The Rev. Dr. Wayne Clark, Director of Clinical Training at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, was approved for Diplomate status, the highest level of membership in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC). Following an interview with Clark on September 18, 2010, in Memphis, Tenn., the certification committee announced that he had met all requirements for Diplomate membership.
Since 2008, Clark has directed the clinical training center for the Seminary’s nationally recognized pastoral counselor/marriage and family therapy training program, which prepares students for the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) degree. One of only a few accredited, seminary-based programs in the nation, the Seminary’s marriage and family therapy program integrates study in marriage and family therapy, theological disciplines, and clinical practice. As director, Clark is responsible for students’ clinical experience, practica, managing the policy and administrative structure of the program, and working with the Seminary’s pastoral counseling faculty.
Diplomate certification recognizes Clark’s achievements in academic work, research, teaching and/or supervising pastoral care and counseling, writing, and leadership in the AAPC. The designation further certifies him to provide supervision in pastoral counseling; to teach persons for pastoral ministry and pastoral counseling; and to help communicate the ongoing integration of theology and spirituality and the behavioral sciences among supervisees.
Clark has served 37 years in pastoral ministry and pastoral counseling. Prior to his leadership at Louisville Seminary, Clark served as pastor of several United Methodist congregations in Iowa, as executive director of three Samaritan Counseling Centers, and as a District Superintendent of the Dubuque District, Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church.
In addition to his AAPC membership, he is a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and an approved AAMFT supervisor. He has provided supervision for individuals and groups and led numerous workshops and seminars in the United States and abroad.
Clark holds the Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Seminary with an emphasis in pastoral counseling and a Doctor of Ministry in pastoral psychotherapy and medical genetics from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He has also published a number of articles and essays in newspapers and journals, including “Genetics: What MFTs Should Know” (1998) and “Scenes from the Therapy Room” (2003) in Marriage and Family Therapy News; “Redemption: On Becoming Human” in Expository Times (2003, Edinburgh, Scotland); and “Grief, A Process of Becoming” in the Nebraska Trooper (2004).
As part of his Diplomate certification Clark submitted a paper on his theory of supervision, in which he stressed the importance of narrative therapy, or recognizing the use of “story” by individuals as they attempt to find the meaning of life events. From the counselor’s perspective it is “separating the person from the problem.”
“As supervisors, the narrative process enables us to help supervisees move outside of the problems to solve and enable them to find freedom to be more creative in self-development and clinical work,” said Clark. “The Narrative Process sees individuals as heroes and heroines that have loosened the grip problems have had on them. Supervisors see supervisees through a similar lens when they see them growing more competence and confidence with the lived experiences of their own story.”
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