acquisition of theological and religious academic knowledge was simply insufficient to equip faith group leaders to function as healing respondents to persons in profound existential crises, be they in a health care setting, and addictions clinic, or a correctional context.

C.A.P.P.E. training is a branch of that clinical training initiative as it was instigated by Dr. Boisin from his healing witness in time. It consists of what is referred to as, "intensive clinical quarters", or units, that would normally run over a 12 week period. Units of the same merit of accreditation can also occur in what has been designated as an, "extended" format, depending upon the availability of student participants, as the 12 week program allows for no other vocational activities. The program is offered at the Masters level through an accredited university such as Queens, the University of Winnipeg, the University of Toronto, and the like. The course is purposed to offer participants the opportunity to address four primary objectives:

  • The acquisition of knowledge to enhance the practice of Spiritual Care.
  • To cultivate and develop the clinical skills required to become an advanced practitioner in the art of Spiritual Care.
  • To deepen self awareness in the person as practitioner, and
  • To cultivate and develop increased integration as to how the practitioner can more effectively administrate the use of him/her self in the practice of Spiritual Care.

Clinical Pastoral Education is predicated on the philosophical conviction that the "greatest gift that a person brings to the presence of another is the gift of themselves." Therefore, it operates from an Adult Education Clinical format that is predominantly, and intentionally, an Experiential Learning approach. One third of the learning occurs in a six member Reflective Group process. Another third occurs in the Group Didactic (Theoretical) component, and the final third involves the participants' actual clinical contact with clients and/or residents. The Spiritual Care department of St. Joseph's Care Group has a fully accredited CAPPE Supervisor of 15 years experience, who offers units as the opportunity to do so presents.

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