October 20-22

Wisdom, Medicine, and the Soul:  Connections in Care

Learning, networking, and renewal in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

We extend a warm AAPC SE welcome to ALL mental health professionals, ministers, students, and others interested in the intersection of psychotherapy, spirituality, and theology.  Attendees can earn CE HOURS from NBCC- and AAMFT-approved continuing education, including  Ethics credits.

Full Conference Brochure

Workshop Slides & Materials

Kanuga 2017

Plenary Presentations by

Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD


Chanequa Walker-Barnes, PhD, MDiv, MS

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Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD
Chanequa Walker-Barnes, PhD, MDiv, MS
Karen Shipp, Masters of Music

Accompanying Wayfarers: Mental Health, Theology, and Human Flourishing

Modern mental health care is dominated by medical models of diagnosis and treatment, frequently structured by the diagnostic categories of the DSM.  But as current debates like the relationship between moral injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) make clear, the DSM is not only a clinical, but also a moral, document.  It has a complicated political history, and its diagnoses, however useful, always emerge within particular social and political contexts.  Healing practitioners must therefore supplement our use of the DSM with a broader vision of what it means to be human. For this conference, we will move beyond medical models and explore how theology and faith community practices can both set the DSM in its proper place and point the way to innovative paths to healing. We will engage the importance of stories and explore the Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas’ depiction of humans as wayfarers journeying to God – an image that bears practical fruit for everything from counseling to the use of psychiatric medication. Finally, we will engage the role of healing community and explore particular episodes within religious history in which people of faith have developed ideas and practices that remain fruitful and transformative for the care of people with mental health problems.


Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD, is Associate Research Professor of Psychiatry and Pastoral and Moral Theology at Duke University Medical Center and Duke Divinity School, a staff psychiatrist at the Durham VA Medical C enter, and co-director of the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative at Duke Divinity School.  A psychiatrist and Christian theologian, he is interested in the ways faith communities engage mental illness and walk with people with mental health problems.

Black Women and the Burden of Strength

Black women are strong. At least that’s what everyone says and how they are constantly depicted. But what, exactly, does this strength entail? And what price do Black women pay for it? In this plenary, Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes examines how three core features of the StrongBlackWoman ideology — emotional strength, caregiving, and independence — constrain the lives of African American women and predispose them to physical and emotional health problems, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and anxiety. Drawing upon womanist pastoral theology and twelve-step philosophy, she calls upon pastoral caregivers to aid in the healing of African American women’s identities and crafts a twelve-step program for StrongBlackWomen in recovery.

As our pastoral musician, Karen will lead times of centering at the beginning of each plenary. She will also offer her leadership in worship on Sunday, bringing with her a love of diversity in music, including classical, gospel, and world music.

As the daughter of a preacher, Karen grew up in the church and music has always played an important role in her life. Following her graduate music studies in Organ Performance, she moved to New York City to study singing and perform as an opera singer. While there, she continued to work in the churches as organist and/or choir director in a variety of settings; among them, Dutch Reformed, American Baptist, Catholic, and Episcopal churches. After 21 years of living and working as a musician in NYC, Karen accepted the position of Minister of Music at Oakhurst Baptist Church in 2001.

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Friday Schedule

10:30               Registration begins

Noon               Lunch

1:00-2:30       Workshops (see below)

2:45 – 4:45    AAPC Southeast Region:  

                           Supporting the Care of Souls , Part 1

5:00-6:00      Reception

6:00                 Dinner

7:00-9:00        Opening Plenary: 

                            Dr. Warren Kinghorn

 9:15                   Reception for Newcomers and Students

Friday Workshop Schedule

Session I

1:00 – 2:30 PM

(1.5 CE hours)

It's About Time

-Jim Coffman


This workshop stimulates continuing reflections on the phenomenon of time and the linguistic process of story.Joan Didion writes, "We tell ourselves stories in order to live."I submit that good storytelling manifests a destination, a path, a direction, and that storytellers inevitably deal with problems and barriers in negotiating the course of life.Thus, we clinicians early on ask the counselee where they want to go or what is their goal?It is here we create therapeutic space and participate in a stewardship of time to test the possibilities of the counselee realizing the desired destination.Some stories are worth living and the clinician may be called to imaginatively demonstrate stories, with associated memories, feelings, and choices, which make possible the counselee's goal.Alternatively, to participate in creating "negative postdiction," the opposite of "positive prediction," probably destines us to failure in the therapeutic endeavor.Clinical examples will be used and solicited in our stewardships of time and story.


The Enneagram: Bridging Psychology and Spirituality

-Jeanine Siler Jones

The Enneagram is a powerful guide to deeper connections with ourselves, with others, and with God.  This ancient symbol offers a map for cultivating an authentic witnessing presence, as we seek not so much to know more, but to know with more of ourselves.  As we practice working skillfully with our personality, recognizing its gifts and shadow, and loosening the grip of habit and identification, we can experience a deeper sense of presence and attention. Bring an open heart and curiosity about yourself and others, and let’s see what we can discover together.


Partnership for Pastoral Counseling: An Ongoing Story of Collegiality

    -Dr. Michael Hester and Rebecca Wells


For 20 Years, the Partnership for Pastoral Counseling has served churches and the community of Western North Carolina as a funding subsidy for clients who could not afford faith-based counseling. The organization has subsidized over 20,000 hours of counseling with almost $1 million supporting 12 pastoral counseling providers in Asheville, NC and the surrounding counties. The story will be told by the Founder, the Executive Director, and a Provider/Board Member. We will present its history, working documents, challenges and successes, and how it might work in another community. We will also tell the story of our 20th anniversary conference for the community in May 2016, “Bridging Differences in a Polarized World: Spiritual Wisdom & Practical Tools.” We present this story to provide a living example of the spiritual values of generosity and abundance, as opposed to “turf-ism” and scarcity.

Conditions May Vary—Field Notes from the Trail

      -Bill Harkins

We are in a time of unprecedented change in the church, the academy/seminary, healthcare, and our in own pastoral care disciplines and guilds. Over the past five years the presenter has served as psychological health faculty for Episcopal CREDO and as a consultant to parishes, Dioceses, the Episcopal Church Pension Group, and other contexts. In this workshop the presenter will draw upon “Field Notes” gathered in this season of our common life, drawing upon his experience as a trail runner and utilizing disciplines and practices from Mindfulness and Benedictine traditions. The group will discuss the challenges and possible solutions amidst caring for clergy, ourselves, churches and other institutions in crisis, and our own discipline during these challenging times. Learning objectives include practical guidelines for consultation, psychotherapy with clergy and care of the soul in times of transition.




Spiritual Trauma of Sexual Identity

    -Portia Smith and Daniel Stillwell

Sexual identity is continuing to be further nuanced and developed in both the academic and the psychotherapeutic arenas. Both therapists and clients are becoming increasingly competent at being aware of and addressing the dimensions of orientation, preference, intensity, plurality, and expression both within and outside of the cultural norms of gender and sexual identity. Additionally, the discussion around the spiritual aspects of trauma have increasing evidence both anecdotally and in the empirical literature. This workshop will assist participants in their understanding of both developing subfields as well as their potent intersection. Clinical best practices and exercises will be discussed and practiced with the participants. While the presenters will assume some basic knowledge on these various topics, there will be ample time in the workshop devoted to participant discussion and questions.


Saturday Workshop Schedule

9:00-12:00    Plenary:  Dr. Warren Kinghorn

1:00-3:00       Plenary: 

                                 Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes

                                Black Women and the Burden of Strength

3:15-5:15         Plenary: Dr.  Warren Kinghorn

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Sunday Workshop Schedule

9:00 – 10:30 AM

Introduction to the New Certificate in Spiritually Integrated Practice

     -​John Eddinger, Bill Harkins, David Harris, Russell Jones, Steve Scoggin



Case Presentation: A model for Group Consultation

     -Robert Cooke

A graduate student will present a case that has offered a challenge in pastoral psychotherapy.The Case Presentation will offer reflections in areas of personal and theological dilemmas facing the work of the relationship and how this relationship has informed their growth and development as a therapist.The participants will have an opportunity to reflect with the presenter and will be guided by mentor and Pastoral Counselor, Robert Cooke.

Relational Mutuality: A Kenotic Social Ethic for Handling Privilege

     -Michael Beal

This workshop places a feminist theology of kenosis in dialogue with relational intersubjectivity and postcolonial social ethics to propose an approach to pastoral care and psychotherapy that addresses the potentially adverse effects of intersectional privileges on minoritized clients. Feminist kenosis offers a “power-for” approach to self-emptying that corrects for monovalent applications of kenotic ethics, which ironically privilege patriarchal, middle-class, white values and reinforce the social status quo, which is often problematic.

Intersubjectivity situates this kenosis within its irreducibly relational context. And postcolonial social ethics highlights the intersectional effects of disparities in various social privileges within the caring relationship. Together, these components foster an approach to the practice of healing relationships that accounts for often neglected factors and thus promotes human, communal flourishing.


Morality and the Evaluation of the Political Patient

     -William Scar

This was not just about politeness…it was an acceptance of the fact that religion and politics receive the projections of the most troublesome aspects of our inner lives.Therefore religion and politics cannot be openly discussed without the risk of verbal dissension or even physical conflict.This workshop will delve into the meaning of different expressions, and how our own understanding can guide the family toward its real goals of avoiding disintegration. We will look at how our own resistance manifests itself, and discuss ways to turn our own resistance into ways of positively joining with those in our care.

In the past several years we have witnessed increasingly strident expressions of political and moral opinion within the treatment setting for families and individuals. It is often presented as the reason for the conflict and emotional turmoil that bring people to seek our help.

Conference Fees (not including accommodations)
  $140 for members (25% discount)

  $180 for non-members

  $95: Retirees
  $50: full-time student (will be asked to help with some conference work)
One day pass: $95
Need continuing education credit? $30

 The cost of meals is included in the price of staying at Kanuga.

A typical cost from Friday lunch to Sunday lunch is about $245 for a double room.

Budget-minded accommodations are available in dormitory setting for $115!

Adult commuter rates for meals are optional and available.

Accommodations reservations are accessible through the registration link.

Reservations for accommodations should not be made directly through Kanuga.


Need a Scholarship?
If you are a full-time student, unemployed, or can provide some reason for financial need, you are encouraged to apply for a scholarship! All decisions will be made by the program committee. Please send an email with your request to JoEllen Holmes, program chair, at jholmeslcsw@gmail.com. We will ask that you volunteer with the program committee during the weekend. Examples of volunteer activities include helping at registration, assisting the speakers, or planning worship

New Discounted Lodging Accommodations
Kanuga is offering a discounted housing package. The Carter Lodge Dorm has 2 medium rooms and 2 larger rooms all with bunk beds, several bathrooms in the middle of the building, and a good sized living room and two rooms with one bunk bed in each that affords a little privacy. The price per person, per day, which includes three meals, is $54. This lodging option is reserved to students and counselors in training to reduce the overall expense of attending the conference.

Other local lodging options

Leoni's Mountain Lake Inn