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

Community Reparations for Victims of Jon Burge's Torture Techniques

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jun 10, 2015 1:47:00 PM

Community Reparations

A guest post by Liz Diligio, a 2nd year student in the Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology Specialization of the M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology Program (C.L.E. program)

In May of 1972 Jon Burge, a Vietnam veteran, was promoted to police detective on Chicago’s south side. For the next twenty years Burge and other officers used torture techniques Burge learned in Vietnam to force confessions from men arrested in the neighborhood. Jon Burge eventually sent over 200 hundred men to prison based on confessions obtained through torture. The practice finally came to light during proceedings before the Police Board in 1992, when City lawyers admitted that the evidence of Area 2 (Burge’s district) use of torture established "an astounding pattern or plan… to torture certain suspects… into confessing to crimes.”

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Trauma, Connecting Cultures, Social Justice

The Earth Charter and the Search for Humanity's Shared Values

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 24, 2015 1:51:00 PM

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Connecting Cultures, Pacifica Events

The Peace Corps & Pacifica Unite to give Scholarship Opportunities

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 7, 2015 11:26:00 AM

Santa Barbara, California – The Peace Corps today announced the launch of a new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program in partnership with Pacifica Graduate Institute. The program will provide graduate school scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers who complete a degree-related internship in an underserved American community while they pursue their studies.  

-->New Partnership: Paul D. Coverdell and Pacifica Graduate Institute

“The Peace Corps is excited to extend this opportunity to returned volunteers in partnership with Pacifica Graduate Institute to support continued public service and education,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “The Coverdell Fellows Program gives returned volunteers the chance to build on their classroom experience by sharing their unique knowledge and skills with local organizations in need.”

Selected Coverdell Fellows will have the opportunity to earn masters and doctoral degrees through Pacifica’s program in Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology.

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, Pacifica News

Up Against the Wall Re-Imagining the U.S.-Mexico Border

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 29, 2014 12:24:00 PM

A guest post by Dr. Mary Watkins and Dr. Ed Casey. The following is excerpted from their insightful book Up Against the Wall Re-Imagining the U.S.-Mexico Border


We live in an era of forced migration with unprecedented global dimensions. How are we to peaceably and justly co-exist together -- those of us who must leave our homes forever to meet our human needs, and the rest of us who find our neighborhoods, towns, and cities changing as a result of these necessary migrations? In particular, how can we create a compassionate and just response to new neighbors who have come to the United States to find work or asylum?  We offer this book as an invitation to a sustained reflection on these questions.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Connecting Cultures

Mythic Threads: Art, Healing, & Magic in Bali

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 18, 2014 3:10:00 PM

A guest post by Kerry Methner, PhD / CASA Magazine, Dr. Methner's article appeared in the November 14th edition of Casa Magazine.

Pacifica on Lambert Road, Gallery

Mythic Threads: Art, Healing, & Magic in Bali

In a land where the veil between life and death and between the sacred and mundane is porous and sometimes transparent, Kansas native and local resident Pamela Bjork sought solace as she grieved her father’s passing. That land was the island of Bali where she visited for the first time in 1995. That trip was a seed, growing over the next 20 years, bearing fruit in the form of a degree from Pacifica Graduate Institute and now an exhibition that officially opens with a celebration on Saturday, November 22nd from 2 to 5pm - Mythic Threads: Art, Healing, & Magic in Bali.

“An unbidden invitation arrived in the mail one summer day shortly after my father’s death in 1995,” Bjork recalled. “It read, ‘The Healers of Bali.’” Soon she was on her way. “The busyness and warmth of the people, visits to strange and exotic healers, multitudes of offerings, vibrant colors of textiles, sacred ceremonies, and performance everywhere offered a new perspective on how to live and helped assuage my grief,” Bjork shared.

Bjork is a 2012 graduate of the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica. Her fascination with Balinese culture and mythology led her to the topic of her dissertation, Hospitality of Color: Healing Presence in Ceremonial Balinese Textiles. This exhibition follows, illustrating the living myth of a contemporary culture, allowing the viewer to follow in the footsteps of Bjork’s pilgrimage to see living stories in the images and artifacts she brought home. Bjork will talk about her experiences and learning at 2:30pm.

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures