Change in Pastoral Skills, Emotional Intelligence, Self-Reflection, and Social Desirability across a Unit of CPE
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is experiential learning of the art and science of pastoral care. CPE students increase capacities in psychological strengths such as self-awareness and empathy, and improve skills in interpersonal and inter-professional relationships. Previous research has documented different kinds of change and experiences for students depending on the length of the CPE unit (short/intensive vs. long/extended). The current study involves CPE students who have taken either an intensive unit or an extended unit and compares the average amount of change in pastoral skills, emotional intelligence, self-reflection, and insight while controlling for the influence of social desirability. Intensive and extended unit students were different from each other in terms of age and experience, beginning level of pastoral skill, and amount of change in the measured abilities. Limitations and strengths of this study and the need for future research are discussed.