APC e-News
news and information from the Association of Professional Chaplains 
topNovember, 2013 - Vol. 15 No. 7      
In This Issue
Happy Anniversary
APC Welcomes New Officers and Directors
Hospice & Palliative Care Standards of Practice Published for Comment
Reimagine Chaplaincy with APC in June 2014
Call for Volunteers for APC Committees
APC Encourages Timely Payment of Dues and Fees
The Danger of a Thanksgiving Day
APC to Host Chaplain Symposium
Certification Rules for CPE Updated
Announcing 2014 Conference Plenary Presenters
Glad You Asked: Member Directory, State and National Leader Rosters
Upcoming Professional Chaplaincy Webinars
Chaplaincy News Briefs
Resource Reviews for Continuing Education and Reference
Poem: Warrior Peace
Feature: Too Much, but not Enough
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Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy
Happy Anniversary
by Valerie Storms BCC

With the arrival of November 1st, a new year began for APC. This November, we not only welcome a new year, but also celebrate an anniversary - the first anniversary of APC's new governance!  The transition from former ways to new ways continues, and what begins this year is the new officer succession plan. The person who began service in the secretary position November 1, 2013 will begin a four-year progression, moving to treasurer next year, president-elect the following year and president the fourth year. The person elected to be the first to follow this progression is Kimberly Murman BCC. Congratulations, Kimberly!

A new year and an anniversary date are both good opportunities to evaluate how things are done, the progress made the previous year and what could be tweaked to make things even better. We will have a task force to look at how our new governance is working for us and to make recommendations to the board of what has gone well, what needs to be modified and what additions could be made to improve the effectiveness of our governance.

On another front, the APC board held its fall meeting at the end of September. Prior to the start of the board meeting, a day was spent in strategic planning. Facilitated by Mark Thorsby CAE, vice president of consulting services at SmithBucklin, Chicago, IL, the day was spent in small group work with periodic reports out to the larger group as we looked at the challenges and opportunities ahead of us for the next three to five years.

Included in the areas that received attention and much discussion as we look to the future were clinical practice, organizational identity, research and the importance of technology. More information will be forthcoming as the strategic plan is discussed further and finally adopted by the board in January.

As we acknowledge this first anniversary of our new governance, I would like to thank you for being a valued member of APC. I hope you are finding a place to use your gifts and skills, and that you will remember to call upon those of us who have the privilege to serve on the APC board as well as our talented and gifted national office staff when we can be of assistance to you.

Blessings for your journey.

Chaplain Valerie R. Storms MDiv BCC serves as president of APC. She is the manager of Chaplaincy Care at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL and may be contacted at


APC Welcomes New Officers and Directors

The Association of Professional Chaplains has announced the following additions and changes to its board of directors, effective Nov. 1, 2013:

Rev. Kimberly Murman MDiv MBA BCC has been appointed secretary. She has served as director, Standards Committee board liaison, chair of the APC Education Committee and as chair/co-chair of the Workshops Committees for the 2006 and 2007 annual conferences. Murman is the Spiritual Care ACPE senior manager for Banner Desert Medical Center and Cardon Children's Medical Center in Mesa, AZ. She holds an MDiv from Colgate Rochester Divinity Schools and an MBA/Healthcare from the University of Phoenix. She became a board certified chaplain in 2003 and is endorsed by the Presbyterian Church USA. She will serve one-year terms in each of the following offices: secretary, treasurer, president-elect and president.

Joseph Perez MDiv BCC has been named BCCI Representative and chair of the BCCI Commission on Certification. He previously served on the commission as coordinator of education and development. In addition, he has served on the Membership Committee as state membership chairs coordinator, and as South Texas state membership chair. Perez is the vice president of pastoral services at Valley Baptist Health System in Harlingen, TX. He holds a master of divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Endorsed by the Texas Baptist church, he was granted board certified chaplain status in 1998.

Jana Troutman-Miller has been a staff chaplain for 12 years and has served the last eight at Aurora West Allis Medical Center in West Allis, WI. Prior to that she served in mental health and addictions, and long-term care in Racine, WI. Board certified since 2003, she has served as Wisconsin Chaplaincy Association secretary, APC Wisconsin state advocacy chair and BCCI Commission on Certification member. Troutman-Miller earned her master's from Lincoln Christian Seminary, and was ordained and endorsed for 10 years with the Independent Christian Church. In 2011, she was received into the Episcopal Church and will be ordained an Episcopal priest in 2014.

These three chaplains are joined on the board of directors by President Rev. Valerie R. Storms BA MDiv BCC, President-elect Rev. Darryl I. Owens MDiv CT BCC and Treasurer Rev. Dr. Marcia L. Marino, plus Directors Dr. Mary-Margaret (Margie) Atkinson, Rev. Dr. Daniel H. Grossoehme BCC, Rev. Dr. Janet R. McCormack BCC, Rev. Floyd G. O'Bryan BCC, Rev. Ronald C. Oliver PhD ThM MDiv BCC, Rev. Martha H. Rucker BCC, Rev. John Simon MDiv MTS BCC and Ex-Officio Member Patricia F. Appelhans JD, CEO of APC.

Departing the board after six years of service are BCCI Representative Robert L. Grigsby MDiv BCC and Director Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs DMin BCC. APC thanks them for their many contributions.
Hospice & Palliative Care Standards of Practice Published for Comment
by Daniel Grossoehme BCC

Following the release of Standards of Practice for Professional Chaplains in Acute Care, and in Long-term Care, the Quality in Chaplaincy Care Committee assembled a group of chaplains with experience and expertise in hospice/palliative care to work on Standards of Practice for Professional Chaplains in Hospice and Palliative Care.

Working over a 12-month period, the task force recently released a  first draft of the Standards of Practice for Professional Chaplains in Hospice and Palliative Care document for comment and review on the APC website. Comments and suggestions submitted to the Task Force via  will be used for a second draft that is to be presented to the APC Board for affirmation in June, 2014 and to be published thereafter.

Many thanks to the participants in the Standards of Practice for Professional Chaplains in Hospice and Palliative Care Task Force, who include: Chair Karen Ballard, Ahmed Aquino,
Miriam Dakin, Bonnie Meyer, Denise Hess, Sue Nebel and Terry Irish. The task force and quality committee express their thanks to Carol Pape for her staff support from APC.

Daniel H. Grossoehme DMin BCC serves as chair of the Quality in Chaplaincy Care Committee. He is assistant professor, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, and staff chaplain III, Department of Pastoral Care, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH. He may be contacted at


Reimagine Chaplaincy with APC in June 2014
by Jon Overvold BCC

On behalf of the Association of Professional Chaplains, I am thrilled and excited to invite you and your families to attend our 2014 Annual Conference, June 19-22 at the Marriott Anaheim in Anaheim, CA.

When I became a board certified chaplain in 1999, I could not have imagined the pace or degree of change I would experience in the field of chaplaincy over the years. The small community hospital where I worked now belongs to a large health system. The nursing home where I worked a few years  later closed and became a large student housing facility. The past 11 years I have been at the same hospital but the changes have been enormous. I imagine it is the same whether we are chaplains in health care, residential care, workplace chaplaincy, military, veterans affairs or corrections. The business of chaplaincy is changing all around us, and we may not even be aware of the dynamics that are driving that change or may not have the tools to contribute to our changing environments.

null Now I ask you to reimagine. Come to the APC 2014 Annual Conference where we will reimagine our work as chaplains. We will explore the art of chaplaincy that has nurtured and brought healing to the ever changing communities where we serve. We will also reimagine chaplaincy as a business; a business that requires certain resources in order to provide valuable and essential services, contributing to quality outcomes in the organizations where chaplains serve. Re:Imagine the Art and Business of Professional Chaplaincy.

Through plenary speakers and an array of workshops, chaplains will receive great resources to enhance their practice of chaplaincy as a healing art as well as tools for impacting the business aspects of chaplaincy. New at this conference is the opportunity to hear from some of our own chaplains in a "TED talk" (a series of speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can). All of this and more is being offered at the Marriott, just steps away from Disneyland.

Your planning committee is working hard to make this another great conference. We look forward to seeing you in Anaheim, June 2014!

Rev. Jon A. Overvold MDiv BCC is the corporate director of Chaplaincy Services for North Shore-LIJ Health System in Metropolitan New York and Long Island. He serves as chair of the 2014 Conference Planning Committee and may be contacted at


Call for Volunteers for APC Committees

If you would like to get more out of your APC membership, please consider volunteering. APC is committed to providing you with opportunities to meet new people and actively participate in your organization. In exchange for your time and support, you will develop leadership skills that will benefit you professionally and personally. APC is looking for volunteers with enthusiasm, diverse perspectives and a willingness to actively participate.

Please consider volunteering for one of our committees. We need your expertise.

Available Committees:
  • Communications
  • Development
  • Education
  • Membership
  • Professional Ethics
  • Quality
  • Standards
The deadline to apply for these positions is November 30, 2013. The volunteer term is for one to three years, depending on the committee. A second term may be available. Most committees meet by conference call four to six times a year and by e-mail.

To apply, please review the committee description and fill out the volunteer application located on the APC website. We will contact you after you apply. The president, in consultation with the CEO and committee chair, recommends who will serve on the committees.

The number of individuals applying sometimes exceeds the number of positions available. If you are not appointed this year, there will be other opportunities available to become involved with APC, for example serving on a BCCI certification committee or volunteering on-site at the annual conference. Certified chaplains may include up to 10 hours of service to APC on their Annual Summary of Continuing Education hours form.

In addition, APC is seeking state leaders for some states. To inquire about opening in your state, please contact your state representative or the APC office.

I hope that you will join us by volunteering to make a contribution to APC's success!


APC Encourages Timely Payment of Dues and Fees

To encourage members to remit APC membership dues and BCCI maintenance of certification fees on time, APC has instituted a late fee policy.
As always, APC is more than willing to accommodate members with extenuating circumstances. Members experiencing difficulty are encouraged to contact the APC office as soon as possible for assistance.

The late fee policy is as follows: The penalty charged for paying late, after December 31, 2013, is 5% per month, up to 25% of the amount due. If dues and penalties are not received by April 1, 2014, the individual will be dropped from the roster.

APC hopes this new policy will ultimately reduce the administrative time and costs spent on sending multiple late notices by e-mail and letter to a large number of individuals. This energy can then be refocused on providing outstanding service to our members.

This year, APC has introduced online invoicing and payment of APC membership dues and BCCI Maintenance of Certification Fees. To access and pay your invoice(s), log into and then click the "My Invoices" menu option on the right side of the screen. Whether you pay online or by check, you can print a receipt of payment from "My Invoices." Payments by check are processed in 7-10 business days. Once your payment has been processed, your invoice will show a zero balance due.

As a thank you to all those who pay their APC dues by December 31, 2013, APC will send a promotion code for $55 off an APC Professional Chaplaincy Webinar Recording of their choice.


The Danger of a Thanksgiving Day
by Jan McCormack BCC

It is almost time to celebrate the Thanksgiving Day holiday, which is indeed a holiday set aside for all Americans to give thanks for national and personal blessings. Many of us will celebrate with family and friends over rituals old and new. Normally there will be the obligatory groaning table of food and subsequent promise to diet tomorrow, watching the Macy's Parade and cheering for one's favorite football team. Many of us will also pause to give thanks to the Holy One we worship and to our family and friends for whatever blessings we have perceived over the past year.
However, I believe there is a danger in identifying one day a year as Thanksgiving Day. It's the danger of implying that thanks, gratitude and the theological concept of recognizing being blessed is due on this one day, but not on others. We face a similar danger, for example, when we designate a day in May as Mother's Day and a day in June as Father's Day. Shouldn't children honor their parents more than once a year? Similarly, shouldn't we be thankful more often than once a year on the fourth Thursday of November? From my Christian heritage, I would argue that giving thanks to God is important because it honors God from whom all blessings flow. I would also argue that my scriptural understanding calls for consistent gratitude from God's people back to God.
I believe a case can also be made for a continuous thanksgiving that doesn't depend on any one particular theology or sacred writings. In fact, it appeals to common sense and even self-interest. To put the matter bluntly: Being thankful can improve our own lives! It can magnify our experience of the good things in life, enabling us to enjoy them more thoroughly. Gratitude can also help us to endure the hard things in life with dignity, meaning and perhaps even with humor.

Some of those to whom we provide chaplaincy care, and perhaps some of us too, may be hard pressed to think of reasons to give thanks at all. Nationally it has been a year of natural and human-caused tragedies, which has also evoked memories of past tragedies as well. For those in crisis, we chaplains have provided, and will continue to provide, quality professional chaplaincy care and counsel. If one of us is experiencing a crisis or re-traumatization ourselves, we as colleagues remain committed to caring for each other across our professional organization, in addition to any other care providers of one's choice.
Thanksgiving should be about more than a balloon parade, a gridiron battle and pumpkin pie or even the Pilgrims' and Native Americans' historical sharing a of meal. Despite the day's nickname, "Turkey Day," it is still meant to be a time for intentional and ongoing gratitude and thankfulness. For the wide and broad care we in APC provide to others and to our own colleagues, I am continually humbled, personally blessed and grateful.

Rev. Dr. Jan McCormack DMin BCC serves on the APC board of directors and the Personnel Committee. She is the ACPE supervisory candidate director, Chaplaincy & Pastoral Counseling at Denver Seminary in Denver, CO and may be contacted at


APC to Host Chaplain Symposium

APC will host its first Chaplain Symposium in Rochester, MN on Thursday, March 6, 2014. Presentations will center on the theme "Aligning Chaplaincy with Emerging Health Care Realities." Mark your calendars and invite your colleagues to attend this one-day event at Mayo Clinic, which has generously given APC the use of its auditorium. The symposium will also be available to remote attendees via live Internet video feed. Look for complete details and registration information in the coming months.
Certification Rules for CPE Updated: 'Double-Dipping' now Allowed

APC standards for certification through its affiliate, BCCI, require that four units of ACPE, NACC or CASC accredited CPE be completed before an individual can apply for board certification. (Of the four units, one may be from another chaplaincy group but the student must complete a CPE equivalency application.)

In the past, a CPE unit could not be used to fulfill both the requirements of four units of CPE and the 72-semester-hour graduate degree. If a CPE unit was used to fulfill the graduate degree requirement, then it could not be used toward the four-unit CPE requirement. This was considered "double-dipping" and was prohibited.

Today, however, "double-dipping" is allowed. Changes in CPE programs and graduate education programs made compliance with the "no double-dipping" rule cumbersome and confusing. Therefore, the APC board voted to update the BCCI certification standards to allow students to use a CPE unit to fulfill both the CPE and graduate degree requirements.

If you have any questions, please contact the BCCI office,


Announcing 2014 Conference Plenary Presenters

by Karen Hanson BCC


Our presenters for the 2014 annual conference will approach the theme Re:Imagine the Art and Business of Professional Chaplaincy from various angles. We have a great lineup and there will be something for everyone.


Thursday, June 19, 2014: The Opening Plenary will be concise, engaging and insightful "APC Strong" talks, featuring three fellow board certified chaplains each presenting on an aspect of the art and business of professional chaplaincy from their experience and expertise. Imam Yusuf Hasan is the first board certified Muslim chaplain in APC. He is a staff chaplain at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. Margo Richardson is a staff chaplain at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN. John Simon is the director of Spiritual Care Services at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, NY.


Friday, June 20, 2014: The Charles and Shirley Phillips Memorial Lecture will address moral injury in veterans. Rita Nakashima Brock, pastor and theologian, and Herman Keizer, retired military chaplain, are the co-directors of the Soul Repair Center at the Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, TX. Moral injury occurs when a war combatant violates deeply held moral beliefs and can no longer make sense out of the world. Healing involves accompaniment by a caring, supportive person over time. Caring people who want to help bring war combatants all the way home are needed across the nation. Nakashima and Keizer are passionate about making sure that this work gets done.


Saturday, June 21, 2014: The Plenary Luncheon features James Merlino, chief experience officer of the Cleveland Clinic as well as a practicing colorectal surgeon. He is a recognized world leader in the emerging field of patient experience. Dr. Merlino recognizes and advocates for holistic care, including spiritual care. He will discuss best practices, analytics, initiatives and results in the work that he oversees. He says, "Patient experience is really driven by two factors -- processes of care linked by seamless transitions and cultural alignment around patient experience...We care not only about excellent clinical care but also about the quality and experience around that care."  


Sunday, June 22, 2014: We welcome Gary Gunderson to the podium. He is the faith and health ministry leader at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, NC. In a time of transformational change in health care, he is leading innovation and change in faith and health by partnering with congregations. These partnerships achieve measurable improvements in the health of patients in those congregations. He has also worked extensively with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, focusing on innovative ways to effectively engage with the poor in our communities.


Karen Hanson BCC is a chaplain in the Spiritual Health Services department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing, MN. She serves on the 2014 Conference Planning Committee as Plenary Speakers chair and may be contacted at

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Glad You Asked
How do I find and use the directory of APC members?

The APC Online Directory is available to APC members who log into the APC website. Upon login, you will be taken to the My Profile page, where you can select Online Directory from the menu on the right under the Bookmarks heading.

To execute a basic search for an individual, simply type their last name into the Search box. There are also pull-down menus to search by Member Type or Denomination (faith group). Next to the Search box, the U.S. Radius Search option lets you search for members within a designated number of miles of a zip code.

The Advanced Search option allows you to search by a combination of the aforementioned options, as well as by city/state.

The results of your search may take a few minutes to load. If you wish to save the list, click on the "Export to Excel" button and save it to your computer.

Where can I find a list of state leaders or committee members?

These lists are available to members who log into the APC website. Upon login, you will be taken to the My Profile page, where you can select My Groups & Certs from the menu on the right under the Bookmarks heading.

Scroll down the list to the Chapter heading where you will see BCCI Area Certification Chair, State Continuing Education Chair and State Representative. Click View to get the list of your choice.

To View rosters of the various national leadership groups, scroll down to the Committee, Subcommittee or TF (Task Force) headings.

The SIG heading lists the APC Special Interest Groups. For SIGs, you not only can View the roster but also Join the SIG.

The Glad You Asked department is designed to offer answers to commonly asked questions and other helpful tips for members. If you have a suggested topic for Glad You Asked, please send it to If you need individual assistance, you are always welcome to contact APC by phone or e-mail. The APC staff is at your service.


Upcoming APC Professional Chaplaincy Webinars 


November 20, 2013, Awakening Your Imagination & Creativity in End-of-Life Awareness & Communication, presented by Kei Okada BCC.Register by November 12.

December 3, 2013, The MD Anderson Spiritual Assessment, WJCIII S2, presented by George Fitchett DMin PhD BCC and Sr. Patricia Murphy PhD BCC. Register by November 22.

December 18, 2013, The Ethical Implications of Guilt and Shame, presented by Rev. Dr. Dane R. Sommer BCC. Register by December 10.


January 22, 2014, Making the Medical Decisions Meaningful: Helping Doctors, Families and Patients Understand the Personal Significance of the Medical Choices, presented by Viki Kind MA. Register by January 14.

February 4, 2014, The Spiritual Distress Assessment Tool (SDAT), WJCIII S3, presented by George Fitchett DMin PhD BCC and Sr. Patricia Murphy PhD BCC. Register by January 24.


March 12, 2014, Using POLST to Ensure Patient Preferences are Honored, presented by Terri Schmidt MD MS. Register by March 4, 2014.

April 1, 2014, The Spiritual Injury Scale (SIS), WJCIII S4, presented by George Fitchett DMin PhD BCC and Sr. Patricia Murphy PhD BCC. Register by March 21.    

See the Calendar of Events for details and to register.

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Chaplaincy News Briefs

ACPE Announces New Executive Director
The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education Inc. (ACPE) has hired Trace Haythorne as its new excecutive director effective Oct. 28, 2013. Haythorn earned a PhD in cultural foundations of education from Syracuse University, a master of divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a bachelor of arts in psychology and business from Austin College. He began his career by completing eight units of Clinical Pastoral Education. Prior to joining ACPE, he worked with first-year students at the Candler School of Theology. In 2012, he was awarded a full scholarship to the Harvard Business School's "Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management" Executive Education Program. In 2009, he served as a Fellow at Stanford University's Center for Social Innovation. He is a contributing editor to The Journal of Religion, Disability and Health and has served as a member of the advisory board for National Public Radio's "This I Believe" series. He may be contacted at

Mapping the Literature of Health Care Chaplaincy
The Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) recently published "Mapping the Literature of Health Care Chaplaincy" by Emily Johnson MLIS, Diane Dodd-McCue DBA, Alexander Tartaglia DMin, and Jennifer McDaniel MSLS AHIP (corresponding author). The study examined citation patterns and indexing coverage from 2008 to 2010 to determine (1) the core literature of health care chaplaincy and (2) the resources providing optimum coverage for the literature. It is hoped that this identification will be of great use to collection development librarians and library patrons involved in research and education in the field of health care chaplaincy. Health care chaplaincy researchers and educators considering publication will also find the study useful for identifying relevant journals from related disciplines.

Chaplains Can Help Veterans Connect to VA Resources
Make the Connection is a campaign by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that highlights powerful stories of strength and connection. At, veterans and service members from every military branch, service era and demographic group speak about their experiences during and after service, including how they faced adversity, reached out for support, and moved forward in their lives. Hundreds of short videos of veterans and their families are featured on this online resource. The site also includes information about mental health and resilience, signs and symptoms of problems, common life events and experiences, and a locator for veterans' resources across the country. Staff chaplains involved with hospitals, long-term care, mental health and other settings are invited to explore to download materials to print and distribute. You can also visit the Make the Connection YouTube channel, "like" the Make the Connection Facebook page, and share content with your friends and colleagues.

Newsletter Explores Research on Religion, Spirituality and Health
Duke University's Center for Spirituality, Theology & Health publishes a complimentary newsletter that provide updates on new research, news, current events and funding opportunities related to spirituality and health. The November 2013 issue is now available. Past issues are archived on the Duke website.

Healing HealthCare Systems & HeartMath Align to Reduce Stress in Hospital Environments and Promote Healing

Healing HealthCare Systems and HeartMath formed a strategic alliance to jointly offer educational content and resources to help create less stressful and more healing hospital environments for patients and staff.

"This partnership emerged from our shared mission to improve the human condition in hospitals and model heart-centered living," said Susan E. Mazer PhD, President and CEO of Healing HealthCare Systems

HeartMath systems is a set of scientifically validated tools and techniques that can help all people within an organization gain renewed energy, greater mental health and emotional clarity and reduce stress. Healing HealthCare Systems produces The C.A.R.E. Channel, environmental programming for patient television that is broadcast in more than 700 U.S. hospitals and residential care facilities. It also provides support products and educational training to improve the patient experience.


Resource Reviews for Continuing Education and Reference

Books, films, recorded webinars, journal articles and other media provide continuing education opportunities and reference material. To help you use your time most efficiently, our review section will evaluate media for professional or personal usefulness.

If you would like to join our resource review panel, please contact our Resource Reviews editor, Mardie Chapman BCC. Reviewers may select from a list of potential resources, receive a free copy of the publication or media to review, prepare the review according to guidelines, and submit reviews for editing and inclusion in APC e-News. Serving as a reviewer provides you with continuing education hours and the satisfaction of serving APC. Feedback, questions and suggestions are welcome.

Mardie J. Chapman MDiv MS BCC serves as the APC e-News Resource Reviews Editor. She is a chaplain at St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL and may be contacted at

Behavioral Health: Integrating Individual and Family Interventions in the Treatment of Medical Conditions
By Len Sperry
(New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2014, 219 pages, soft cover)
Behavioral Health This timely resource will be useful for chaplains, as it addresses mental health clinicians (MHCs) in light of new directions in health care arising from the Affordable Health Care Act and the shift from fee-for-service to fee-for-performance reimbursement systems. Sperry encourages MHCs to become partners in health care teams, and to refocus their treatment toward behavioral interventions with medical patients, especially those viewed as "under-motivated, non-complaint and otherwise resistant."
Len Sperry MD PhD, board certified in psychiatry and preventative medicine, is a prolific author with over 40 years of experience as a clinical supervisor and clinic director. Each chapter is a rewrite of previously published articles, on topics including his integrated behavioral health model and behavioral health interventions in the treatment of arthritis, asthma, breast cancer, cardiac disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes and lupus. Well-written and well-organized, each chapter includes clinical examples and concludes with numerous references.
Should chaplains read this text? Yes! Topics supporting chaplaincy practice include Sperry's distinction between disease and five categories of illness perception (ch. 4), phases of chronic illness (ch. 5), spiritual competencies (ch. 7), an introduction to motivational interviewing (ch. 9), four elements in holistic case conceptualization (ch. 10) and a series of questions adaptable to chaplaincy conversations from a nine-step interviewing strategy (ch. 12).
Chaplains responsible for creating and certifying competencies will benefit from his three models of ethical and professional practice (ch. 6), his description of integrating clinical, ethical and cultural competencies (ch. 2) and their development through training (ch. 22). An excellent chapter titled "Spiritual Considerations" includes nine spiritual competencies expected of mental health clinicians, which begs further conversation about professional boundary lines.
Sperry's holistic model is not new and is reminiscent of the holistic health centers, staffed by a physician, nurse and pastoral care provider that were created by Granger Westberg, who was originally a hospital chaplain. Clinically successful, they became a financial failure and the model evolved into the more enduring Parish Nurse program.
Reviewed by Roy F. Olson DMin BCC (retired) on-call chaplain, Advocate Sherman Hospital, Elgin, IL.

Counselling and Spiritual Accompaniment: Bridging Faith and Person-Centred Therapy
By Brian Thorne
(Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012, soft-cover, 366 pages)
Counselling and Spiritual Accompaniment Why pick up this book? Brian Thorne's personal firsthand relationship with Carl Rogers, the founder and developer of the person-centered (or "client-centered") approach to therapy, as well as his background in Christian theology, provide valuable insights for chaplaincy practice.
Thorne's writing style is reflective and narrative, seemingly disclosing his innermost thoughts. Thorne proposes that the three dominant clinical skills in developing the therapeutic alliance by Rogers -- unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruency, to which he adds a fourth, tenderness -- are essential for resolution of crises and conflicts. With Thorne's narrative and reflective flare, one gets the feeling that he is pointing to what chaplains and pastoral care specialists practice, pastoral presence, and that the key ingredient in the therapeutic process is, in fact, a spiritual discipline.  
Thorne wrote many of these reflections, papers, sermons and chapters in previous publications. In this volume, however, he pulls them all together, and shapes a chronological development of his pastoral psychology and therapeutic approach as a spiritual discipline. Thorne begins the first part with some of his earliest reflections on topics including, "The blessing and the curse of empathy" (1989), "Carl Rogers and the Doctrine of Original Sin" (1990) and "The God Who Comes on Good Friday-1946" (1991). Thus, in the early years of reflection, Thorne integrates our two primary disciplines: theology and psychology.
The second part explores person-centered counseling theory and Christian spirituality, including "The work of Carl Jung and Carl Rogers," "Julian of Norwich as the radical psychotherapist" and "The art of therapy as being a discipline of spirituality." The third part addresses what he calls the "Mystical Power of the Person-Centered Therapy" and he concludes the volume with what it means to "Cease to be a Therapist."
Sprinkled in these journalistic reflections and essays is the author's powerful prophetic voice, addressing the apparent harm of evidence-based pastoral psychotherapy as a preferred treatment. He addresses this apparent movement in the twenty-first century of insurance companies and government agencies preferring "evidence-based practices," and he cautions loudly against this trend.
What value does this volume have for the field of pastoral care? Chaplains will recognize much of what Thorne describes as central ingredients in the chaplain-patient relationship; he shares the heartening idea that through such intervention, patients often discover sufficient internal resources to address their current crisis and find their way. This compilation of historical person-centered psychology with spiritual disciplines could not have come at a more opportune time.
Reviewed by Beverly C. Jessup DMin BCC, CPSP diplomate, pastoral supervisor; clinical director of Pastoral Care, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, Pinehurst, NC.


Warrior Peace
by Melvin G. Brinkley BCC

Listen up to a hard topic
It's not gonna be a picnic
Made from stories biographic
Of those who are patriotic                     

Vets are the ones who hit the ground
Left their family and hometown
Duty, Honor and Country bound     
When others dodged vets hunkered down

Some came back from a combat zone
Without a scratch or broken bone
But something followed them back home
And haunts them when they're all alone

Can anyone say how they'd feel
To lose friends on the killing field
And have some say "It's no big deal,        
Move on, by now you should be healed"

Some vets act like they're still in a fight
Their war's over but they're not right
They can't stop screaming in the night
Those sweaty dreams just hang on tight

Vets don't have super powers
Never the big shot of the hour
Center stage receiving flowers
Safe up in an iv'ry tower    

Vets need lots of encouragement
More time to grieve, more time to vent
Getting better is time well spent        
Cost much more than dollars and cents

Vets have sacrificed more dearly     
For the freedom we all receive
Take the time to hear them clearly
What they did is hard to believe         

When you meet a hero struggling
Listen for what's really hurting
It's the compassion that you bring
That's the sure cure; the very thing

Melvin G. Brinkley BCC served in the U. S. military from 1977 until 2004. During his Air Force career he served in combat zones in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. He is currently a VA chaplain in Tucson, AZ and may be contacted at .


Too Much, but not Enough
by Mindy Quigley

The Simpsons is a great fun-house mirror for American life. One of my favorite scenes of all time shows Bart and the two devoutly Christian Flanders boys playing a video game in which they throw Bibles at heathens in order to convert them to Christianity. Bart's biblical projectile glances off of one of the heathens-making him a Unitarian. As a Unitarian Universalist myself, I've become used to being considered too religious by atheists and not religious enough by many Christians. The Bible must have just nicked me as it flew past!

Through my religious practice, I have become increasingly interested in the middle places between doubt and belief, between being a member of the flock and being the black sheep. The work of a hospital chaplain requires a unique ability to navigate this tricky middle ground. Like the creators of The Simpsons, I think that humor can be a good avenue for deepening our understanding, which is why it's so important to explore and celebrate the (sometimes unintentional) comedy that is part and parcel of being a religious professional.

Many of the young chaplains I know suffer constantly from a "too much, but not enough" view of their spirituality and professional calling. A few years ago, I went for a girls' night out with a young, single minister friend of mine. Two men approached us in a bar and started making small talk. Many young, single religious professionals can guess what happened next. How many conversations have you had - on planes, at cocktail parties, in bars - where the flirty banter screeches to an abrupt halt when your potential suitor asks, "So, what do you do?"? For women especially, it seems, answering, "I'm a minister," or "I'm a chaplain," can end a romantic moment more quickly than saying, "I own sixteen cats and I let them all sleep in my bed." Even if one's date clears that first hurdle, another lies ahead. Most chaplains are, almost by definition, tolerant of others' beliefs and ecumenical in their own beliefs. In America, religious toleration and acceptance are not frequently aligned with the abiding faith and deep commitment to spiritual practice that are part and parcel of being a religious professional. And so, there can emerge the converse problem that people sometimes assume that because you are a person who has chosen a religious profession, you are a person of their religious persuasion.

One of the most outlandish stories I have ever heard from the trenches of hospital chaplaincy was based around this kind of dynamic. A family who held a particularly inflexible view of Christianity was refusing to cooperate with "heathen" hospital staff. They clung to the Catholic hospital chaplain, who, by virtue of being the lone religious figure present, they took into their confidence. This priest was quickly dragged into a rather questionable religious rite at a patient's bedside. They spoke in tongues, their bodies shaken by the Holy Spirit; he sang prayers in Latin. Everyone was happier, though the nurses were perhaps rather bemused.

These complexities can be especially challenging for those chaplains who are not heterosexual. Many of the chaplains I have met are gay or lesbian, having come to chaplaincy after being unable to reconcile their sexual orientation with the expectations of their "home" Christian denomination. They wanted a life of religious service free of the harsh judgments of certain faith traditions, and found that they could occupy that middle ground by working as a chaplain. One of the main characters in a novel I published last year is a chaplain who is in a same-sex relationship. I remember one literary agent suggesting that I drop this gay chaplain character so that my book could be more readily marketed in Christian bookstores. I will admit that I considered it. (I've got bills to pay, after all!) But in the end, I decided that the book, like the lives of real chaplains, would have to embrace the space in between.

Chaplaincy is a unique calling, and occupies a unique place in a complicated American religious landscape. Whether you are someone who wholeheartedly embraces the Christian Bible (or the sacred text of another religion), someone who tosses it out the window, or someone who was nicked by it as it flew past, I will happily stand with you if you want to join me out here on the middle ground.

Mindy Quigley is a freelance writer and university administrator in Blacksburg, VA. She previously worked in the Pastoral Services Department at Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC. She may be contacted at


About APC e-News
APC e-News is the publication of the association that keeps members abreast of news, resources, events and topics of interest to professional chaplains. It also includes essays, reflections, feature articles, poetry, and reviews of books, media and other resources on chaplaincy-related topics. APC e-News is published eight times a year in February, March, May, June, July, September, November and December.

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