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Curriculum development: Part II: Clinical Pastoral Education 

Curriculum development: Part II: Clinical Pastoral Education
Curriculum development: Part II: Clinical Pastoral Education

Angelika A. Zollfrank

and Catherine F. Garlid

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date: 03 December 2021

The spiritual wellbeing of persons dealing with a healthcare crisis demands the attention of religious professionals and healthcare providers. There is growing consensus in the USA that professional board certified chaplains bring special expertise to spiritual care in the area of chronic illness, palliative care, and traumatic medical events. For optimal care the Palliative Care Consensus Report recommends interdisciplinary spiritual care models that enable health care professionals to identify spiritual issues and concerns. Multiple training modalities and programs offer education in compassionate spiritual care, particularly for healthcare providers. There is awareness that a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)- trained board-certified chaplain, as part of an inter-professional team is well-suited to provide expertise and guidance relative to the spiritual diagnosis and corresponding spiritual care. In this chapter the focus will be on CPE as a distinct pathway to spiritual care competence. CPE is closely supervised, experiential, clinical training for professional spiritual care givers of multiple religious and spiritual (R/S) backgrounds. Guided by patients’ and families’ needs, CPE trains spiritual care givers to provide respectful R/S care to patients, families, staff, and healthcare institutions. The CPE process deepens spiritual care givers’ emotional and spiritual self-awareness and professional identity formation. CPE trains religious leaders, clergy, seminarians, lay persons and healthcare providers to translate effectively between and become literate in the languages of modern Western medicine, multiple ancient belief and value systems, and the intersecting experiences of illness and faith.

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