The new (2018) edition of The Standards of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy marks the third stage in the evolution of our basic documents since our adopting Bylaws that set out a new form of CPSP governance in 2014.
As we lived into our new organization and roles, growing clarity brought the first committee recommendations for changes to our Standards and procedures. The Certification and Promotion of Chapters Committee led the way by identifying the essential functions of chapters (Chicago Plenary, 2015), thus providing an impetus for revising The Standards to keep up with our actual expectations among one another.
The 2016 version built directly on the work that was already well under way by early 2014 (and reported to Plenary in Virginia Beach) in the area of Accreditation Oversight. That version also reflected our awareness of the changing pastoral care environment, resulting in a new certification, pastoral psychotherapist, equipped to offer care a step above the capabilities of the pastoral counselor. The diplomate role, too, was reframed to highlight the supervision of psychotherapy training – also a step up in the level of capability for which we train.
In the area of clinical pastoral training, the Standards for supervisory training – for both supervisors-in-training and training supervisor candidates – also saw major updating in 2016.
The 2017 Standards began to take shape almost immediately after the 2016 document was released – adapting, in the light of experience, within the existing frame.
This year, input from the Certification Committee, resulted in the decision by the Governing Council to combine two certifications – clinical chaplain and pastoral counselor – into one (Oakland Plenary, 2018). Once again, our Standards keep up with our evolving notion of the nature of our work as chaplains/counselors. The experience of re-visioning that one certification invited deeper reflection on the structure of the Standards document itself – and suggested a structure that corresponds to our essential functions. The new organization of the Standards, accordingly, addresses accreditation, training, and certification, in that order, followed by the structure that undergirds them all – the CPSP Chapter.
More reflections on – and tips for navigating – the new Standards will be coming soon!
Ed Luckett, Jr.
Chair, Standards Committee