Caring for Those that Care

Caring for others is a joy and a struggle.

Quoting from the,

Professional quality of life is the quality one feels in relation to their work as a helper. Both the positive and negative aspects of doing one’s job influence ones professional quality of life. People who work in helping professions may respond to individual, community, national, and even international crises. Helpers can be found in the health care professionals, social service workers, teachers, attorneys, police officers, firefighters, clergy, airline and other transportation staff, disaster site clean-up crews, and others who offer assistance at the time of the event or later.

Understanding the positive and negative aspects of helping those who experience trauma and suffering can improve your ability to help them and your ability to keep your own balance.“

On the positive side of caring is Compassion Satisfaction. Most of us feel good when we help (or try to help) someone in need. However, there is a negative side as well. Negative results of caring include:  Compassion Fatigue, Burnout,
Secondary Traumatic Stress. Primary Traumatic Stress, and Vicarious Traumatization.  Understanding these issues can be helpful in a caregiver. Early recognition of burnout or traumatic stress can lead to useful treatment in refreshment, renewal, and transformation.

A simple test that is freely made available by ProQOL can be used for compassion satisfaction, burnout and secondary traumatic stress. It is available in many languages.

Click on to get the test, and manual, and guidance on use.


Open House at PBTS

pbts blc agreement 2

Agreement Signing. Dr. Armand Canoy (President of PBTS), and Dr. Bob Munson (Administrator of Bukal Life Care)

We had a great day at Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (PBTS). For approximately two years PBTS (Baguio City, Philippines) has allowed us to use a space there for our CPE training and counseling use.  However today, June 25th, we formally signed an agreement with PBTS working out the nature of our partnership. We are thankful for the the commitment PBTS has made to pastoral care and clinical pastoral education, and look forward to a fruitful partnership. The signing was done during seminary Convocation ceremonies, by Dr. Armand Canoy, President of PBTS) and Dr. Robert Munson, Administrator of Bukal Life Care.

After the Convocation Ceremony, all were invited to come over to our office for snacks. Over 100 students, staff, faculty, and guests joined us.

We work with a number of schools and denominations. However, we have worked with PBTS on some level since our founding in 2009, so we appreciate the opportunity to work with at the seminary and with the student body there.

Staff Team bStaff of Bukal Life Care during Open House on June 25, 2013

        From left to right: Becky Taylor, Joyce Gray, Celia Munson, Bob Munson, Bart Dela Cruz, Jehny Pedazo

Theology and Psychology: Brief Consideration

We get questions at times with regards to the relationship between the Christian faith and Psychology when it comes to counseling. Between various schools of thought, some of whom appear to be at war with each other, it can be quite difficult to know what is what, to say nothing about what is right. We are not going to try to explain all of the differences. A good place to start would be “Psychology & Christianity: Five Views” edited by Eric L. Johnson, with contributors from five schools David G. Myers, Stanton L. Jones, Robert C. Roberts, P. J. Watson, John H. Coe, Todd W. Hall, David A. Powlison. The five “schools” are:Psychology and Theology
Levels of Explanation
      -Transformational Psychology
      -Christian Psychology/Counseling
      -Biblical Counseling

Transformational Psychology on first glance at least seems to simply be a type of Christian Psychology. Because of lack of detailed knowledge of Transformational Psychology, and because our counseling center tends to work mostly within the Pastoral Care movement, the diagram shows Pastoral Care instead.

If the X-axis shows the focus of the counseling. The farther to the right, the greater the emphasis on theology. The farther to the left, the greater the emphasis on (secular) psychology. Near the origin on the X-axis is a more balanced approach. The Y-axis shows the philosophy of the counseling. The farther positive (“up”) the greater the philosophy towards integration of theology and psychology. The farther negative (“down”) the greater the philosophy of separation, or reducing dialogue between theology and psychology in treatment.

It is important to note that the X-axis has on the positive side “theology” not “Bible.” There is a couple of reasons for this. For one, while Bilbical Counseling describes its basis as the Bible, not everyone would agree that its principles are Biblical. Rather, it is safer to say that that Biblical Counseling is based on a theological understanding of the role of the Bible in counseling. A second reason for using the term “theological” is that the Pastoral Care movement takes very seriously the integration of faith/theology and psychology, but some practitioners utilize theologies that do not have the Bible as its base.

Looking at the four quadrants, the five views covered produce a continuous (and overlapping) curve. At one extreme in the lower left is the “Levels of Explanation” view. It tends to focus on Psychology and separates human problems into categories (levels of explanation)… some that are the domain of psychology, and some that are the domains of other specialties. In the upper left are the Integrationists. While all in the upper quadrants could be described as integrational, here the term tends to be used by those that focus more on psychology than on theology. Those that are more integrationist (strong) see a greater role for theology. Those that are less integrationist (weak) see a lesser role for theology.

In the upper right quadrant are two groups. One is Christian Counseling and the other is Pastoral Care. Arguably, these two greatly overlap. Both place a strong role for theology but seek to be effectively informed by findings in secular psychology that have been found useful. Since both Christian Counseling and Pastoral Care overlap, they could easily be seen as one school. They are often kept separate for two reasons. First, they developed differently. Christian Counseling came as a reaction to integrationists on one side and Biblical counseling on the other, in the 1980s. Its underlying theology tends to be relatively conservative. Pastoral Care is older coming from the Clinical Pastoral Training movement in the 1920s and beyond. While it does not, strictly speaking, have only one underlying theological perspective, the average pastoral care practitioner would be seen as more theologically liberal than the average Christian counselor. In the lower right quadrant is Biblical Counseling. It was a reaction to the left quadrant practitioners in the early 1970s. Originally known as Nouthetic Counseling. It takes a more negative view of psychological principles and methods that are seen as not coming from the Bible. As such there is a strong separation between counseling they feel is consistent with the Bible, and counseling based on sources outside the Bible. Recent movements in Biblical Counseling have sought to find more integration, but separation still dominates the movement.

Perhaps it is best not to focus on “Who is right” and focus on what each has to offer. Biblical Counseling tends to focus on sin and behavioral changes. In some cases that is the care needed. For serious psychoemotional problems such as personality disorders and psychoses, the integrationists and levels of explanation practitioners are better prepared to assist recovery. For problems such as conflicts, being “sinned against,” self-esteem, and such, perhaps Christian counseling and Pastoral Care have more tools to help.

When it comes to treatment, one size may NOT fit all.

Products from Jail in Baguio and Benguet

Some of our Chaplain Trainees have been working with the Baguio City Jail and Benguet District Jail (La Trinidad). They asked if we could put some of the products produced by the inmates (as part of their retraining and income development) would be put on the Web. The items that are brown look like they are wicker, but are actually skillfully made from tightly rolled-up newspaper. You would be amazed at some of the products and how they are made from things most of us throw away. We own a beautiful swan sculpture picture frame made at the Baguio City Jail from gum wrappers. It is inspiring and reminds us how God takes people the world has “thrown out” and makes something wonderful and new from their lives.

We are not a store (and don’t plan to become one anytime soon). Still, we are wholeheartedly in support of helping the inmates in their wholistic growth and rehab. If you have any questions about the products, please forward them to us at, and we will gladly forward them to Sister Tammy.
Jail Products 1

Jail Products 2

Upcoming CPE Batches

Mid-June. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) batch led by Joyce Gray. This will probably be a mixed group… some doing Intensive and some Extended (this depends somewhat on the negotiation between the trainees and training supervisor).

Mid-July. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) batgch led by Celia Munson.
This will be an Extended, 18-week class. This will be a bit of an experiment for us, with all group work done on Saturdays. This is especially for those who work 5-days a week.

CPE Batch 1 2013

CPE Batch 1 2013

In all cases, full units are still 400 hours (300 hours ministry, 100 hours of group work and formal training). Training and ministry is done in Baguio City (Philippines) with various local hospitals and jails.

Contact us at if you are interested and wish to be given an application. You can also download an application at (under Forms).

Training is done certified by the College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy.

It is advisable to apply early. Each batch is limited in size.

Clinical Pastoral Education/Training Graduation in Baguio City

Graduation Ceremony

CPE Graduation-- Summer 2013

CPE Graduation– Summer 2013

was held at West Baguio Baptist Church for Summer Graduates and others. We had a Prayer Ceremony composed and led by Sister Tammy, followed by the actual graduation ceremony. The graduates were in two different groups. One group of 5 were supervised by Celia Munson, the other 5 by Joyce Gray. Some graduates were doing the Summer Intensive Program, while some were doing Half Unit. The following are our Summer Graduates:

  • Gideon Calumpong                      Evangelical
  • Rev. Penelope Caytap                Anglican
  • Ariel Cerdenola                            Lutheran
  • Maricel Tindungan                      Evangelical
  • Alfredo Dela Cruz Jr.                  Baptist
  • Noel Edduba Malaggay             Anglican
  • Sr. Tomasa A. Padcayan           Roman Catholic
  • Chris Ian Rodriguez                    Lutheran
  • Sr. Tammy B. Saberon                Roman Catholic
  • Victor Sibayan                               Lutheran

Also recognized at the graduation even were some who had been missed previously with certificates including

  • Fhey Kindipan Coyoy
  • Bartolo Dela Cruz
  • Elizabeth Rodis Janapin
  • Marie Alexis Mendoza

Further,CPSP (College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy) certificates were handed out:

  • Celia Munson
  • Rebecca Taylor
  • Dr. Ryan Clark
  • Jehny Pedazo
  • Dr. Paul Tabon
  • Ptr. Edenbhert Tong

Some other CPSP certificates were distributed to others previously.

Congratulations to all. The next Batch will start in mid-June, led by Joyce Gray. In mid-July we hope to have a “Saturdays Extended CPE” led by Celia Munson. Please contact us at, for any questions and applications.