I came across this excellent post regarding CPE verbatims that I wanted to link to. In it, Allison Kestenbaum writes about how she asks students to present their “worst work”, that is the cases in which they have been stumped, messed up, or feel that they otherwise didn’t do their best. This goes against the grain for many of us especially in areas where we feel that we are being held up to critique. However Kestenbaum shows us that the real growth happens in the margins and troublesome areas of our lives.
“Vebatims also teach seminary students to develop more balanced assessments of their strengths and weaknesses. I have encountered many seminary students who are achievement-junkies who seek to master every academic task put before them. One of my students, an experienced Lutheran pastor and D.Min. candidate, told me that, “I am taking a leap of faith with writing verbatims about encounters I feel least secure about. This is a completely new pursuit for me; I have not encountered this directive anywhere in my schooling so far.”
A rabbinical CPE student who was required to do CPE with no intention of becoming a chaplain told me that verbatims “have helped me not be so scared of my mistakes” and to learn from them. For those going into a ministerial—really any—profession, the ability to have a nuanced perception of one’s strengths and weaknesses can help prevent burnout.”
I highly recommend that students and supervisors review the article as I think it’s insightful for all.
And I know that I’m not the only one who’s hyperactive mind went right to this scene after reading the title: