AAPC Pastoral Counselors

AAPC Northwest Region


Welcome to the website of the AAPC Northwest Region of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC). Membership is open to all who support the AAPC mission to bring healing, hope and wholeness to individuals, families and communities by expanding and equipping spiritually grounded and psychologically informed care, counseling and psychotherapy.

Moral injury has recently been researched with military personnel and veterans whose suffering arises not from the fear of life-threatening events but from the shame and guilt of causing harm. Moral stress was first described by healthcare professionals worried about not providing adequate care that addressed the moral stress and injury arising from the shame and fear of causing harm through not putting core values into practice, like protecting life. Negative health outcomes arise for those who do not get specific help with religious, spiritual and moral struggles.

Keynote Speaker: Carrie Doehring, Ph.D.

Carrie Doehring is Professor of Pastoral Care at Iliff School of Theology and in the joint Ph.D. program with Denver University. She directs the Masters of Arts in Pastoral and Spiritual Care and the course provider program on military ministry. She is ordained in the Presbyterian Church, USA and licensed psychologist In Colorado and Massachusetts, as well as a Diplomate in AAPC. She is the author of 38 chapters and articles and three books. She explores how people draw upon religious faith and spirituality to cope with experiences like trauma, moral stress, and prejudice.

Approved for 6 CE by Commonwealth Education
Seminars and National Board for Certified Counselors

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A Trifocal Lens - by Greg Johanson

One of the joys of having Carrie Doehring as our conference speaker is the simple, eloquent and effective way she deals with postmodern issues.  In my own 1,500 page dissertation (that everyone should run out and read immediately), I spilled a lot of ink dealing with postmodern epistemology and how it could allow for the on-line pastoral care and counseling many of us do.  In her 2006 Westminster-John Knox Press book The Practice of Pastoral Care:  A Postmodern ApproachDr. Doehring deals with such subjects in a beautifully efficient, practical, and powerful way.  We will have opportunities to have some wonderful conversations with her over this matter.  Just to give a quick preview of what we can expect, I am copying a paragraph from her book.

In my approach to pastoral care I invite pastoral caregivers to view their ministry through trifocal lenses that include premodern, modern, and postmodern approaches to knowledge. Using a premodernlens, pastors assume for the moment that God, or that which is sacred, can be glimpsed and apprehended to some degree through sacred texts, religious rituals and traditions, and religious and spiritual experiences—the way transcendent realities seemed to be known within the ancient and medieval church prior to the use of critical approaches to knowledge introduced by Enlightenment thinkers.  Using a modernlens, pastoral caregivers draw upon rational empirical methods, like biblical critical methods, medical knowledge, and the social sciences, in offering pastoral care.  A postmodernlens brings into focus the contextual and provisional nature of knowledge, including knowledge of God. (page 2)

See you at the conference; an important special event!

Fall Newsletter
Paul Shoup
AAPC Northwest Region Chair

To My Dear AAPC-NW Friends,

Do I have news for you! Not too many years ago we were asking the question if we were going to die or not.  Our answer to that was NO! Since then we have had two regional conferences, several sub-regional case consultations, several sub-regional book studies and an attempt to help those in the “hinter lands” to have some connection. (read more)

Membership Ahoy!
Anthony Terndrup
AAPC Northwest Region Treasurer

On September 20th, President Tere Canzoneri sent a word to inform us that “AAPC & ACPE Explore a Common Future.”   As our Region navigates the uncharted waters of our Northwest Passage to this new horizon, the Spirit of our association is calling “all hands on deck!”  Please renew your regional membership today to embark with us on this promising voyage into tomorrow Click Here to Renew.  Your affiliation and support with help us to keep our mission of pastoral counseling afloat and on course over this sea of change. 

Pastoral Psychotherapy as Lectio Divina

- Anthony Terndrup, PhD, LMHC, AAPC Fellow

Every other year for the past five years, I have enjoyed the honor and privilege of teaching a course in Pastoral Care to the Pastoral Ministry graduate students at the University of Portland.  One of the texts I assign the students to read is Caring Ministry:  A Contemplative Approach to Pastoral Care(Continuum, 2005).  The author, Sarah A. Butler, is an Episcopal priest, spiritual director, retreat leader, and interim pastor. I first introduced myself to her work when I myself was a Pastoral Ministry graduate student at the University of Portland and was writing a research paper on Centering Prayer during the Fall Semester of 2007.

In the first chapter of Caring Ministry, titled Pastoral Care as Contemplative Journey, Butler parallels the dynamics of Lectio Divinaand pastoral care, the latter of which pastoral psychotherapy is a particular expression.  She reminds us “lectio divinais the Christian contemplative tradition’s way of reading and praying with the Holy Scriptures” (p. 19) before she continues:

Lectio divinabegins in reading and reflecting.  From there it moves into a dialogue with God and our emotional responses.  It eventually ends with our resting in the silence of divine presence.  This movement echoes the rhythms of pastoral care.  Out of this “conversation,” through which we learn the care receiver’s story emerges the intimacy that allows self-disclosure.  The dynamic of intimacy and self-disclosure allows caregivers to move into the peace when they can offer a quiet presence, the contemplative dimension of caregiving (p. 19).

In diagrammatic form, Butler outlines these parallel dynamics (p. 20).  Consider my following application of her comparisons to pastoral psychotherapy as a particular expression of pastoral care:



Lectio Divina


Pastoral Psychotherapy




Read the sacred story.


Listen to your client’s sacred story.




Reflect on your inner experience of the sacred story.


Reflect your “reading” of your client’s inner experience.




Freely express the outpouring of your reflection.


Allow your client to respond to your reflection.




Relinquish all reflections and responses.  Allow God to speak in the mystery of silence, stillness, and presence.


Relinquish your need to know the outcome.  Offer hope, silence, or simply your presence. 

According to Butler, “another striking comparison between lectio divinaand pastoral care is the value of the repetition of the story” (p. 19).  Reading sacred stories and listening to those our clients share with us over and over again allow us to uncover and elicit a range of reflections and responses.  In pastoral psychotherapy, healing happens as both counselor and client “express multiple feelings, ask difficult questions, and listen to God’s call to reorder that which was in disorder” (pp. 19-20). 

Reference:  Butler, Sarah A.  (2005). Caring Ministry:  A Contemplative Approach to Pastoral Care.  New York:  Continuum.

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