In the Beginning (1999)
In November 1999, six Korean Chaplains traveled to St. John Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York; one of the health care facilities of the Episcopal Health Services (EHS). They were to be trained under Rev. Dr. Richard Liew, who was the Director for the Pastoral Care Department, in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). This was the forerunner for indigenous Clinical Pastoral Education. The Indigenous CPE program provides clinical training in pastoral care within a specific cultural context. The program was developed by Rev. Dr. Liew with the collaboration of The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, New York – New Jersey Chapter (CPSP NY-NJ Chapter). The Chapter was under the leadership of Rev. Dr. John DeVelder and Rev. Dr. Steven Voytovich at that time. Since then, indigenous CPE has been expanded to other countries in the world.
A Vision (2000)
With the advent of the indigenous program, Rev. Dr. Liew, together with Rev. Dr. Steven Voytovich and Rev. Dr. John DeVelder wanted to also establish a culturally and contextually relevant credentialing organization for the program outside the United States.
From Vision to Action (2007-2012)
In 2007, Rev. Dr. Cecily Broderic became the Vice President for the Pastoral Care Department in EHS (a social outreach arm owned and operated by the Diocese of Long Island, New York). She supported this noble vision and successfully obtained a grant from EHS in 2009 to develop this credentialing organization.
In April 2010, Rev. Dr. Liew, Rev. Dr. Steven Voytovich and Rev. Dr. Cecily held a pro tem meeting with CPE practitioners from Australia, India, and Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting concluded that the Malaysian delegates, led by Annie Wong, would spearhead the project and Malaysia would operate as the center to establish the credentialing organization.
From April 2010 to July 2012, numerous deliberations were conducted to name the credentialing organization. Finally in September of 2012, after twenty nine months of preparation and deliberation, the Malaysian team had finally realized the vision and a credentialing organization outside the United States was established. It was quite a journey.
It has taken many years, from the conceptualization of the vision in 2000 to its formation in September 2012, for the American team and the Malaysian team to materialize this regional credentialing organization. This is the first regional credentialing organization of its kind and it is called the Asian Pacific Council for Clinical Supervision and Psychotherapy (APCCSP).
A culturally and contextually relevant credentialing organization for the pastoral care program outside the United States received a very warm welcome. In early 2014 CPE Centers and Programs from Africa, the Caribbean Islands, and some minority pastoral care groups in the United States began expressing their interest to have APCCSP accredit their CPE Center and Program, as the original organization and others moved away from focusing on this need. These requests prompted the Co-Founders of APCCSP to consider the idea of developing a sister credentialing organization in the United States to respond to this growing demand especially to countries which are geographically closer to America.
From APCCSP to AAICPSP (2015-2017)
In June 2015 Rev. Dr. Richard Liew and Rev. Dr. John deVelder held the very first pro tem meeting in St. Philip and St. James Church in Lake Success, New York, with a few APCCSP’s members who reside in New York. Thus, began the journey of exploring ways to develop its sister credentialing organization in the United States. These members are: Rev. Dr. Harold Lalande, Rev. Dr. Maria Lopez, Rev. Lawrence W. Swensen, Rev. Connie Ott Mitchell, Rev. Joan Fink, and Annie Wong.
From June 2015 to June 2017 the pro tem in New York met numerous times to deliberate on pertinent issues such as: naming the sister credentialing organization and exploring the legal compliance issues according to the New York State Law while recognizing the reality that United States was the birthplace of the CPE movement. The pioneer members spent time exploring the need to develop an Indigenous credentialing organization with emphasis on cultural connotation for the Western region. This is to include Pastoral Care and Pastoral Psychotherapy. Pastoral caregivers and therapists are hence called to increase their pastoral competency by equipping themselves with the knowledge of other cultures (to include the many cultures and sub-cultures) in order to become and remain effective. This is the niche the team has identified. This is the vision which has motivated the group to push forward to form the sister organization of APCCSP.
AAICPSP (2017- )
Finally in July of 2017, after two years of preparation, the sister organization of APCCSP was born as The American Association of Indigenous Clinical Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (AAICPSP), with the Rev. Dr. Harold Lalande LP as its President and Chairperson.
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