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.

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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.

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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

Postgraduate Pluses and the Myriad Rewards of Master's and Doctoral Degrees

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 15, 2017 3:58:02 PM

This article first appeared in the March 10th weekly edition of L.A. Weekly by Paul Rogers

We’ve all had that friend who seems to have been “working on their master’s” or “doing their doctorate” forever. However mysterious their endeavors might be, it’s clear that these are something worth devoting a chunk of their life (and a chunk of change) to – and usually while also juggling work and family commitments.

American universities award around 750,000 master’s degrees and 175,000 doctorates each year. So just what are these advanced qualifications, what do they entail - and what should scholars expect at the end of years of study?

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Posted in: graduate school

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

New Guest Rooms and Yurt at Pacifica's Ladera Lane Campus

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 11, 2017 2:11:08 PM

A guest post by Jeffery Abraham, M.B.A.

As we sit back and reflect upon the last year, we here in Guest Services and Facilities cannot help but feel a sense of joy and accomplishment. It has been a busy year here at Pacifica, as our teams have been working hard to create unique and welcoming spaces for our students and guests. I would like to take a moment to highlight a few of our projects.

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Posted in: Pacifica News, graduate school

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) eligible to work at the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 10, 2016 1:48:36 PM

A big congratulations to the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT) for working to grant eligible LMFTs employment at the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)!

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Posted in: Counseling Psychology, Current Affairs, Pacifica News, graduate school, vocation, Education

Getting Past the Threshold and Into the Classroom

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Sep 9, 2016 1:48:48 PM

A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

You’ve investigated which schools offer what; you’ve found a suitable program; and you’re ready to apply. What holds you back?

You’ve applied but not completed the application. How come?

You’ve completed the application but not paid the fee. Why?

I’ve been there. Twice: when entering the master’s program in Marriage and Family Therapy at CalLutheran University, and when enrolling at Pacifica Graduate Institute for my PhD in Depth Psychology. Why do we resist committing ourselves? Perhaps we can look at it psychologically.

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Posted in: graduate school, Education

A Second Ph.D.; An Alumna Story

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 27, 2016 1:13:25 PM

An interview with Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Alumn Sarette Zecharia, Ph.D.

Please tell us about your professional life since you graduated from Pacifica.

When I graduated from Pacifica in 2000, I had moved to Scottsdale Arizona. I did my post doc through the Superior Court of Arizona in the Probation Department. From there I went into private practice and continued to explore more alternative methods to help empower patients to truly value themselves and shine as vibrant divine beings. Through the years, I have also partnered with various clinics to ensure an integrative approach to care and have focused heavily on working with chronic pain at a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. On the side, I have taught as adjunct faculty at various universities and lectured prolifically on topics in my expertise, bringing awareness and empowerment to attendees to find their way.

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Posted in: Alumni, clinical psychology, graduate school, vocation

Pacifica's Psy.D. Clinical Psychology Program; An Alumna Story

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 18, 2016 1:35:36 PM

An interview with Psy.D. Clinical Psychology Alumna Johanna Hays, Psy.D.

I received my BA in Psychology from California State University Northridge in 2007, and completed my MA in Counseling Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2009.

I completed my doctoral degree from Pacifica in December 2013 and conducted my research on the integration of Somatic Experiencing® with psychodynamic psychotherapy. Concurrent with my doctoral studies, I completed the three-year Somatic Experiencing® certification and currently have a private practice in which I integrate both SE and hypnotherapy together to work with individuals who experience symptoms of trauma and pain.

I attended the Hypnotherapy Motivation Institute in 2005 prior to beginning my graduate studies, and it was this connection to the unconscious and the power of image and story that resonated with me at Pacifica.

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Posted in: Alumni, clinical psychology, graduate school, vocation