Depth Psychology, Art, and the Archetype of the Walled Woman

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 24, 2018 1:26:14 PM

Depth Psychology, Art, and the Archetype of the Walled Woman: An Interview with Conceptual Artist Tracy Ferron, M.A. A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Immurement, the concept of confining people inside walls, is a historical reality. Women, especially, have been victims and sacrifices of this macabre practice.

For Tracy Ferron, a conceptual artist and student of depth psychology, the archetypal theme of “walled women” first surfaced in a powerful dream. At the time, she was deeply engrossed in research on Big Pharma and societal complexes of power in a class at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she completed her master’s degree in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life in June 2017. During this process, powerful feelings of hopelessness and frustration arose, dovetailing with her personal life where she felt quite “stuck” in shifting her life’s direction after nearly 20 years spent raising five children.

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Posted in: archetypes, Psychology, art, depth psychology

Dionysus as God of Drama, Psychology, and Transdisciplinarity: Depth Psychology and the Arts

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 19, 2017 11:19:09 PM

A presentation by Susan Rowland, Response at the Radical Edge: Depth Psychology for the 21st Century Summary article by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Changing society requires changing our ideas about education, specifically about disciplines, began Susan Rowland in her stimulating talk on Dionysus and the power of transdisciplinarity. The Greek god Dionysus, perhaps best known as the god of grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy, doesn’t attempt to divide things up, but rather mixes them up instead.

Dionysus has a drum, which covered a lot of the artistic practice of the time of the ancient Greeks, Rowland relates. At that time, when Dionysus presided over the Athenian dramas, going to the theater was not a leisure activity, but a major civic action, which involved politics and religion, as well as the arts.

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Posted in: Mythology, Psychology, art, depth psychology

Witches, Trauma, and Depth Psychology? The Practice of Psychology Today

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jun 28, 2017 2:40:30 PM

Resistance and Radical Edges Conference, June 2017
Introduction to Dr. Donald Kalsched and clinical depth psychology by the Chair of the Clinical Psychology Department, Dr. Oksana Yakushko

On the weekend of June 16-18 of 2017 The Retreat at Pacifica Graduate Institute hosted over one-hundred guests at the landmark conference Response at the Radical Edge: Depth Psychology for the 21st Century. Chair of Pacifica's Clinical Psychology Program, Dr. Oksana Yakushko, welcomed guests on the morning of June 17th and gave some opening remarks. We hope you enjoy the replay of the live presentation. If you would prefer, Dr. Yakushko has kindly offered her written speech which you can access below the video.

Opening Remarks:

A warm morning greeting to all of you. I hope you have enjoyed yesterday’s offerings, opening plenaries, and connections.

I am Dr. Oksana Yakushko, the chair of the Clinical Psychology department which includes both the Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs here at Pacifica. I have the privilege of giving the opening remarks on this day and an introduction to our next distinguished speaker, Dr. Donald Kalshed, one of the top scholars on depth psychological perspectives on trauma.

My introductory comments will focus on offering a frame, a different container and symbol for the practice of psychology today.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, C.G. Jung, history of psychology, Psychology

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.

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

Depth Psychology and Careers of the Future

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 6, 2017 3:09:17 PM

A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

If you haven’t figured out what kind of career you want, consider the possibility that it hasn’t been invented yet.

Events in our highly interconnected world change so rapidly now that what were formerly considered safe, stable careers can vanish overnight or be exported to other lands. I have a friend who decided a while back to give up on career pursuit worries and just drive a taxi. Surely that would be a safe bet? Everyone needs to get around. That, of course, was before Uber and Lyft.

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Posted in: Alumni, Psychology, vocation, depth psychology

The Humanities, the World, and the Practice of Psychotherapy

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 7, 2016 2:20:03 PM

The Humanities, the World, and the Practice of Psychotherapy¹

A guest post by Michael P. Sipiora, Ph.D.

“What does it take to be a therapist? Being a good person and knowing at least the last 200 years of cultural history.” Tony Barton (personal communication, 1987)

“By historically situating psychotherapy, and thus by acknowledging the ways that psychotherapy has unknowingly substituted for missing community tradition, has provided a covert moral framework about the way of being human, and has obscured the sociopolitical causes of psychological suffering, psychotherapy would model the ability to confront one’s own unconscious contributions to the political and philosophical problems of our time and to be freer to more explicitly present thoughtful, nuanced, moral conceptions of human being” Phillip Cushman (1995, p. 299).

“If you are for the American republic, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, if you are for these things you are against the American empire. The task of the consulting room is in part to keep the pores open to what goes on in the empire. The job of psychotherapy is to keep one suffering the decline of the republic” James Hillman (1992, p. 235).

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Posted in: Therapist, James Hillman, Psychotherapy, clinical psychology, Psychology

Who was Carl Jung and why should we study him and his work?

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 17, 2016 10:05:40 AM

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A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

Carl Gustav Jung was born in 1875, died in 1961, and lived in Switzerland all his life, although he traveled now and then. He was a psychiatrist, seeing patients and pioneering various techniques in experimental research before focusing on psychoanalysis and then on evolving his own kind of depth psychology. He created innovative methods for working with symptoms, dreams, fantasies, visions, and even works of art on the level of psychological symbolism.

A remarkable thing about Jung’s work is that so little of it is out of date.

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, history of psychology, Psychology, depth psychology

Depth Psychology in Work and Career Part I: Depth Psychology and the contributions of Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 3, 2016 2:13:13 PM

A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

Depth Psychology and the contributions of Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung.

As outlined in Pacifica’s definition, depth psychology is an interdisciplinary body of psychological practices and traditions that study the interactions between conscious and unconscious. Psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler coined the term in 1910 to describe psychoanalytic approaches to therapy and research.

The question of who founded the field is more complex than the usual answer: Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung, both interested in exploring what pulses and simmers below our customary awareness. In France, Pierre Janet coined “subconscious” to describe the inner roots of psychological symptoms without apparent biological causes. One of his patients wept a lot without knowing why. She had never mourned the loss of two loved ones. Finding this out alleviated her symptoms.

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, history of psychology, Psychology, depth psychology

Depth Psychology in Work and Career Part II

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 3, 2016 2:11:20 PM

A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

Depth psychologists don’t job-hunt without taking the psyche into account. What does this mean?

It means that the job I consciously think I belong in might not be the job that fulfills me. Many of us know exactly what kind of work we “should” do according to external standards we’ve internalized, but how many know what would complete us, give a sense of mission, bring joy and refreshment? Not many.

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, history of psychology, Psychology, depth psychology

Supervising in Depth: Pacifica Launches a New Certificate Training Program

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Sep 19, 2016 10:45:24 AM

Professors Joseph Cambray, Linda Carter, Avedis Panajian, Joseph Bobrow, and Lionel Corbett have come together to co-teach in the new certificate training program Becoming a Supervisor in Depth.

The program is nine sessions over the course of 10 months on a designated Thursday evening, and teaches the skills and approaches necessary to become a supervisor from a depth psychological orientation. 

See below for a reprinted interview between Pacifica Alumni Bonnie Bright and Pacifica Provost Dr. Joseph Cambray who will be teaching in the program.


Psychotherapy is pervasive in contemporary culture. Even if you’re not a therapist yourself, if you’re taking the time to read this post, chances are good that either you or someone close to you has been involved in therapy at some point in their lives. And, while you may feel you have a good understanding of what happens in the therapy room, there may be more than meets the eye. Do you ever wonder, for example, what has to occur in the therapeutic process so that the basic experience is what it needs to be for both the client and the therapist? How does a therapist tap into the unconscious in order to help the client be more of “who they are”? How does synchronicity—and the interactive field that emerges between two individuals—serve up messages from the unconscious for the benefit of the work? More, where does the therapist her/himself turn for help in honing their own intuition and skills that ultimately contribute to their own individuation process in working with clients?

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Posted in: Therapist, C.G. Jung, clinical psychology, Psychology, depth psychology