Integration: Chinese Medicine, Somatic Studies, and Depth Psychology

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 22, 2017 10:48:38 AM

Integration: Chinese Medicine, Somatic Studies, and Depth Psychology. An Interview with Brian Falk
A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Chinese medicine has a long history based in a philosophical tradition, with its roots in Daoism, and later, Confucianism. Above all, it's essentially a system that's rooted in nature, explains Brian Falk, who has a clinical practice in Chinese medicine, and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Somatic Studies at Pacifica.

The Chinese spent thousands of years developing a very comprehensive way of looking at humans in relationship to the cosmos, therefore, Chinese medicine can also be viewed as a type of cosmology, Falk notes. The way in which the Chinese conceptualize disease and health has a very different philosophical frame than that of Westerners. Using primary treatment tools like acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, and cupping, Chinese medicine differentiates itself from allopathic medicine in the sense that it focuses on maintaining health and preventing illness.

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Posted in: The Psyche, Connecting Cultures, depth psychology, images, dreams, somatic, the body

Photography and Writing: Into the Heart of Traditional Cultures in Times of Global Change

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 7, 2017 9:41:44 PM

Photography: Into the Heart of Traditional Cultures in Times of Global Change. An Interview with Writer and Photographer, Michael Benanav, M.A. A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Michael Benanav is a critically-acclaimed writer and photographer who has traveled to a lot of places that are well off the beaten path, often finding himself in remote mountains and landscapes, walking, being in nature, and living quite simply. There, in the wilderness, he often runs into nomads, and he quickly became fascinated by their way of life. Benanav, whose work has appeared in publications like The New York Times, Geographical Magazine, Lonely Planet Guidebooks, and CNN.com, was naturally drawn to spending time with them.

These profoundly archetypal lifestyles inevitably appear in Benanav’s work. In his first book, a travel narrative entitled Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold (2008), he joined one of the last working camel caravans in the world, which runs an ancient salt trading route in the Sahara desert in Mali. Leaving Timbuktu, the route veers 500 miles north into the vast desert to salt mines located “in the middle of nowhere,” hundreds of miles away from any village. There's no electricity, no telephone; not even fresh water, Benanav reports.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Connecting Cultures, Ecopsychology, art, indigenous psychology

Racism, Cultural Violence, and Conscious Change: How The Truth Telling Project is Transforming Society

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 12, 2017 2:09:18 PM

Racism, Cultural Violence, and Conscious Change: How The Truth Telling Project is Transforming Society
An Interview with The Truth Telling Project Co-Founder, David Ragland, Ph.D.
A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Historic African American Malcolm X, leader who spoke out for black nationalism famously said, 'I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against.” This quote, featured on the home page for The Truth Telling Project speaks volumes about the mission of this unique and important organization.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Connecting Cultures, Pacifica Events, Social Justice, community psychology

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Cultivating, Counseling, and Stories from Cameroon

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 4, 2017 11:13:04 PM

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Cultivating, Counseling, and Stories from Cameroon An Interview with Paul D. Coverdell Fellow and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Courtney McCubbin
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Nothing can substitute for experience as a way of knowing. It serves as a powerful initiation process that begins the moment you put your foot on a particular path. This appears to be the case for Courtney McCubbin, who served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon in Africa from 2001 to 2005. While McCubbin struggled mightily to learn French in order to communicate with the people there, a task that frequently brought her to tears, she took comfort her deep desire to help people, and threw herself into projects in reforestation, agroforestry, and agronomy, which contributed to the healing of the forests and the farmers there who needed help.

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Posted in: Counseling Psychology, Connecting Cultures, C.G. Jung, Ecopsychology, graduate school, depth psychology, active imagination

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Stories from Romania

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 5, 2017 4:22:15 PM

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Stories from Romania, An Interview with Paul D. Coverdell Fellow and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Erin O’Halloran
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Erin O’Halloran grew up watching Peace Corps commercials on TV which featured footage of volunteers serving in Africa and young children in grass hut houses. Even though the images were somewhat romanticized, the pull toward a life of service was always strong for her, and she always knew it was something she wanted to do.

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, community psychology, graduate school, depth psychology

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Stories from Jamaica

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 21, 2017 2:22:47 PM

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Stories from Jamaica An Interview with Paul D. Coverdell Fellow and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Ross Dionne
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

The first night Ross Dionne and his wife spent with their host family in Jamaica, they were served chicken foot soup, he remembers with a laugh—probably on purpose so the family could see their reaction. Neither his wife nor he picked up that foot and “sucked off all the skin and meat like people do when they eat chicken foot soup” he recalls. Even though he never particularly came to like things like cow skin soup much, making the effort to try the food was one of the best things they could do to build connections with people—something Dionne appreciated very much over the course of the two years he spent in the Peace Corps.

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, Ecopsychology, community psychology, graduate school, depth psychology, liberation psychology

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Stories from Guinea

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 15, 2017 10:45:20 PM

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Stories from Guinea An Interview with Paul D. Coverdell Fellow and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Hilary Braseth
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Only about one third of individuals who apply to the Peace Corps are invited to serve. For Hilary Braseth, applying to the Peace Corps in spite of the odds was a necessary step in her journey. Born and raised in a “bubble town” as she describes it, an area that was primarily white and middle class, she feels she was always aware on some level she was not being exposed to certain facets of society. She has always maintained a certain curiosity about why she was born into her particular body, which affords her certain opportunities, as opposed to others who have different ones.

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, Ecopsychology, community psychology, graduate school, depth psychology

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Stories from Niger

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 6, 2017 2:16:26 PM

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Stories from Niger, An Interview with Paul D. Coverdell Fellow and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Stephanie Steiner
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Sometimes I’m shocked to wake up and realize that it’s 2017 there’s still so much conflict and suffering in our world. We need more and better ways to provide aid, education, and support for developing countries and for those individuals who are struggling due to poverty, hunger, lack of education, poor access to clean water, disease, and violence, among many other challenges.

On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy took a giant step in the right direction when he created the Peace Corps[1], whose mission today focuses on providing hands-on, grassroots-driven initiatives, including developing health campaigns, building schools, improving agricultural practices, boosting local entrepreneurship, and teaching digital literacy, just to name a few. And while there is still a long way to go to eliminate suffering and to better the lives of those in need of help around the world, hundreds of thousands of Peace Corps volunteers have stepped up in 140 different countries over more than five decades to be of service.

Some of those volunteers have found their way to Pacifica as recipients of the Paul D. Coverdell fellowship [2], providing financial assistance to returned Peace Corps Volunteers pursuing graduate work. To honor the anniversary month of the Peace Corps, Pacifica is spotlighting some of the Coverdell Fellows currently enrolled in graduate programs at Pacifica through the Discussions in Depth Psychology interview series.

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, Ecopsychology, community psychology, graduate school, depth psychology

Land, Language, Silence: A Depth Psychological Perspective on Working with the Navajo at Black Mesa

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 19, 2016 4:38:54 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

When Jonathan Rudow goes into a community to conduct research, he is highly conscious of the fact that he arrives with a particular lens—a lens we each develop individually over the course of our lives evolving from our personal experiences, family values, and cultural conditioning. That lens never allows for the full picture, Jonathan insisted when he sat down with me recently to discuss his work with the Navajo (or the Diné people, as they refer to themselves) at Back Mesa in Arizona. The term “Diné,” meaning—“the people”—is a preferred descriptor for the tribe, Jonathan learned, because in the worldview of the Diné, amongst the many varied animals and “figures” in the world, “the people” are considered just one more of those figures that make up the world. The name “Navajo” was never a name the Diné took upon themselves.

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, Ecopsychology, community psychology

Pacifica Graduate Institute | The Mythology of Business: East vrs. West

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Sep 30, 2015 4:43:00 PM

The way in which a company conducts business is constructed by the culture of the people who have built the corporation and continue to operate under those cultural beliefs. As businesses move towards a global platform it is important to understand the myths and stories behind different cultures in order to fully understand the history behind such business models as well as how one engages with a customers holding different cultural beliefs. This understanding of cultural mythologies enables us to be more empathetic to differing ideas and perspectives, allowing us to understand that we may live in one subjective truth, but so does the other person sitting across from you.

In an insightful TED Talk Devdutt Pattanaik explores the mythologies that exist behind east and west thinking and how these stories have shaped differing nation's business models and company culture.    

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, Mythology