Sidebar: Everyday Evil and the Visions of 616 Hickory Branch Lane

Virginia, The Vision #5

“…mental illness in general is the price we have to pay for being human…” Anton Boisen, Religion in Crisis and Custom

“Am I normal?” Vin, The Vision

I’m a comics guy, but not a huge comics guy.  When I first read that Marvel was creating a limited series focusing solely on one of their more B-list heroes, the android synthezoid Avenger known as the Vision, I was puzzled. When it was regarded as one of 2016’s best, I still didn’t pay it much attention. After finally reading it through, I can attest to how wrong I was. Continue reading

CPE Verbatim: Avoiding the Unavoidable

I revisited an older verbatim that I wrote back in 2011. It’s interesting to go back and review older visits and interactions with the lens of history and experience. I don’t remember this particular case, but it reminds me of several other cases. I do remember that it was rather frustrating for me, which will be evident in the interaction. Continue reading

Why I’m a Chaplain – III: “The Church” and the wandering path

At one point in my life I had wandered away from my faith. Not wandered, more like stormed out to be honest. That’s a whole other issue. I came back though, and a big reason I came back was I attended a Christmas service at a large megachurch here in Pittsburgh that changed my perspective on myself and my relationship with God. I started attending and joined about a year later. Continue reading

Clinical Pastoral Education isn’t just for Chaplains

Back in seminary I had the opportunity to do CPE at a local hospital in New Haven. It was a great facility and a prime opportunity – the slots fill up fast. But I didn’t take it because I planned on doing more traditional church ministry, not chaplaincy. While some of my classmates jumped at the opportunity to get CPE, others, like myself, said “why bother if I’m not going to need it?” Looking back I can see that I missed out on a great opportunity.

So do you need Clinical Pastoral Education if you’re planning on traditional ministry? Is it really only for hospital chaplains or navel gazers? Absolutely not.  Continue reading

Handling authority and conflict: another CPE verbatim

In the beginning…

First I want to thank those of you who read my posts. I have two blogs that I write on, and while this is the one which I update the least (until recently) it is definitely the more popular one. That said I am going to look in to ways to make posts easier to find and rework the design a bit in the process.

That said, I wanted to post another CPE verbatim as an example. This is one that I wrote in my 3rd unit at the Pittsburgh VA which I took at level II.  I chose this particular one because I think some might find it helpful to see how to write toward the competencies (I used footnotes) and also because of the context. Most chaplain interactions are seen within the chaplain-patient context, but this one happened within a supervisor-supervisee context. So I also wanted to include this an example of how you can use the CPE environment to look at many different areas. It also included several people, so it was pretty complicated. Feel free to comment.

I don’t deal well with conflict and my main question going in was “did I handle myself appropriately?” If you’re interested in familial roles, handling personal and professional authority, trust and handling conflict you’ll find this interesting. Oh – and I later on ended up firing this person (ok, if you ask her she resigned before I could fire her but that was only because she hadn’t made it back in to the office that day). Intrigued? Read on-

Continue reading