The Humanities, the World, and the Practice of Psychotherapy

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 7, 2016 2:20:03 PM

The Humanities, the World, and the Practice of Psychotherapy¹

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

“What does it take to be a therapist? Being a good person and knowing at least the last 200 years of cultural history.” Tony Barton (personal communication, 1987)

“By historically situating psychotherapy, and thus by acknowledging the ways that psychotherapy has unknowingly substituted for missing community tradition, has provided a covert moral framework about the way of being human, and has obscured the sociopolitical causes of psychological suffering, psychotherapy would model the ability to confront one’s own unconscious contributions to the political and philosophical problems of our time and to be freer to more explicitly present thoughtful, nuanced, moral conceptions of human being” Phillip Cushman (1995, p. 299).

“If you are for the American republic, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, if you are for these things you are against the American empire. The task of the consulting room is in part to keep the pores open to what goes on in the empire. The job of psychotherapy is to keep one suffering the decline of the republic” James Hillman (1992, p. 235).

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Posted in: Therapist, James Hillman, Psychotherapy, clinical psychology, Psychology

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

A Second Ph.D.; An Alumna Story

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 27, 2016 1:13:25 PM

An interview with Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Alumn Sarette Zecharia, Ph.D.

Please tell us about your professional life since you graduated from Pacifica.

When I graduated from Pacifica in 2000, I had moved to Scottsdale Arizona. I did my post doc through the Superior Court of Arizona in the Probation Department. From there I went into private practice and continued to explore more alternative methods to help empower patients to truly value themselves and shine as vibrant divine beings. Through the years, I have also partnered with various clinics to ensure an integrative approach to care and have focused heavily on working with chronic pain at a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. I have a local, national and international patient base. On the side, I have taught as adjunct faculty at various universities and lectured prolifically on topics in my expertise, bringing awareness and empowerment to attendees to find their way.

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Posted in: Alumni, clinical psychology, graduate school, vocation

Why a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology?

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 19, 2016 9:33:34 AM

A guest post by Dr. Jim Broderick

During the most recent Pacifica Introduction Day, applicants were asking why Pacifica decided to develop a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. For me the answer was easy. Having been at Pacifica for nine years, I have been impressed that Pacifica is always looking for ways to innovate - to be current in developments in psychology and depth psychology.

Applicants were pleased to learn that Pacifica had reached out to national scholars for consultation and support to evaluate current trends in clinical psychology, which led to the development of the Psy.D. Program.

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Posted in: clinical psychology

Pacifica's Psy.D. Clinical Psychology Program; An Alumna Story

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 18, 2016 1:35:36 PM

An interview with Psy.D. Clinical Psychology Alumna Johanna Hays, Psy.D.

I received my BA in Psychology from California State University Northridge in 2007, and completed my MA in Counseling Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2009.

I completed my doctoral degree from Pacifica in December 2013 and conducted my research on the integration of Somatic Experiencing® with psychodynamic psychotherapy. Concurrent with my doctoral studies, I completed the three-year Somatic Experiencing® certification and currently have a private practice in which I integrate both SE and hypnotherapy together to work with individuals who experience symptoms of trauma and pain.

I attended the Hypnotherapy Motivation Institute in 2005 prior to beginning my graduate studies, and it was this connection to the unconscious and the power of image and story that resonated with me at Pacifica.

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Posted in: Alumni, clinical psychology, graduate school, vocation

Pacifica's Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Program; An Alumnus Story

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 18, 2016 11:13:48 AM

An interview with Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Alumnus Doug Henry, Ph.D.

What was your work path, following graduation from Pacifica?

I went to work full-time for four years in the inpatient psychiatric unit at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital where I did evaluations, group, individual, and family therapy, was also in private practice in SB, and did training and consulting work with the SBPD (Hostage) Negotiation Team and the CIT – Crisis Intervention Team of the SBPD as well.

After working with acute patients, I was eager for a change. While locked inpatient hospital work is terrific training - you really see crises so often that you are less likely to be shocked or flustered over time - it is difficult and even unhealthy, for many psychologists, to sustain this for long periods. My next position was as lead assessor for Santa Barbara County department of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Services (ADMHS), in the Calle Real Adult Outpatient Clinic. Upon licensure in California I was promoted becoming fluent in managing teams of mental health professionals. This too was a tremendously valuable experience: I gained insight how to be effective in an environment where clinicians are overloaded by the number of patients seeking services and the scope of their needs. As we all know, this is characteristic of the majority of the behavioral health systems in the U.S., particularly public systems.

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Posted in: Alumni, clinical psychology, graduate school, vocation

The Therapy Room and the Interactive Field: Dr. Joseph Cambray on Becoming a Supervisor in Depth

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 18, 2016 3:59:23 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

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

The Legacy of John B. Watson: On Voodoism and The Unexamined Influence of the Father of Behaviorism on American Psychology

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jun 2, 2015 10:05:00 PM

A guest post by faculty member Oksana Yakushko, Ph.D.

Who Was John B. Watson and What Did He Contribute to Mainstream Psychology?

In the early 1900s, John B. Watson, relatively unknown research psychologist from Johns Hopkins, delivered the “Behaviorist Manifesto” to an audience at Columbia University. He decried the psychology’s misguided infatuation with “introspection” and consciousness, neither of which could be measured or objectively defined. Psychology, in his view, mired by what he called Freud’s unscientific “voodoism,” has gone in the wrong direction. In contrast, Watson proposed a psychology that is a true “scientific” discipline, seeking to understand and control human behavior in “physico-chemical” terms. Introspection, he argued, has no place in this scientific endeavor..

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