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

Dreams, Calling, Suffering, and Individuation: Finding Light in the Darkness

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Aug 4, 2017 3:21:44 PM

Dreams, Calling, Suffering, and Individuation: Finding Light in the Darkness An Interview with Jungian Analyst and New Pacifica Core Faculty Member, Fanny Brewster. A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Fanny Brewster first came to Pacifica as a student because she was interested in studying dreams. Once armed with her doctorate and a strong foundation in depth psychology and dreamwork, she identified a desire to go on and become a Jungian analyst, and synchronistically, now finds herself returning to Pacifica to teach as core faculty in the Clinical Psychology program there.

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Posted in: depth psychology, dreams, individuation

Dreaming as Response: The Global Dream Initiative

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 12, 2017 10:21:42 PM

Concurrent session with Dr. Steven Aizenstat and Dr. Douglas Thomas, Response at the Radical Edge: Depth Psychology for the 21st Century
Summary article by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

When we move out of identification with images that arise at critical moments in our lives (whether from dreams or other modalities), and into relationship with the image, we get information from the images. In other words, if we can grasp that the image we encounter is “not me,” we can benefit from its underlying wisdom.

When you work with dreams from an animated point of view, notes Stephen Aizenstat, who pioneered the process of DreamTending[1], it brings the dream to life. When one comes into a relationship with the image, it allows the image its own innate intelligence, and it can speak to us what it knows.

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Posted in: dreams

The Art of Transformation: Images, Dreams, and Alchemy

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jun 23, 2017 4:03:21 PM

The Art of Transformation: Images, Dreams, and Alchemy—An Interview with Jungian Analyst, Stanton Marlan
A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

For Stanton Marlan, a Jungian analyst and author of the iconic tome, The Black Sun: The Alchemy and Art of Darkness, his interest in alchemy may be traced in some part to his childhood stone collection. As a child, Marlan used to use his stones to “write” in wonderful colors, and delighted in the way each had a certain capacity to express themselves in a unique way without crumbling in the process.

The stones, which he kept in front of his grandmother’s house where he lived, became a very early “image” for Marlan, carrying a great deal of meaning. When his grandmother determined the stones were cluttering the front yard and threw them away, it resulted in a sense of profound loss for the boy whose colorful stones were so rich and valuable to him. In some deep way, Marlan reflects, the search for the philosopher’s stone, or the search for meaning in stones, was an early imprint on his mind as a young child.

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, alchemy, soul, images, dreams, individuation

Trauma and the Soul: Psychoanalytic Approaches to the Inner World

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 23, 2017 4:27:05 PM

Trauma and the Soul: Psychoanalytic Approaches to the Inner World An Interview with Jungian Analyst Donald Kalsched
A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Trauma is an injury to the capacity to feel, says Jungian analyst Donald Kalsched, who has specialized in the field of trauma for decades. He describes trauma as something that occurs when we are given more to experience than we can consciously bear, especially if we lack resources to help metabolize the feelings that emerge. For example, a child in an emotionally illiterate family who has no place to turn for support may be traumatized by certain events.

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Posted in: Trauma, Pacifica Events, clinical psychology, soul, dreams

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.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, depth psychology, dreams

Tonight in Dreamland: a New Play co-written by Award-Winning TV Writer Cheri SteinKellner & Visionary Jean Houston

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 28, 2017 3:21:36 PM

Tonight in Dreamland: Archetypal Perspectives on a New Play co-written by Award-Winning TV Writer Cheri SteinKellner & Visionary Jean Houston
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

The hit television series, Cheers, was a staple for many of us in the 1980s and early 90s. Sitting down in the front of the TV to catch a good laugh was sometimes the highlight of a busy week. Little did I know that decades later, I’d be having a conversation—about depth psychology—with on one of the award-winning writers of the series who is pursuing a degree in the Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Cheri Steinkellner has an impressive number of awards, including Emmys, Golden Globes, and Tony among them as a writer/producer on a number of shows, including the Broadway hit, “Sister Act, the Musical.”

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, Santa Barbara, creativity, soul, symbol, dreams, theatre

On Memoir, with Maureen Murdock

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 23, 2017 5:01:10 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Some of the best memoirs you can read are those that are reflective, those which are informed by dreams, myth, and synchronicities, maintains Maureen Murdock, a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist and the author of multiple memoirs and books about memoirs. In other words, there’s a depth psychological perspective that can facilitate, enhance, and deepen the telling of one’s story in a profound way.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, creativity, images, dreams, writing

Mythological Legends as Portals to Personal Shadow, Group Trauma, and Cultural Complexes

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 11, 2016 4:17:45 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Three of four Americans profess at least one paranormal belief, studies show, including a belief in ghosts, witches, or other magical entities.¹ There is a particular genre of folklore narratives called mythological legends, I recently learned, which are stories relayed as real experiences by real people, and which always involve paranormal elements such as highly unusual animals or ghosts. These specific kinds of folklore narratives are not historical, notes Evija Vestergaard, Ph.D., who researches mythological legends and links them to contemporary culture; rather they are about everyday people and their everyday experiences, which just happen to involve these fantastic creatures or components.

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Posted in: Trauma, Mythology, dreams

The Image Making Capacity of Soul: A Conversation on Imaginal Figures in Everyday Life with Dr. Mary Harrell

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Sep 9, 2016 12:59:49 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Every once in a while, a term emerges on the horizon of my awareness which I find strikingly beautiful. In this case, it is the “image-making capacity of soul.” The language of soul is symbol, and symbol shows itself in image—including dream images, fairy tales and myth, or even art, Mary Harrell, Ph.D., explains in her recent book, Imaginal Figures in Everyday Life: Stories from the World Between Matter and Mind. Ultimately, this language of images is soul manifesting in a way people can understand, and without that image-making capacity, people can’t come to terms with the unconscious, Harrell insists.

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Posted in: soul, symbol, imaginal, dreams