The Canadian Association for Spiritual Care is the preeminent multi-faith association in Canada for persons working as spiritual health professionals. CASC/ACSS is committed to the professional education, certification and support of of people from across Canada who are involved in spiritual care, pastoral counseling, education, and research. The association provides educational programs for those preparing to become professional providers of Spiritual Care and Pastoral counseling in a variety of institutional and community settings such as health care, corrections, education and private practice. From April 13 -16, 2016 members of CASC/ACSS will gather in Vancouver, British Columbia for a national conference and general meeting. The theme of next year’s conference has been named

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 Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Evan Adams is an award winning Canadian actor, playwright, medical doctor and politician. He is a Coast Salish actor and physician from the Sliammon First Nation near Powell River, British Columbia. Dr. Adams worked extensively with First Nations Health Programs in Canada including HIV/AIDS education, alcohol and drug abuse treatment. He held various offices within the BC Min-istry of Health and in 2014 he was appointed the first ever Chief Medical Officer of the First Nationals Health Authority in British Columbia. He has directed and played roles in a number of television shows including The Beachcombers and Da Vinci’s Inquest. More about Dr. Evans. The topic of Dr. Adams’ Plenary address is: One Eye Forward, One Eye Back – the Power of Dichotomy & Resilience in our Stories.


Dr. Shane Sinclair is the president of The Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology. He currently teaches at University of Calgary’s medicine and nursing faculty. Dr. Sinclair specializes in research that identifies the determinants of quality spiritual care and modifiers of spiritual wellbeing within clinical settings. He is a specialist with CASC and has worked as the spiritual care coordinator at the Tom Baker Cancer Center in Calgary for a number of years. The Topic of Dr. Sinclair’s Plenary address is: “Compassion: A Medium and Marker of Spiritual Care”

Shane Sinclair’s Compassion talk



Canadian world class violinist Rosemary Siemens has mesmerized audiences from the Vatican to Carnegie Hall and will join us for the opening reception.

 Rosemary Siemens

Known for her versatility, passion, musicianship and style, world-class improv violinist and vocalist Rosemary Siemens has mesmerized audiences around the world since the age of three. Hailing from Plum Coulee, Manitoba, Rosemary is a small-town farm girl addicted to bling and sparkle and is currently dominating the world-stage while playing a 300-year-old violin that was played in King Louis XIV’s orchestra.

Equally comfortable performing classical and pop music, her diverse talents and improvisational skills have led to countless performance opportunities, including four performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall and being the first solo instrumentalist to ever perform at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican since its first mass in 1483. Rosemary has also played the Latin GRAMMY Awards in Miami and performed countless private concerts for luminaries including billionaire Donald Trump at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach and former president Jimmy Carter. She’s also performed in over twenty countries as well as the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Hockey Night in Canada and concerts for Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Bentley, Thunderbird Studios, Vancouver International Film Festival, Vancouver Fashion Week and L’Oréal Paris. She was also the featured violinist on the soundtrack for the Canadian film “The Exhibition” which won an Emmy and Canadian Screen Award and is currently the artist-in-residence at New York’s newest luxury lifestyle hotel, The Quin Hotel.

In addition to a demanding performing and touring schedule, Rosemary was recently featured as a star on the world premiere of The Food Network’s new hit show “Chef In Your Ear”. She was also awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, a commemorative medal for her significant contribution to the arts in Canada. In December, 2015, Rosemary was the featured soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for their Manitoba Christmas tour and is currently writing music for her upcoming bluegrass album that will be released to coincide with the unveiling of her own sign at the entrance of Plum Coulee that states “Plum Coulee, home of Rosemary Siemens.” #PlumCouleeMyHome

The Dominik Heins Trio


Pre Conference Workshops

Wednesday 9:00am – 4:00pm
P1 Ethics Module                                                                                             $125.00
Ethics Committee Team
The Ethics Education Module program has been developed to enhance our understanding of the CASC/ACSS Code of Ethics for Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Pastors, Pastoral Educators and Students, and to ensure integration of this code into our lives as spiritual care professionals.
If you are certified as a Specialist in Pastoral Care / Pastoral Counselling or as a Teaching Supervisor, you are required to complete an Ethics Education Module as part of the Peer Review process in order to maintain your certification status. This requirement can be fulfilled at any time during the 5 year period prior to your Peer Review consultation.

Pre Conference Workshop – Wednesday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm CANCELLED
P2 Nurturing Self While Exploring our Story through the Expressive Arts                                      $15.00


Pre Conference – Wednesday 9:00am – 12:00pm
P3 Understanding and Improving Spiritual Health with Palliative Care Clients and Health Care Providers

Peter Barnes
This workshop is intended to consider how spiritual care deepens the engagement with hospice palliative care (HPC) clients. Healthcare Professionals (HCP) and volunteers will be helped to see how they can deliver effective spiritual care with HPC clients, appropriate to their spiritual care scope of practice. In addition the participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own grief and how this may be a resource in their delivery of spiritual care with HPC clients.


Pre Conference Workshop – Wednesday 9:00am – 10:15am
P4 Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention

Craig Matsu-Pissot
This workshop on Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention will discuss the use of mindfulness meditation based techniques as a viable psychospiritual tool in understanding the dynamics of the mind that lead to substance abuse and how to address these dynamics in skillful ways that will assist the individual in their recovery.

Pre Conference Workshop – Wednesday 10:30am – 12:00pm
P5 Trauma Informed Care: Overcoming Compassion Fatigue and Traumatization

Craig Matsu-Pissot and Ayesha Sackey
This workshop will explore and address compassion fatigue and primary and secondary traumatization among clients/patients and clinicians and ways to recognize and alleviate these conditions using material from both existing research and also cross cultural spiritual perspectives.

Pre Conference Workshop – Wednesday 1:00pm – 4:00pm
P6 Examining the Role of Spiritual Care Professionals to Promote and Nurture Organizational-level Promising Practices Supporting Spiritual Care Delivery

Peter Barnes and Paul Holyoke

In secular healthcare organizations, responsibility for end-of-life spiritual care often falls to frontline providers who feel unprepared, and to Spiritual Care Professionals who feel stretched. Could these organizations support spiritual care better? From hospices operated on religious/spiritual traditions, we gathered nine organizational-level Axioms and promising practices for better support. We will discuss the Axioms and their feasibility, and discuss Spiritual Care Professionals’ possible role in leading and nurturing their promotion and adoption.


Pre Conference Workshop – Wednesday 1:00pm – 2:15 pm
P7 Patient and Family Centered Care

Anne Tuppurainen                                                                                                   Join Anne Tuppurainen, a Spiritual Health Practitioner at Saint Paul’s Hospital, in an interactive and interdisciplinary workshop that reviews the theory of Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) and highlights the significant positive impact it has on patients and their families. Participants will review the theory behind PFCC, hear the personal stories of a social worker and a family representative who have experienced the impact of Patient and Family Centered Care, and also have opportunity to share and discuss their own stories.

Pre Conference Workshop – Wednesday 1:00pm – 2:15pm
P8 From ‘Riches to Rags’ A Country in Distress (Loving and Understanding our Neighbors)

Marj Pettinger
Zimbabwe is a country of deep contrast. A country that has gone from being called ‘the Bread Basket of Africa’ to being one of the poorest countries in the world with statistic quoting the unemployment rate at nearly 90%. Yet for all that Zimbabwe is a beautiful country. I invite you to journey with me as I share my experiences through listening to the stories of my newfound friends and colleagues in a country that has been through so much in such a short time. A country that has become my second home and where I feel loved and accepted as a family.

Pre Conference Workshop – Wednesday 2.30pm – 4:00pm
P9 Weaving a Bag, Weaving a Story                                                                                                        $15.00

Chief Janice George and elder Buddy Joseph
In this workshop first nations, elder Buddy Joseph and Chief Janice George will lead participants in an experience of traditional Coast Salish weaving.
It will be explained how the personal story of the participants can be reflected in the designs incorporated into a personal bag. The process is an experiential means of exploring aspects of self-awareness related to one’s own spiritual identity. The gentle meditative frame of mind that emerges through the process can at times have a significant impact that reaches far past the workshop as individuals discover unexpected aspects of their journey. Good feelings, energy and prayers are woven into the piece. Kits will be provided at $15 per person (cap 25 people)

Pre Conference Workshop – 2:30 – 4:00pm
P10 Identity Transition in Adult Disability

Laura Sportack
Presentation of a Narrative Therapy informed, six week, Group Therapy model called “Transitions” for adult living with physical disability. The group format is a weekly, structured, closed group of short duration that quickly creates connection and identification among the group members. It can be used as the basis for offering a group that meets monthly and becomes a minimally facilitated peer support group.  This therapy model was developed to give opportunity for persons with adult acquired disability to explore the question, “Who am I now that this has happened?” Laura has been the chaplain at G F Strong since 1998, working with adults who have experienced spinal cord injury, brain injury, and disability following accident or illness. Come and experience a workshop session. Theoretical background material will be provided.



Thursday April 14, 2016
10:45am 12:00pm
A1 Therapeutic Alliance: The Surest Path Toward Identity Narrative

Cindy Elkerton
This workshop will explore what the therapeutic relationship is as well as its importance. We will become familiar with how to identify a positive therapeutic alliance and a therapeutic break. This workshop will outline key skills for how to maintain the therapeutic alliance and how to repair a therapeutic break between you and your patient/client. This workshop is intended for those who work with patients/clients/families/staff individually and in groups.


Thursday April 14, 2016
10:45am – 12:00pm
SORRY FULL  A2 Enhancing the Integration of Spiritual Care: Leadership and Innovation

Nicolas El-Kada and Linda Miller                                                                                                                                                                                                         As Spiritual Care Providers, we’re called to enhance the integration of spiritual care in whole patient healthcare. We can best do this by taking a place in the hospital’s leadership structure. Creative ways to use our skills and training as spiritual care specialists will be discussed. Presentation drawing on extant literature and examples from the presenters work experience will be combined with round table discussion in which participants will present challenge and success stories from their work setting.

Thursday April 14, 2016
10:45am – 12:00pm
A3 Mindful Meditation and the Therapeutic Relationship

Craig Matsu-Pissot
Presence is a valuable and foundational component of the therapeutic relationship. This is especially true in spiritual care. In this presentation we will discuss how the science, art, and practice of mindfulness meditation can be a means of developing this presence. Discussion of presence, mindfulness meditation, the therapeutic relationship, and how the quality of being that the spiritual care practitioner brings to that relationship is a primary intervention in itself.

Thursday April 14, 2016 10:45am – 12:00pm                                                                         A4 Advanced Care Planning
Darcy Gillis, A. Catherine Simpson, and Jillian Demmons
Using a case study of one patient’s experience of facing end-stage COPD, this workshop will explore the relationship between spiritual care, narrative, hope and advance care planning (ACP). When done well, ACP can enable patients and family members to better prepare for death by exploring patients’ hopes, fears, values and beliefs regarding quality of life and death. Special attention will be placed on best-practices in supporting patients and their families in the ACP process.

Thursday April 14, 2016 10:45am – 12:00pm
A5 Weaving a Bag, Weaving a Story                                                                                                  $15.00

Chief Janice George and elder Buddy Joseph
In this workshop first nations, elder Buddy Joseph and Chief Janice George will lead participants in an experience of traditional Coast Salish weaving.
It will be explained how the personal story of the participants can be reflected in the designs incorporated into a personal bag. The process is an experiential means of exploring aspects of self-awareness related to one’s own spiritual identity. The gentle meditative frame of mind that emerges through the process can at times have a significant impact that reaches far past the workshop as individuals discover unexpected aspects of their journey. Good feelings, energy and prayers are woven into the piece. Kits will be provided at $15 per person (cap 25 people)

Thursday April 14, 2016
10:45am – 12:00pm
A6 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and spiritual distress in veterans

Lorraine Smith-MacDonald, Shane Sinclair, Shelley Raffin Bouchal
Spiritual coping may be central to understanding a veteran’s mental health trajectory; however, most of Canada’s 700,000 veterans have never received any form of spiritual care post deployment. Spiritual care professionals from public healthcare facilities and religious institutions are vital to bridging this care gap. As part of an integrated knowledge translation project, this workshop will discuss the background literature and design of the qualitative research, and implications for spiritual care professionals.


Friday April 15, 2016 10:45am – 12:00pm                                                                               B1 The impact, importance and practice issues associated with addressing spiritual issues in an outpatient bone marrow therapy clinic: a mixed method study
Shane Sinclair                                                                                                       While the importance of spirituality is attested to by bone marrow patients and their healthcare providers, the influence and impact of the disease and treatment on patient spiritual wellbeing across the cancer trajectory is nascent. In this mixed method study, we administered 100 patients a measures of post-traumatic growth (PTGI), spiritual wellbeing (FACIT-SP) and quality of life (FACT-BMT) to determine the relationship between spiritual wellbeing, post-traumatic growth, quality of life and socio-demographic factors. This was complemented by focus groups, involving a smaller sample of patients and their healthcare providers, in order to determine the importance and issues related to addressing spiritual issues within a busy interdisciplinary outpatient clinic.

Friday April 15, 2016 10:45am – 12:00pm
SORRY FULL B2 Exploring Relational Experience using Story and Art

Aaron Smith and Julia Read
This workshop will look at the importance of story and art or objects in exploring relational experience. Participants will be invited to engage in experiential learning opportunities and small group exercises and discussions to demonstrate how to use story and art or object-based elicitation techniques in researching and working with relational experiences. Finally, a number of benefits of using such an approach will also be explored.

Friday April 15, 2016 10:45am – 12:00pm
SORRY FULL B3 A Two Hearted People – Explorations in Identity

Doug Longstaffe and Philip Tse
Through brief experiential exercises, story-telling and word analysis, participants will be led into a discovery of their own conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings about what is essential to our bi polar clinical/pastoral profession. The group will then be led into dialogue regarding what constitutes our distinct identity. A symbolic synthesis featuring the offerings of all participants in a narrative collage will be hung for display in the conference main hall.

Friday April 15, 2016 10:45am – 12:00pm
B4 Celebrating Our Professional Identity through Peer Review

Kathy Edmison
This workshop is an opportunity to discuss the philosophy and process of Peer Reviews and to have your questions answered. In 2011, CASC adopted 10 Competencies for Spiritual Care and Counselling. In 2015, the Professional Practice Commission (PPC) updated the Peer Review Process to incorporate these competencies. Come and learn more about the rationale behind the changes and how to use the new forms. This workshop will be particularly helpful if you are due for Peer Review this coming year or if you are interested in being a reviewer. If you have recently completed your review using the new process, the PPC welcomes your feedback.

Friday April 15, 2016 10:45am – 12:00pm
SORRY FULL B5 An e-chart review of Chaplain’s interventions and outcomes in an acute care hospital – Quality Improvement and Professional Identity

Vivian Stang & Martin Rovers
A Quality Improvement project undertaken by Spiritual Care Services at the Ottawa hospital examined the initial spiritual care assessments completed by five multi-faith staff chaplains on 100 patient e-charts. The descriptive, self-reported interventions and outcomes were coded to create discrete categories. We evaluated what our Chaplains were being asked to do and how we were recording our effectiveness. Improvements to our e-charting practices, spiritual care provision and potential teaching opportunities with staff will be emphasized.

Friday April 15, 2016 10:45am – 12:00pm
B6 CANCELLED- Spiritual care, a matter of competence or state of mind? The French way

Friday April 15, 2016
4:30pm to 5:45pm
SORRY FULL C1 Narrative Entry Points and Analysis with Pediatric and Elderly patients
Jim Huth and Philip Crowell

It is not uncommon for clients (patients), families, healthcare staff and physicians to struggle with questions that turn on matters of values and meaning. Spiritual Care Providers can help with these challenges. Typically, the focus of healthcare providers is to reach conclusions promptly and to identify strategies to address difficult questions and medical choices that follow a prescribed pattern. This process can leave little room for curiosity or engagement with the stories that people tell. When the reasons for spiritual distress or anxieties are left unexplored, they may resurface in new guise and generate further stressors. We will suggest the techniques of narrative inquiry are well suited to help spiritual care providers in addressing spiritual distress. The pedagogical strategy used to demonstrate narrative inquiry and presence will be interactive and collaborative. Participants will be invited to offer “troubling” cases that they have encountered in their practice.

Friday April 15, 2016
4:30pm to 5:45pm
C2 Quantitative Research in Spiritual Care: Measuring the Physiological Response to Walking the Labyrinth

Philip Behman
The use of the labyrinth form for walking meditation has become more commonplace in health care settings. A projected light labyrinth was used to study stress reduction and self-regulation in 25 youth who participated in walking meditation. Heart Rate Variability and Alpha amylase were collected and analyzed showing decrease in stress similar to other forms of meditative practices. Quantitative measures used in studying Spiritual Care practices are effective in establishing evidence based practice.

Friday April 15, 2016
4:30pm to 5:45pm
C5  Spiritual and Cultural Sensitivity: Narratives from Individuals, Family Members and Caregivers Facing the End of Life

Shane Sinclair, Glen Horst, Shelly Cory
Learn about new online knowledge translation tools based on the personal narratives of culture members with advanced illness, their families and community leaders designed to enhance culturally and spiritually sensitive care to Indigenous people, refugees and immigrants. Background, methods, challenges and results associated with the development of three series of evidence-based videos will be presented.

Friday April 15, 2016
4:30pm to 5:45pm
C6 Positive Physical Approach

Angela King
For someone living with dementia, brain changes have a significant impact on one’s ability to communicate with the world around them visually, verbally, and kinaesthetically. Using a Positive Physical Approach™ we will apply this new understanding by looking at ways we might adapt our spiritual care practices, cultivating a presence that makes spiritual and religious care more possible and more meaningful for those living with dementia.


Saturday April 16, 2016
2:00pm – 3:15pm
SORRY FULL D1 SEATS: Intervention for Delirium

Moe Anderson, Suraj George, Kanae Kinoshita, and Sharon Konyen
It is estimated that 20% of admitted patients to hospital and up to 70% admitted to ICU will develop delirium and the elderly population are especially vulnerable with up to 30% having delirium at the time of admission (Pandharipande et al, 2005). Delirium is associated with longer stays, higher mortality, lower patient and family satisfaction and increased stress for patients, families and staff. In 2014, the Department of Spiritual Care at UHN came together to design a reflective, non-pharmacological intervention for delirium. The result was a research based intervention called SEATS. We invite you to come and experience our training program, learn about the significant spiritual and emotional impact that delirium has on patients as well as ways that you can intervene. Come and learn about the research that we are conducting on the effectiveness of the tool.

Saturday April 16, 2016
2:00pm – 3:15pm
SORRY FULL D2 Introducing Spirituality from a Narrative Perspective

Simon Lasair
Assigning a concept to spirituality can be difficult for spiritual care practitioners, especially when a client’s spirituality is embedded within the life-narratives they share with their care providers. This workshop will introduce a concept of spirituality from a narrative perspective in theory and clinical work; this concept will be demonstrated useful for assessment, intervention, and planning in spiritual care. Theoretical information will be provided, and case studies will be used to illustrate the concepts.

Saturday April 16, 2016 2:00pm – 3:15pm
D3 Chilling With Dogs: The Effect of Interacting With Dogs on University Students’ Stress during Final Exams                                                                                                          Kristine Lund

Counselling services on university campuses experience an overwhelming demand to respond to student’s mental health concerns. What other resources might be made available to students to manage their stress particularly during final exams? This workshop will present the role of pet assisted therapy in reducing student stress during final exams. Using a mixed methodology, both qualitative and quantitative data will be shared regarding the effect of interacting with dogs on student stress during final exams.

Saturday April 16, 2016
2:00pm – 3:15pm
D4  And the Poets Dwell Among Us; Harvesting the Narrative of our Practice
Ciaran McKenna

This workshop will focus on experiences that stimulate both the heart and the mind, asking listeners to find connections between themselves and the stories they hear. Highlighting narratives of illness, health, caregiving, the body, and interpersonal relationships and the lived work experience through the poetry shared. Participants will be invited to give their interpretation of what they hear before Mr. McKenna shares what inspired the piece for him. This will be a highly interactive session.

Saturday April 16, 2016
2:00pm – 3:15pm
D5 Lavender Alert: Supporting Healthcare Workers                                                June Mawhinney and Keith Metcalfe

Lavender Alert is a hospital based, spiritual care initiative aimed at providing support to healthcare workers.  A Lavender Alert can be called by any staff following set parameters agreed upon by management and spiritual care. A Spiritual Care Professional is then dispatched to provide supportive care to the staff member(s) who underwent a traumatic experience. The Lavender Alert call is also announced overhead on the unit to alert other staff members to offer their support.




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Before Registering:
Please check the descriptions of Preconference workshops, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday workshops, fees, and information about the hotel, by checking the tabs on the left. Also see what extra tickets you might want.
After you know which workshops you would like to attend please scroll down and click on the the “Register Now” button at the bottom of the page.

Preconference workshops:
Members will have two full-day preconference plus options of half day ones. Please make sure that the times you select are not in conflict with one another.

New Extended Early Bird Rates:
Now Good until February 21st. 2016

Late fee charge:
If registration fee balance is not received by April 13, 2016 at midnight, a late fee charge of $50 will be automatically added.

Cancellation Policy:
Full Refund up to March 3, 2016
50% refund after March 3, 2016
After April 1, No refund
No refunds due to inclement weather affecting travel.
All rates are in Canadian Dollars, includes all taxes.

Questions about the conference please contact: we will do our best to respond to your question within 2 to 3 business days

Mailing address for cheque payment for your registration:
CASC 2016
8088 136A Street
Surrey, BC V3W 1M6
Cheques to be made out to Canadian Association for Spiritual Care.

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