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

Who was Carl Jung and why should we study him and his work?

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 17, 2016 10:05:40 AM

A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

Carl Gustav Jung was born in 1875, died in 1961, and lived in Switzerland all his life, although he traveled now and then. He was a psychiatrist, seeing patients and pioneering various techniques in experimental research before focusing on psychoanalysis and then on evolving his own kind of depth psychology. He created innovative methods for working with symptoms, dreams, fantasies, visions, and even works of art on the level of psychological symbolism.

A remarkable thing about Jung’s work is that so little of it is out of date.

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, history of psychology, Psychology, depth psychology

Depth Psychology in Work and Career Part I: Depth Psychology and the contributions of Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 3, 2016 2:13:13 PM

A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

Depth Psychology and the contributions of Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung.

As outlined in Pacifica’s definition, depth psychology is an interdisciplinary body of psychological practices and traditions that study the interactions between conscious and unconscious. Psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler coined the term in 1910 to describe psychoanalytic approaches to therapy and research.

The question of who founded the field is more complex than the usual answer: Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung, both interested in exploring what pulses and simmers below our customary awareness. In France, Pierre Janet coined “subconscious” to describe the inner roots of psychological symptoms without apparent biological causes. One of his patients wept a lot without knowing why. She had never mourned the loss of two loved ones. Finding this out alleviated her symptoms.

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, history of psychology, Psychology, depth psychology

Depth Psychology in Work and Career Part II

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 3, 2016 2:11:20 PM

A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

Depth psychologists don’t job-hunt without taking the psyche into account. What does this mean?

It means that the job I consciously think I belong in might not be the job that fulfills me. Many of us know exactly what kind of work we “should” do according to external standards we’ve internalized, but how many know what would complete us, give a sense of mission, bring joy and refreshment? Not many.

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, history of psychology, Psychology, depth psychology

Working with the Ancestors: A Jungian Perspective with Sandra Easter, Ph.D.

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Sep 28, 2016 2:37:47 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

For Sandra Easter, author of Jung and the Ancestors: Beyond Biography, Mending the Ancestral Web, her journey toward ancestral healing has been filled with synchronicities. Growing up, Sandra always heard from her mother that they were descended from Roger Williams, a man who is credited with founding Providence, Rhode Island, in 1636. Synchronistically, the very same day Sandra’s own daughter decided she wanted to write a school report on this alleged ancestor, Sandra received a document which surprised her by actually confirming direct ancestry on her mother’s side from Roger Williams.

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, images, imaginal

Supervising in Depth: Pacifica Launches a New Certificate Training Program

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Sep 19, 2016 10:45:24 AM

Professors Joseph Cambray, Linda Carter, Avedis Panajian, Joseph Bobrow, and Lionel Corbett have come together to co-teach in the new certificate training program Becoming a Supervisor in Depth.

The program is nine sessions over the course of 10 months on a designated Thursday evening, and teaches the skills and approaches necessary to become a supervisor from a depth psychological orientation. 

See below for a reprinted interview between Pacifica Alumni Bonnie Bright and Pacifica Provost Dr. Joseph Cambray who will be teaching in the program.


Psychotherapy is pervasive in contemporary culture. Even if you’re not a therapist yourself, if you’re taking the time to read this post, chances are good that either you or someone close to you has been involved in therapy at some point in their lives. And, while you may feel you have a good understanding of what happens in the therapy room, there may be more than meets the eye. Do you ever wonder, for example, what has to occur in the therapeutic process so that the basic experience is what it needs to be for both the client and the therapist? How does a therapist tap into the unconscious in order to help the client be more of “who they are”? How does synchronicity—and the interactive field that emerges between two individuals—serve up messages from the unconscious for the benefit of the work? More, where does the therapist her/himself turn for help in honing their own intuition and skills that ultimately contribute to their own individuation process in working with clients?

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Posted in: Therapist, C.G. Jung, clinical psychology, Psychology, depth psychology

Encountering Sabina Spielrein: Forging Paths To and Through Powerful Women in Depth Psychology

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Aug 29, 2016 12:49:16 PM

In 2011, Sabina Spielrein became something of a household name due to the debut of a mainstream film called A Dangerous Method, starring well-known actors including Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, and Viggo Mortensen. The film purported to tell the story of Sabina Spielrein, a young woman psychiatric patient and acquaintance of the infamous doctors Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, pioneers of the modern psychoanalytical and depth psychology movements.

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, history of psychology, Psychology, gender, depth psychology

Archetypal Reflections: Dr. Keiron Le Grice on Jungian and Depth Psychologies

Posted by Erik Davis on Jul 22, 2016 9:12:17 AM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

C.G. Jung contended that our personalities are made up of a multitude of archetypes, Dr. Keiron Le Grice, Chair of the Jungian and Archetypal Studies program at Pacifica Graduate Institute, reminded me when he recently sat down with me to share his insights into the field of depth psychology. Each archetype asserts its own aims, moods, and ideas on our personalities, influencing our lives on a day-to-day basis. Jungian and depth psychologies, by aiming to make what is unconscious conscious, offer an entrance point into recognizing and understanding the various deep forces that move through us from one day to the next, engendering a deep comprehension of the psyche and the motivations, instincts, and impulses that are at work in our lives.

Individuation, a term coined by Jung, is a way that we can come to terms with this multiplicity of forces, and to attune to a greater organizing force, perhaps looked at as “the god within.” An archetypal view can enable us to find deep meaning in life, Keiron notes. We live in a time when we no longer have a religious, spiritual, or mythological framework to provide orientation in our lives. To be able to turn within, through the study of dreams and synchronicities that occur to us, through direct engagement with the unconscious and through spiritual experiences, we can begin to find our own personal sense of meaning. When we encounter the numinous, (a term coined by Rudolf Otto and adopted by Jung), that tremendous and fascinating mystery that underlies our experience can ground us in our own spiritual and moral autonomies. We need to each find our own individual myth at a time when the collective myths are rendered invalid by the dominant scientific rational perspective in the western worldview.

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Posted in: archetypes, C.G. Jung

Dreaming the Earth: Earthing the Dream—Depth Psychology and Appreciative Nature Practices with Dr. Pat Katsky

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 24, 2016 9:12:32 AM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Dr. Pat Katsky is a Jungian Analyst and core faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and she has been a therapist for thirty years. When Pat sat down with me in a recent interview, our conversation focused on the idea that some of the most psychologically healing experiences come from the natural world, a theme derived from an upcoming certificate program, “Dreaming the Earth: Earthing the Dream” starting April 15, 2016.

Pat mused on how in the last million or so years of history, humans have always needed nature and did not feel separate from it. But with the industrial revolution and the development of society as we know it, we have lost the connectedness. It has become something we do for vacation, she observes, then we return to jobs and daily life where nature is distant.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, C.G. Jung, nature