October 19-21

Wisdom, Therapy, 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

Networking happens all weekend:

Opening reception Friday afternoon and First-timers reception after the Friday opening plenary

Shared meals, walks around the lake and into the woods, running groups, and most especially our annual TALENT SHOW:



This is THE  place for the Southeast AAPC to see and hear itself! And what happens that night can be the stuff of wonder. We make music, tell jokes and stories, dance, or perhaps simply free associate. (One year someone actually broke a brick with his fist.) In fact, we never know quite what these creative persons among us may come up with. We do, however, have a splendid time doing it.

If you already know you'd like to perform, let us know! Please note - we make room for everyone so as wonderful as you are, there will be others who are also wonderful. Look for our sign-up sheet in the registration area for everyone save the NFPs on the Myers-Briggs, who will volunteer just prior to the show or after it has already started.

Did we mention that we live for this evening?


All under the watchful eye and melodious vocals of our esteemed MC, the possibly incomparable and always improbable Bart Grooms!

Kanuga 2018

Plenary Presentations by

Ken Pargament

author of

Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy

Tell us about
Kanuga Experience!
Ken Pargament, PhD


AAPC: Your book Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy has been immensely popular among therapists. What have you heard from readers about what's been most helpful to them about that book? 


KEN: Different readers have found different parts of the book helpful to them. Many readers appreciated the framework the book provides for understanding how spirituality can work in the lives of people, for better or worse. Other readers have felt the material on spiritual assessment especially useful because it provides some concrete ways to encourage a conversation about spirituality in therapy. More generally, readers have expressed their gratitude for the permission they feel the book has given them to address spiritual issues in therapy, issues they might otherwise have neglected.



AAPC: You're working on a book now about spiritual struggles in the lives of clients. What do you mean by "spiritual struggles" and what are you discovering as you do your research and writing. 


KEN: My colleague, Julie Exline, and I have been studying spiritual struggles in various groups of people (e.g., military veterans, clinical populations) for several years now and are in the midst of a book on the topic. Spiritual struggles refer to tensions and conflicts about sacred matters with God, with other people, or within oneself. We have found that these struggles are not at all unusual and can be a source of great distress and decline. Some people, however, can experience positive transformation and growth through their struggles. The key question for practitioners is how to help people move towards growth rather than brokenness through their spiritual struggles.  The experience of “sacred moments” may be one of the keys to positive transformation.



AAPC: Why does including the spiritual dimension in psychotherapy matter to you like it does?  


KEN: We are more than psychological, social, and physical beings. We are also spiritual beings. Spirituality is interwoven in every aspect of life. With respect to psychotherapy, spirituality can be a part of peoples’ problems and their solutions. Something of vital importance then is missing when we overlook spirituality in treatment; our therapy is incomplete. But when spirituality is more fully integrated, we are able to enhance the lives of our clients and our effectiveness as providers.



AAPC: What are you looking forward to about being with us at our SE conference? 


KEN: I am excited about sharing the exciting developments in research and practice on spiritually integrated psychotherapy, particularly the work on spiritual struggles and sacred moments. More personally, I love to learn from the experiences of the people who will be attending the conference and almost always walk away from conferences enriched by the stories others have told me.  



AAPC: In recent years, the importance of self care seems to be getting more of an emphasis. How do you define self care and (if you're willing) can you share what self care rituals you find to be most helpful? 


KEN: In the context of psychotherapy, conversations about spirituality often focus on how we can help our clients draw on their own spiritual resources to facilitate their mental health. But spirituality is more than a resource for our clients; it can also be a resource to support and sustain ourselves in the very challenging work of being a provider. It’s not easy listening to the stories of pain and suffering of clients day in and day out, and we as providers can experience our own vicarious traumatization and burnout. In the conference, we will talk about ways providers can access their own spiritual resources, including the cultivation of sacred moments, as a way to care for themselves in mental health treatment. 

Karen Shipp, Masters of Music

​​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.

Help Spread the Word!

Interview Continued

AAPC: The concept of "hope" is often just as present for the therapist as it is for client in our work. What generates "hope" for you, not just as a clinician, but as a human being?


KEN: People outside the mental health field often assume that work as a provider must be dark and depressing. And certainly, it can be difficult. But I feel tremendously fortunate to have been able to work as a therapist for so many years. My clients have often been a source of tremendous inspiration to me through their willingness to seek out help, share their lives with a stranger, take the risk of making changes, and persevering through tough times. They have taught me that change is possible even when it seems impossible. This is a message that I’ve not only been able to share with clients, but one I’ve been able to take to heart during my own tough times. In this sense, my clients have also been my own teachers.


AAPC: If you were a character on Gilligan's Island, who would you be? 


KEN: Okay, this is the toughest of all the questions. But I have to say that I rarely watched Gilligan’s Island. My favorite as a child was Leave It to Beaver. I must have identified with Beaver’s questions and confusion about the world and the seemingly naïve questions he always posed to his parents.  Eddie Haskell though really made the show for me – what a great manipulative schemer! I thought he was hilarious (but I’ll draw the line at trying to interpret what that says about me)!

We are a welcoming community of therapists and other professionals grounded in diverse spiritual traditions and communities of faith. Informed by research and science, we offer education, connection, and support for those engaged in vocations of compassion, transformation, and healing.

We invite all healing practitioners – pastoral counselors, psychotherapists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, ministers, coaches, physicians, nurses, public health workers, students in training in these professions, and others – to join us in this good work. ​ ~Adopted 2016

© 2016 by AAPC SE REGION