Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy (SIP) Curriculum, SIP Trainer Save-the-Date, and More
By Russell Siler Jones, ThD, LPCS, Psychotherapy Commission Member | February 3, 2020

Last week we introduced ACPE’s brand-new Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy Program. The SIP Program is an educational and formational outreach to mental health practitioners who want to learn more about integrating spirituality into their psychotherapy practice. It is both a translation of the pastoral counseling tradition, to make it accessible for clinicians whose training has not included theological study, and a repackaging of the pastoral counseling tradition, to make it accessible in the continuing-education-workshop format that meets the licensure needs of psychotherapists. 

If you missed that article, click here for a quick catch-up. This week we’ll continue the introduction and let you know how you can be involved.

The SIP Curriculum
The foundation of ACPE’s SIP Program is a 30-hour continuing education curriculum. The curriculum has two main emphases: 

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How therapists can elicit and make use of their clients’ spiritual perspectives; and  
How therapists can make ethically appropriate use of their own spiritual perspectives.

It consists of 10, 3-hour workshops (30 hours of NBCC-approved continuing education credit):

Course

Number

Course Titles

Contact Hours

1

Foundations and Ethics of Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy

3

2

Developing Spiritual Conversations in Psychotherapy

3

3

Spiritual Assessment

3

4

Spiritual Interventions: Working with Spiritual Resources, Part 1

3

5

Spiritual Interventions: Working with Spiritual Resources, Part 2

3

6

Spiritual Interventions: Working with Harmful Spirituality and Religion

3

7

Spiritual Interventions: Working with Spiritual Struggles

3

8

Spirituality and Belief System of the Therapist

3

9

Spiritually Integrated Case Consultation, Part 1

3

10

Spiritually Integrated Case Consultation, Part 2

3

 

Total Contact Hours

30

Many of the 10 workshops can be taken independently for continuing education credit. However, the curriculum is most effective when taken in its entirety and in sequence.

Good, Better, Best
We have piloted the SIP curriculum four times already, to 65 therapists. Based on their feedback, we are confident that clinicians who take this training will integrate spirituality into their work with greater competence and confidence. One participant, a charter member of AAPC, former Diplomate, and retired ACPE Educator (and still practicing psychotherapy at age 87!) wrote us this: “I curiously found myself having more spiritually oriented interaction with my clients than previously. The greater percentage of in-depth work at both conscious and unconscious levels was palpable.”

But the SIP Curriculum, good as it may be, is actually a “gateway drug.” It offers therapists a taste of what we do and introduces them to a community of colleagues and mentors with whom they can learn and grow over time.  Some of those who meet us by way of the continuing education workshops will take a next step and enter a case consultation process with an approved trainer that leads to ACPE Certification in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy. That’s better. And beyond certification, they will join a local SIP Community of Practice that will support their professional development and formation over time. That’s best

SIP Is a Grassroots Program
All of this will be happening locally. ACPE’s SIP Program is not a top-down, expert-from-the-outside, see-you-later model. It is a grassroots, member-led, with-you-over-time program. It “happens” as SIP Trainers offer the program (Curriculum + Consultation + Community of Practice) in the communities where they have lived and worked and built relationships for years. ACPE will provide SIP Trainers with the support they need to grow the program locally – a ready-to-use, workshop-based curriculum, affiliation with “the standard in spiritual care and education,” loads of logistical help, and a SIP Trainer Community of Practice – but the program is powered by SIP Trainers willing to serve other therapists in their community. 

SIP Trainer Save-the-Date
If you see yourself as an elder in this field – and I mean elder not in a chronological sense, but in a functional sense: someone with gifts for embodying a wisdom tradition and passing it forward – I hope you’ll consider becoming a SIP Trainer. Next week’s newsletter will be packed with information about what that means, but for now, please circle these two dates on your calendar: 

February 21 (Friday), 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm EST – SIP Trainer Informational Meeting, held on the Zoom platform -- we’ll record it if you’re unable to attend
May 29-30 (Friday-Saturday) -- SIP Train the Trainer weekend – location TBD 

Again, lots and lots of information in next week’s newsletter, so please hold your questions till then. But save those dates!
 
Stay Tuned, Be in Touch
Keep your eyes on the weekly newsletter for more information about the SIP Program, and reach out to Ruth McPhail-Ubaldo or Russell Siler Jones if you have questions or comments..