On Memoir, with Maureen Murdock

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 23, 2017 5:01:10 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Some of the best memoirs you can read are those that are reflective, those which are informed by dreams, myth, and synchronicities, maintains Maureen Murdock, a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist and the author of multiple memoirs and books about memoirs. In other words, there’s a depth psychological perspective that can facilitate, enhance, and deepen the telling of one’s story in a profound way.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, creativity, images, dreams, writing

Elephants, Ethnography, and Somatic Psychology: On Trans-Species Fieldwork with Elephants

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 18, 2017 2:42:45 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

When Jonathan Erickson entered the M.A./Ph.D. program in Depth Psychology with a Specialization in Somatic Studies at Pacifica, he probably never imagined he would end up working with elephants in Cambodia as part of his curriculum. Admittedly, he has always been interested in highly intelligent animals, and he had encountered the Elephant Valley Project in Cambodia[1] during some prior travels in southeast Asia. Elephant Valley focuses on conservation and rehabilitation of elephants, maintaining a highly ethical stance. Eco-tourists who flock to the area are not allowed to ride the elephants, for instance, as the elephants are not there to serve humans, but rather to live their lives in peace, notes Jonathan. When it came time for Jonathan to conduct requisite summer fieldwork in the Somatics program, he found himself contemplating what it would be like to conduct his doctoral fieldwork in a sanctuary where elephants were treated with respect, and it seemed like a natural fit.

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Posted in: nature, somatic bodywork, Ecopsychology, animals

New Guest Rooms and Yurt at Pacifica's Ladera Lane Campus

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 11, 2017 2:11:08 PM

A guest post by Jeffery Abraham, M.B.A.

As we sit back and reflect upon the last year, we here in Guest Services and Facilities cannot help but feel a sense of joy and accomplishment. It has been a busy year here at Pacifica, as our teams have been working hard to create unique and welcoming spaces for our students and guests. I would like to take a moment to highlight a few of our projects.

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Posted in: Pacifica News, graduate school

Jung, Art, and Transformation: On Charlotte Salomon's "Life? or Theater?"

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 9, 2017 4:41:07 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Lisa Pounders has always had an interest in art and poetry, and has long been inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell—even painting his directive, “Follow your own bliss” above a window in her art studio years ago. Her story is not unlike that of others who have attended Pacifica Graduate Institute: when she enrolled in the Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life program, she felt she was responding to a “mysterious sense of calling” that many other students and alumni have also reported. Her own sense of summons had to do with the sense that creativity and what she initially learned about C. G. Jung’s ideas about the unconscious were intrinsically linked. Making the connection explicit (especially through a Master’s degree in Creativity) seemed a powerful way to move her own life forward.

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Posted in: transformative, C.G. Jung, art, theatre

Star Wars: A Missed Opportunity

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 20, 2016 4:14:44 PM

A guest post by Keiron Le Grice

Although Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke box-office records for commercial success, we might lament the filmmakers’ missed opportunity to deliver a narrative of enduring mythic significance and philosophical profundity to its expectant global audience. Had this opportunity been taken, how—in an alternate galaxy far, far away—might the storyline have begun and been developed?

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Posted in: Joseph Campbell, Mythology, C.G. Jung, film

The Trickster, the Drag Queen, and the Goddess: Exploring Gender and Sexuality through an Archetypal Lens

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 14, 2016 2:31:11 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Aaron Mason, M.A., is a freelance medical writer with an infectious laugh, whose love of depth psychology led him to make sweeping changes in his life since deciding to earn his Master’s degree in the Engaged Humanities Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. On his desk in his West Hollywood apartment sits a Pez dispenser gifted to him by a close friend. The figure is a coyote, and Aaron has constructed a wig for it using multi-colored ribbons, and grounded its feet in magenta clay. He attached the coyote to his dashboard when he drove across the country from Jersey City in a dramatic move to the west coast. Aaron has dubbed this icon “Coyote Drag Queen,” a name that takes on layers of meaning when one has a chance to hear Aaron’s personal story.

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Posted in: archetypes, gender, goddesses

Connecting Vocation with Psyche

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Dec 8, 2016 1:18:42 PM

“The question of vocation is crucial, and choosing the right one requires listening to the voice within.  The root of the word “vocation” is Latin for voice.  Learning to trust that inner voice in the face of economic and social pressures that might urge otherwise is an act of courage.  Accessing that courage is key to finding the voice” ~ Dr. Joseph Cambray, Provost

Many of us actively seek to connect with our inner voice and calling, in guiding us on our life’s journey. Determining a graduate program that brings meaning and embraces our calling takes time, research, and a dedication to our self and making a difference. Whether seeking to enhance an existing career, beginning a new vocation, or striving for personal transformation and development, Pacifica’s graduate degree programs will further you on the path. By following the institute’s motto
 “animae mundi colendae gratia”, which in Latin means “for the sake of tending the soul in and of the world”, Pacifica’s students become pioneers in the field of depth psychology through the lens of the various specializations and interdisciplinary curriculum that each program provides. 

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Posted in: vocation, soul, psyche

Wolf Conservation and the Arts: A Community and Ecopsychological Perspective

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 5, 2016 5:03:25 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Susan Grelock has been busy lately—albeit busy in a way that many of us have probably not contemplated in lives filled with jobs, family, and a daily dose of media, be it via Internet, TV, or on-demand series we can binge-watch at will. Susan has been speaking with artists and biologists who have an interest in wolf conservation. During her research, she got really interested in the Yellowstone-Teton region because it's a focal point for wolf conservation, especially with their fairly successful wolf re-introduction project that is now nearly three decades old. Wolves are also crossing down from Canada and breeding with local populations, so wolves are now “crossing paths with humans” in that area in ways they haven’t done in North America for almost a century. Artists there also seem to be focused on depicting wolves to instigate interest and to spur conversations about them, perhaps in new ways.

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Posted in: The Psyche, nature, Ecopsychology

Remarks for Marshall Chrostowski’s Retirement Gathering

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 28, 2016 4:45:02 PM

 A guest post by Michael P. Sipiora, Ph.D.

Marshall can’t stand “woo-woo.” Start talking about the deep psyche and watch the look on his face. Little tolerance for “woo-woo.” But who among us has a more vital imagination of this land, the plants that grow from it, the creatures that move upon it? Who could have cared more, all these years, for the soul of this place, creating “rooms,” as Marshall calls them, sites that invite poetic dwelling. Ceremonial sites, contemplative sites, memorial sites, inspirational sites, awesome sites. And the garden, the incredible garden that has preserved ancient seeds and brought an astounding variety of organic delights to the tables of the prosperous and the homeless alike. He has indeed fed our bodies and our souls.

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Posted in: Pacifica News

Land Manager Marshall Chrostowski's tenure at Pacifica

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 28, 2016 3:58:52 PM

A sense of place is central to the learning community at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Great attention has been given to creating an environment that nurtures creativity, nourishes soul, and seeks to transform. That process is guided by and enhanced by the trees, the plants, the water, and the spatial design of both the Lambert Road and Ladera Lane Campuses. And the man who has directed these efforts is heading into retirement, leaving behind a legacy of matter that will forever continue to shape our students, faculty, staff, and anyone else who has the good fortune to walk the grounds.

Pacifica co-founder and faculty member Maren Hansen asked Marshall to compile a list of his many achievements on the Pacifica campuses. Here are some highlights of Marshall’s tenure at Pacifica.

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Posted in: nature, Pacifica News, Santa Barbara