CPSP-Philippines Timeline

2010, Bukal Life Care and Counseling Center started teaching Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for chaplains and ministers.

2011. Bukal Life Care formed a verbal partnership with an organization called CPSP, based in the United States. CPSP is a collegial body of pastoral counselors and clinical chaplains, and works to certify these specialties and accredit training facilities for these based on established standards. Bukal Life Care became the first training center recognized in the Philippines by CPSP, and several members of Bukal became part of the first CPSP-recognized CPE supervisors-in-training in the Philippines.

2014 Bukal Life Care-Manila became a separate entity led by Dr. Sim Dang-Awan Jr. under the new, New Hope. Later, the name was changed to Jethro Guidance Center.

2015 We established a formal MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) between CPSP and CPSP-Philippines. The established us formally in our relationship with CPSP.

2016. Four SITs (Doc Sim, Doc Cal, Doc Paul, and Chap. Celia) became the first full Supervisors with CPSP-Philippines. Up to this time, our organization only had Supervisors-in-Training. Each supervisor had his/her own training center, making a total of four training centers.

2019. We signed an updated MOA with CPSP.

So why did we help form this organization? There were a few reasons. One reason was the rather sorry state of chaplaincy and pastoral counseling in the Philippines. I read an article written in 1981 of the state of pastoral counseling and chaplaincy in Southeast Asia. The article sounded like it could have been written in 2010. Few things had changed. There were, I suspect, a few reasons for this.

People who trained to be a chaplain or a pastoral counselor tended to leave the Philippines. They were valued in other countries, but one could hardly earn a living in the Philippines in these roles. Pastoral counseling is not really recognized in the Philippines. Hospital chaplaincy has traditionally been simply a post assigned by the local bishop to a priest to carry out sacraments in the hospital. Community chaplaincy was typically held by people who were part of an organization that was originally set up to fight corruption but had gradually (in many locations) become a part of that corruption.

Over the years, doors have begun to open, just a bit.

  • CPSP-Philippines now has 7 active training centers, and 2 more in inactive status.
  • We have chaplains heading… something like 5 hospitals, one corporate chaplaincy program, and several school, college, and seminary chaplaincy roles.
  • The next generation of pastoral counselors/chaplains are really starting to step up and take on roles to expand the work that we began. They are starting to hold webinars, writing books, online counseling and support groups, and expanding into corporate work, retirement homes, and more.

New Book Released

A third book has been released for CPSP-Philippines. Front Art The book is Dynamics in Pastoral Counseling and Training. It is the second book by the Munsons to support CPE training programs.

Pastoral counseling is a form of counseling that draws from the social sciences, but far more from pastoral theology, metaphor, symbols, and rituals. This book seeks to explore aspects of pastoral counseling with special emphasis on the dynamic processes associated with training, supervision, relationships, life stages, faith development, and theological reflection.

The book is presently available on Amazon at This Location.  Kindle version will follow, and paper copies will be available at the Bukal Life Care office (in Baguio City) in a few weeks.

Two other books are:

The Art of Pastoral Care   by Robert and Celia Munson

Pastoral Care Response to Alcoholism in the Armed Forces of the Philippines    by Simplicio Dang-Awan Jr.

 

Addressing Theology in Suffering

Here is a quote by Howard Stone from “The Word of God and Pastoral Care”

Over the years, while making pastoral carecaution2bagainst2bbad2badvice visits and especially hospital visits, I have sadly encountered many people whose well-meaning friends and acquaintances have responded to their why questions with theological answers that left them terribly upset and proved actually to be destructive: ‘This is God’s punishment on you and for your sins.’ ‘This is God’s will; you have to accept it.’ ‘This has happened to bring you to the Lord.’ ‘God wanted your dear one with him in heaven.’ ‘If you hadn’t skipped out on your wife, this wouldn’t have happened.’ ‘If you had stayed home with your children where God wants you to be, they wouldn’t have started taking drugs.’

More recently I have also come across another whole class of answers — more psychological than religious — to theodicy issues: ‘You are responsible for your illness.’ ‘You are sick because of your destructive thoughts.’ ‘The cancer inside you is pent up anger; you’ve got to release it to get well.’ ‘You are what you eat; if only you had cut out salt and exercised more.’ Some people are so eager to give their answers that they scarcely wait for the questions to be asked. The results are often quite grim.

When I first began pastoral care work, I would have thought such pronouncements were rare, or occurred only in the more conservative denominations. Not so! Things such as this happen everywhere, regardless of the conservative or liberal orientation. Simplistic and damaging answers flow from well-meaning people at a time when their hearers are in considerable distress, vulnerable, and unable to talk back. I raise the issue here because if ministers care only for people’s emotional pain and do not respond theologically to the issue of theodicy, parishioners will inevitably get their theological education elsewhere, and it may not be the kind we would have wished for them. In other words, if ministers will not respond, sooner or later, to the vital questions of theodicy, neighbors and friends are likely to do so, and not always in a helpful manner.                                       –page 165