Tending Soul with Military, Veterans, and First Responders: A Depth Psychological Approach

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 12, 2017 3:56:30 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

There is a certain kind of transformational process that demands the most and the best of us so that we can respond to traumatic situations, just as military, veterans, and first responders do on a daily basis. From a depth psychological perspective, this kind of transformation can be initiated through a psycho-mythic journey to warriorhood, believe Ed Tick and John Becknell, who offer archetypal and depth psychological frameworks for military, veterans, and first responders, including police officers, sheriff departments, border patrol, firefighters, paramedics, EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians), and dispatchers and other individuals who take emergency calls.

Read More

Posted in: Counseling Psychology, archetypes, Pacifica Events, Mythology, clinical psychology, Psychology, depth psychology, military

On Feminist Roots and Radical Edges of Depth Psychology at Pacifica: In Celebration of Women’s History Month

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 10, 2017 3:57:55 PM

A guest post by Dr. Oksana Yakushko, Ph.D.

For many women and men, the discovery of feminism as a personal and spiritual standpoint, may have come as much from reaction to politics of gender (e.g., reproductive rights, equal pay) as from being exposed to the work of scholars. Pacifica enjoys the work of a number of scholars who invite us to redress societal misogyny and to craft psychological theory and practice that supports the full equality of women. Marija Gimbutas' work, carefully preserved in the OPUS Archive and Research Center at Pacifica, galvanized many women toward a recognition that patriarchy is neither universal nor even that historically dominant (non-patriarchal cultures existed for far far lengthier swaths of time than current patriarchal ones). Her discoveries of the Goddess civilizations, her insistence on privileging the women-centering archeological interpretations of these findings, and her focus on visual documentation of overwhelming evidence of non-patriarchal traditions stirred everything and everyone feminist for generations.

Read More

Posted in: gender, depth psychology

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.

Read More

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

Ministry: Where Religion and Psychology Find Each Other

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 5, 2017 3:39:19 PM

A guest post by professor Maren Tonder Hansen, M.Div., Ph.D.

My professional training and interests gravitate toward the many intersections between psychology and religion. As a young woman, I studied for the Unitarian ministry, earning a Master of Divinity. Through coursework at the Graduate Theological Union, I explored not only religion, but also the psychology of Jung, dream analysis, and devoted a semester to training in hospital chaplaincy. In my experience, the depth dimensions of psychology and religion enriched and informed each other.

Read More

Posted in: Therapist, graduate school, soul, 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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Depth Psychology and the Creative Arts: Theater, Therapy, Individuation

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 10, 2017 3:48:50 PM

Depth Psychology and the Creative Arts: Theater, Therapy, Individuation, An Interview with Lisa Schouw
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Lisa Schouw has had a long career in the arts, in singing, songwriting, theater, and as a teacher of those arts. She began her formal study as a depth psychotherapist later in life when she was nearly 50, after discovering Pacifica and pursuing her Master’s degree in the Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life Program there.

While the early part of her life was very creative as she moved back and forth between dance, music, and theater, Schouw had had a longstanding interest in psychology, and recognized the need to provide a container to “hold” the personal material which would often unfold or “unravel” as they started to work with music or theater. When she discovered depth psychology and Pacifica, it occurred to her that she had found a way to “stitch those worlds together.”

Read More

Posted in: creativity, depth psychology, theatre

The Creative Dance of Mindfulness and Depth Psychology

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 8, 2017 11:04:31 PM

A guest post by Juliet Rohde-Brown, Ph.D.

Pema Chodron has written: “Embarking on the spiritual journey is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean to search for unknown lands.” This quote beckons to how mindfulness and depth psychology serve complimentary journeys, in that both invite us into active agency with our inner landscape and a deeper intimacy in relational engagement.

Read More

Posted in: Pacifica Events, depth psychology, dreams

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.

Read More

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

A Deeper Relationship with the Mind: Counseling, Creativity, and Transcendence

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 7, 2017 10:10:09 AM

A Deeper Relationship with the Mind: Counseling, Creativity, and Transcendence An Interview with Adrianna Attento
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Even before getting her Master’s degree in Counseling psychology at Pacifica, Adriana Attento was working in the field of psychology. During that same period, she was also doing a lot of writing—meeting with a friend to free write next to the ocean every morning for an hour—and she was also meditating as a regular spiritual practice. Somehow, she now believes, the combination of these two practices opened something up for her, creating a “flow, and abundance of images that images that felt very potent.”

Read More

Posted in: Counseling Psychology, Therapist, Alumni, depth psychology, meditation