Spirit, Soul, and the Secular: An Interview with Thomas Moore

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 17, 2016 8:49:13 AM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Depth Psychology is often associated with “soul.” Many great thinkers in the field have shared some important thoughts on the topic, and perhaps none more so than psychologist and author, Thomas Moore, whose best-selling book, Care of the Soul, is one of the most recognized and appreciated works on the topic. Thomas Moore is speaking at the upcoming Climates of Change conference in celebration of Pacifica’s 40th anniversary in April 2016.

When I sat down recently with Thomas to discuss the topic of soul and spirituality, my first request was that he elaborate on the difference between spirit and soul. Moore’s understanding of the topic is rooted firmly in the past, going back to some of the earliest teachers of soul. While he explained his perception of the difference between spirit and soul in some detail, what struck me is that soul thrives on the “holy” and that there is a “non-human” dimension to it.

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Posted in: James Hillman, Current Affairs, C.G. Jung, nature, soul

Confronting Signs of a Society in Decline

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 7, 2016 3:29:15 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

When I met Chris Hedges online for our recent interview together, I could see why Pacifica Graduate Institute invited him to speak at their milestone 40th anniversary celebration conference, Climates of Change and the Therapy of Ideas, which takes place April 21-24, 2016, in Santa Barbara, CA.

As a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Hedges carries with him nearly two decades of experience reporting from war-torn countries like Yugoslavia, El Salvador, and also Gaza and South Sudan. In this capacity, he has witnessed the decline and disintegration of multiple societies, a perspective which has surely influenced his capacity regard the decline and potential destruction of our own modern culture that seems severely out of order.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Trauma

Storytelling, Myth, Dreamtending and Narrative

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 16, 2015 2:49:39 PM

On Monday, December 14, 2015 the The Narrative Project hosted a thoughtprovoking
and impromptu salon at the intersection of Storytelling, Myth, Dream Tending & Narrative. Ann Badillo of The Narrative Project hosted the evening with Ed Santana, Ph.D., Pacifica's Interim Director of Institutional Learning and Strategy and Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., Chancellor and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Trauma, Pacifica News

Xenophobia, the growing international prejudice toward immigrants

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 16, 2015 2:22:30 PM

A guest post by Dr. Oksana Yakushko, Chair of Pacifica's two doctoral programs in Clinical Psychology.

Xenophobia or prejudice toward immigrants appears to be exploding in political and cultural landscapes around the world. Although the prejudice has been around and part of historical narratives in the past, the current refugee crisis in Europe, as well as migration into the “developed” world by individuals seeking economic and political stability, has resulted in open vitriolic discussions of “dangers” of immigrants and immigration. My recent interviews with the Atlantic and Discovery News are among many contributions, discussions, arguments, and public dialogues on immigration.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Social Justice, Psychology

Pacifica Pledges for Climate Change Initiatives

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 30, 2015 4:17:52 PM

Faithful to its intention to tend anima mundi, the soul in and of the world, Pacifica Graduate Institute resolves to use its own educational resources to support the shift in paradigm and in human consciousness that can lead to and support actions to protect the planet’s climate and all species and habitats dependent on it.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, nature

We Are All Parisian

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 25, 2015 3:09:22 PM

A guest post by Dr. Susan Rowland, Chair of Pacifica's M.A. Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life Program.

Dear Everyone,
Ten years ago when Al Quaeda bombed London, the Mayor of Paris said: “today we are all Londoners.” The following day, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said “We are all Londoners” in Trafalgar Square packed with all of London’s multicultural communities. As a Londoner, then a resident, always by birth, no one speech or event did more to lessen the sense of trauma I felt.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Trauma, Mythology

Fighting Violence with Violence: An Emotional Response to Terrorist Attacks?

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 24, 2015 3:51:42 PM

How do we make decisions regarding the recent attacks in Paris, Beirut, Somalia, and last April's incident at Kenya's Garissa University College? On NPR a few days ago, news commentator Robert Siegel talked about how calm United States President Barack Obama was being because the president did not want to make decisions based on emotional responses.

Some groups are calling for more bombings targeted at these individuals behind the recent terrorists attacks, but should our response to violence be more violence? I emailed Mary Watkins, a professor of depth psychology here at Pacifica to get her thoughts. She responded with this: 

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Trauma

Border Tensions: Troubling Psychoanalysis, an Annual Conference

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 21, 2015 5:00:00 PM

This week we send warm wishes to faculty members Mary Watkins, Lynne Layton, and alumnae Deanne Bell who are presenting at the Association for Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society’s  annual conference, Border Tensions: Troubling Psychoanalysis.

From Deserved Shame to Reparative Solidarity: The Role of Psychosocial Accompaniment

Chair(s): Mary Watkins (Pacifica Graduate Institute)

Presenter(s): Mary Watkins (Pacifica Graduate Institute)

From a decade of work on the borders between Anglos and Mexicans in the U.S., Watkins has tracked the role of deserved shame in psychological and community life. She defines deserved shame as feelings of shame that arise in the aftermath of individual or collective actions that have caused harm, differentiating it from undeserved feelings of shame experienced by innocent individuals. She asserts that if deserved shame is given psychological and community space, it can be a transformative emotion, capable of helping us move toward greater integrity in our relationships with those we or our cultural group has aggrieved.

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Posted in: Current Affairs

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

Ecopsychology: Eco-Grief felt from the 2015 Refugio Oil spill

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jun 1, 2015 11:42:00 AM

Pacifica Graduate Institute professors held an Eco-Grief Gathering and Ceremony in response to the Refugio Oil Spill. Also featured in this post is drone video footage of the oil spill, captured two days after the ruptured pipe line began spewing oil into the Pacific Ocean.

May 28, 2015 –Santa Barbara, CA.

Linda Buzzell, M.A., LMFT, and Maren Hansen, M. Div., Ph.D., from Pacifica Graduate Institute hosted an Eco-Grief Gathering and Ceremony yesterday, in response to a recent oil spill at Refugio Beach. 

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Santa Barbara, Ecopsychology