Immigration, Art, and Healing through Trauma

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 13, 2017 2:37:02 PM

Inner Work, Immigration, and the Healing Process of Psychotherapy: An Interview with Alexandra Rusu, MFT Consortium Stipend Recipient. A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Even at an early age, Alexandra Rusu found herself fascinated by the way people’s bodies seemed to be affected by their emotions. When she was just five years old, she sat in on grownups' conversations so she could listen to their stories, a sure sign her daimon (the inspiring force within that connects us to our calling ) was at work even then. As an immigrant whose family fled the tyranny of Romania’s Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu when she was very young, Alexandra has been profoundly interested in healing and in the archetypal concept of “home.” She also produces stunning paintings which grew out of her own work with a therapist.

Since finding the M.A. Counseling Psychology Program with its emphasis in depth psychology at Pacifica a few years ago, she herself has felt at home in a field that emphasizes soul and the perspective of the soul. "The art of counseling as being a bit like being a midwife of the soul," Rusu offers.

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Posted in: Counseling Psychology, Therapist, Trauma, immigration

The World Is Made of Stories: The Power of Myth and the Study of Mythology

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 11, 2017 1:20:44 PM

A guest post by Dr. Patrick Mahaffey, Associate Chair and Research Coordinator in the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute

We live in a world that is awash in diverse and contentious worldviews. How can we better understand these differences and co-exist in ways that engender peace and harmony rather than strife and conflict? One approach is to appreciate the power of myth. I offer for your consideration five reflections on why the study of myth is one of most enlightening fields of study we can pursue in the contemporary world.

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Posted in: Mythology, narrative, storytelling

Embodied Activism

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 11, 2017 12:22:21 PM

A guest post by Somatic Studies Specialization Chair Rae Johnson

Reflect. Engage. Resist. Transform.

As current social conditions galvanize even more of us to do the work of dismantling oppression, it can be difficult to know exactly where to begin. For those of us who bring a somatic perspective to our work in the world (and even for those who don’t), it can be helpful to understand how the body is implicated in social justice work, and how to engage our bodies in the process of activism. This post incorporates key ideas from many social justice theorists and somatic practitioners, and distills them into three key areas: doing your own work, working for others, and working with others.

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Posted in: Social Justice, somatic bodywork, somatic, the body

My first days at Pacifica: First year student reflections

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 11, 2017 10:50:49 AM

My Pacifica Experience. A guest post by Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices Specialization student Winsome 'Win" Alston.

I was excited about starting my studies at Pacifica because of what I had read about Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.  When I studied Jung many years ago, I was fascinated by his work on dreams, the archetype and the various characters we embody as we progress through life. Similarly, Joseph Campbell’s book on The Hero’s Journey also resonated with me and stirred something within my psyche. Thus, when I read about Pacifica, Depth Psychology, Jung and Campbell, there was only one place for me – Pacifica.

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Posted in: graduate school, Pacifica Graduate Institute, integrative therapy

A Time for Community

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 10, 2017 11:30:12 AM

Over the past several months our nation has faced a series of traumatizing events: catastrophic storms and fires, social upheavals over injustice, exchanges of polarizing verbal attacks, and now another horrific act of mass murder, all against a backdrop of continuing escalation of nuclear threats and posturing. Our physical, psychological, political and social ways of being have been destabilized. Taken in aggregate these events appear to be revealing a time of crisis unprecedented in recent history. Yet they need not overwhelm. Out of dark and trying times, history tells us that transformation can occur.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Pacifica News, depth psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute

We Must Respond

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 4, 2017 10:33:47 PM

A guest post by Chancellor and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute, Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

Today we grieve. Our hearts open and we send support and love to those family members and friends who lost loved ones in the shooting in Las Vegas, and, too, to those in places of natural as well as human made strife. Yes. It is a time of mourning.

The turmoil in the world’s soul is visceral. We are experiencing the collective trauma 24/7. No longer can we encounter our angst like a bad dream frightening us in the night, only to disappear in the morning when our eyes open to the avalanche of texts, Instagram posts, tweets, and emails alive on our phone, seducing our attention even before we get out of bed. No. The nightmare is real, here to stay, a living actuality . . . and demanding our response. Yes. We find ourselves in a time of great peril, as the world, as we know it, faces the imminent threats of ecological devastation, the sixth extinction, and technological takeover, which Elon Musk names as “the most serious threat to the survival of the human race.”

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Posted in: The Psyche, Current Affairs, Trauma, collective trauma

Sandplay as a Healing Modality

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 2, 2017 10:53:43 AM

Sandplay as a Healing Modality; An Interview with Jungian Analyst and Professor, Jorge de la O A. Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

For Jungian analyst and professor, Jorge de la O, the desire to become a therapist began in the late 1970s when he saw Violet Oaklander,[1] who was instrumental in her work with children and adolescents using Gestalt therapy, at a confluent education conference at USC. Oaklander presented some slides on the process of sandtray (a somewhat different process from Sandplay, the Jungian approach to sandtray which was created by Jungian analyst Dora Kalff)[2]. When Jorge saw the trays and the work Oaklander was doing, he was completely taken by it. "It was magical," he reports. As a kindergarten teacher at the time, he knew he wanted Sandplay in his life, and a seed was planted.

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Posted in: Counseling Psychology, Therapist, sandtray

Where Politics, Psyche, and Community Converge

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Sep 11, 2017 1:55:50 PM

Where Politics, Psyche, and Community Converge: An Interview with Andrew Samuels
A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

U.K.-based psychotherapist and activist, Andrew Samuels has a long history as a consultant to political clients on the presidential and prime ministerial level. While Samuels first published Politics on the Couch in 2001 and The Political Psyche in 2015, his newest book, A New Therapy for Politics? [1] delves ever more deeply into the intersection between psychotherapy and politics and lends a critical eye to his own chosen profession in an effort to bring the two together.

Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung, both pioneers in the field of psychotherapy, wrote about politics over the course of their careers, Samuels points out, but psychotherapists have generally been “magnificently unsuccessful” in creating a significant contribution to the political arena.

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Posted in: The Psyche, Therapist, Psychotherapy, C.G. Jung, clinical psychology

Hurricane Harvey

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Aug 31, 2017 1:22:23 PM

A message from President Dr. Joseph Cambray to Pacifica Graduate Institute students, alumni, and faculty affected by Hurricane Harvey 

Dear Pacifica Community,

This past week we have witnessed devastating weather along the coast of Texas brought by Hurricane Harvey. The unparalleled rainfall has surpassed all records for a single storm in the United States and has caused tremendous flooding, filling our daily news with images of disaster and heroic rescues. There are more than 40 members of our Pacifica community who may have been impacted by the storm in the Houston area. Over 200 alumni and current students live in Texas, as well as a few faculty, and many of us have friends and family in the state.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Pacifica News, Pacifica Graduate Institute

Depth Psychology in the World: New President Joseph Cambray on Extending the Vision for Pacifica Graduate Institute

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Aug 31, 2017 10:41:41 AM

Depth Psychology in the World: New President Joseph Cambray on Extending the Vision for Pacifica Graduate Institute
A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

As the newly appointed President and CEO of Pacifica, Dr. Joseph Cambray is no stranger to the Institute. With a long history as a Jungian analyst, he began teaching as adjunct faculty in the Depth Psychotherapy Program (now the Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices) at Pacifica in 2010, and started serving as provost in 2015. During his tenure as president of the IAAP (International Association for Analytical Psychology), which ended in 2013, Cambray had become increasingly interested in the diversification of depth or analytical psychology (often these two terms are used interchangeably) that he was witnessing on the worldwide stage as it moved into new communities. He was drawn to Pacifica in part because he perceived the powerful opportunities it offered to pursue new directions in depth psychology and to help grow depth psychology on the world stage.

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Posted in: The Psyche, Pacifica News, depth psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute