Today I begin a 10 week program called Clinical Pastoral Education, otherwise known as CPE. One year ago, I was very excited about the experience; I had just completed a Pastoral Care course with Deborah Hunsinger, and I was looking forward to seeing how pastoral care actually worked. Last night I googled “clinical pastoral education” and found the above photo: two people drawing and creating art.
Great, CPE shouldn’t be too hard then.
Sure. Anyone who has gone through CPE either knows the challenges first hand or have heard others’ CPE stories. I have no idea what to expect from my summer experience. I’ve heard both very positive and very negative things about my placement, but I’m prepared to begin today expecting a hard and challenging, but rewarding, experience. I can only hope that is the case. Because…the fact of the matter is I don’t talk about my “feelings” very well. Generally when asked a “feeling” question, I respond with, “Well, I think I feel…” I’ve been told again and again to stop right there. “I don’t want to know what you think you’re feeling, tell me what you’re feeling. Connect with your feelings.”
Yes, I am very excited for this…
Again, I don’t know exactly what my duties will be this summer, but as someone who is part of a CPE team, I’ll be acting as a Chaplain in a large university hospital – doing 24hr on-call evenings at the hospital among many other things. I will write more, if I’m able, about what will be required and some of my reflections about the experience. Until then – if you’ve done CPE, or if you know people who have, please be thinking about me from now until August 10th.