Conversations on Trauma and Transcendence: A Roundup

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Jun 13, 2018 11:57:53 AM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on interviews conducted by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Ready to immerse yourself in some of the perspectives of trauma and transcendence being presented at Pacifica’s Trauma + Transcendence Conference June 22-24, 2018? We’ve rounded up our Pacifica Post blog posts and audio recordings of scholars and analysts presenting at the Conference who also recently spoke with Bonnie Bright, Ph.D., about their research.

Although registrations for attending the Trauma + Transcendence Conference in person have sold out, you can still gain access to the video livestream of the Conference’s Friday and Saturday events. Enjoy the Conference from the comfort of your home desktop computer or device by watching the livestream presentations in real time. You also have the option to earn continuing education credits by watching the livestream; please add the additional “Continuing Education Credit Fee” when you register. Details: https://retreat.pacifica.edu/trauma-transcendence/

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Posted in: Trauma, Pacifica Events, transformative, C.G. Jung, clinical psychology, Psychology, dreams, psyche, Spiritual

Navigating the Depths: How the Psychoid and Unus Mundus Can Help Us Transcend Trauma

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Jun 5, 2018 6:29:10 PM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on an Interview with Ann Belford Ulanov, Ph.D., L.H.D., by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Ann Ulanov here. (approx. 31 minutes)

In the book The Unshuttered Heart: Opening Aliveness/Deadness in the Self, Jungian analyst Ann Belford Ulanov, Ph.D., L.H.D., says, “we can find our depth by being found in the depths.” But what does it mean, "to be found in depths"? For those of us who constantly seek to better understand ourselves and the world around us, or, as Joseph Campbell said, are "seeking an experience of being alive," what are some ways that we might find ourselves in these depths, to gain those profound insights that help us experience being alive? Ann, who is a prolific author and presenter at Pacifica’s upcoming sold-out Trauma and Transcendence conference in June 2018, says that one way we can find our depth in the depths is through our dreams. “You can’t make up the dream,” she says. “The dream makes up you. And some dreams you really get right away, and they tell you something you never knew before, and it’s as if you’re being addressed.”

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Posted in: Trauma, Pacifica Events, transformative, C.G. Jung, clinical psychology, Psychology, dreams, psyche, Spiritual

Spiritual Implications of Psychosis: How a Spiritual Perspective Can Provide Health Benefits to Mind and Body

Posted by Krystyna Knight on May 25, 2018 10:22:00 AM

Spiritual Implications of Psychosis: How a Spiritual Perspective Can Provide Health Benefits to Mind and Body. A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on an interview with Tanya Marie Luhrmann, Ph.D., by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Tanya Luhrmann here. (approx. 34 minutes)

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), schizophrenia is defined as “a severe mental disorder, characterized by profound disruptions in thinking, affecting language, perception, and the sense of self. It often includes psychotic experiences, such as hearing voices or delusions. It can impair functioning through the loss of an acquired capability to earn a livelihood, or the disruption of studies.” The condition affects more than 21 million people worldwide. [1]

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Posted in: Trauma, Pacifica Events, transformative, C.G. Jung, Psychology, Spiritual

Fire on the Mountain at Solstice

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 21, 2017 10:57:22 PM

A guest post by Pacifica Alumna Jacqueline Spoehel O'Connor

With news of the Thomas fire nearing and passing Pacifica's campuses, we turned towards the media to bring us images of what was happening. Firefighters silhouetted small against the walls of flame, showing us the immensity of nature's power, surpassing a human's strength to control it. Maps of dots, squares, or illustrated flames depicting the advancing fire gave us imaginings of a vast creature consuming the overabundant growth of match-stick dry vegetation.

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Posted in: transformative, nature, Pacifica News

Mythological and Archetypal Perspectives on Childbirth in Contemporary Culture

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 22, 2017 1:46:35 PM

Mythological and Archetypal Perspectives on Childbirth in Contemporary Culture: An Interview with Britta Bushnell, Ph.D.
A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

When yoga teacher Britta Bushnell first became pregnant, it was natural for her to add prenatal yoga to the yoga classes she was already teaching. This move eventually led to her training with childbirth specialist, Pam England, the author of the classic birth book, Birthing from Within[1]. England had already formulated a remarkable method that integrated mythology to help parents prepare for birth as a rite of passage, and for Bushnell, the training was transformational—so much so that it ultimately led to the two women becoming business partners.

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Posted in: Mythology, transformative, Education, mythological, somatic, the body, rite of passage

Divine Darkness and Divine Light

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 17, 2017 2:04:51 PM

Jungian Analyst Stanton Marlan presents "Divine Darkness and Divine Light: Alchemical Illumination and the Mystical Play between Knowing and Unknowing." This presentation was given in the summer of 2017 at the conference Ars Alchemica: The Art And Alchemy Of Transformation.

This weekend symposium, hosted by The Retreat at Pacifica Graduate Instiutute drew upon the rich influence of Jung’s alchemical psychology, while expanding it for a new generation of scholars, seekers, and practitioners.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, transformative, C.G. Jung, alchemy, Pacifica Graduate Institute

How Pacifica's M.A. Engaged Humanities Program has transformed my life

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Aug 25, 2017 12:25:07 PM

Stories from recent graduates of Pacifica's M.A. Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life Program 

"Pacifica's M.A. Engaged Humanities and Creative Life Program has transformed my life in the best way, giving me a language to speak my truth, and a frame through which life and everything I do seems more meaningful and connected to everything else. The program trained me to live creatively in every single area of my life. I'm less fearful since I studied at Pacifica. I am more free since I completed the program. I am a wife and a mother, and I make a living as a screenwriter for the Hispanic audiences in the US. And I am a performer. Life is still the same life, but I process it in a richer way. I like and honor being a lot of things at the same time. I don't constrain myself to be only one thing, one role any more. This is all thanks to the Engaged Humanities and Creative Life Master's Program I did at Pacifica Graduate Institute."

Mariangelica Duque Wife, Mother, friend, Screenwriter, Mentor, Performer and more


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Posted in: Alumni, transformative, creativity, humanities

The Power of Self-Actualization Revealed by Historical African-American Leaders

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 27, 2017 10:23:18 AM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

One of the benefits of depth psychological traditions is that they can be applied to understanding what it means to be a self or soul in this world, and to think about others who have led the way. “We stand on the shoulders of so many giants,” insists William James Jones, who completed his dissertation research on the process of self-actualization to receive his Ph.D. in the Clinical Psychology program at Pacifica last year.

In the process, Jones realized he was interested in self-actualization long before he knew the term for it. As a young boy from the streets of Chicago who didn’t really have his father growing up, he looked up to some of the strong figures in his community—including his mother, teachers, coaches, pastors, and priests—for inspiration. He was keenly interested in what it means to be a man with excellence—to really lead the life he is capable of, he realized. That desire sparked his curiosity about who exhibits the kind of traits he aspired to, prompting him to ask, “Who am I at the deepest levels, and what's my purpose in life? What's the meaning of all this?”

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Posted in: transformative, C.G. Jung, clinical psychology, soul, depth psychology

Jung, Art, and Transformation: On Charlotte Salomon's "Life? or Theater?"

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 9, 2017 4:41:07 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Lisa Pounders has always had an interest in art and poetry, and has long been inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell—even painting his directive, “Follow your own bliss” above a window in her art studio years ago. Her story is not unlike that of others who have attended Pacifica Graduate Institute: when she enrolled in the Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life program, she felt she was responding to a “mysterious sense of calling” that many other students and alumni have also reported. Her own sense of summons had to do with the sense that creativity and what she initially learned about C. G. Jung’s ideas about the unconscious were intrinsically linked. Making the connection explicit (especially through a Master’s degree in Creativity) seemed a powerful way to move her own life forward.

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Posted in: transformative, C.G. Jung, art, theatre

How Memory Tending Can Transform You: An Interview with Dr. Daphne Dodson

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Sep 19, 2016 12:35:29 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

You may have donated that Times of Your Life Paul Anka 8-track to charity when it didn’t sell at the last neighborhood rummage sale, but the words to “Good Morning Yesterday” live on. Sometimes it is hard to find the “memories you left behind” as Anka sang in 1976. Sometimes, as Freud argued, those memories sink below the level of our consciousness, but continue to work on us in various ways even decades later. Sigmund Freud even formulated a term “return of the repressed” to explain where neurotic symptoms originate, writing that

illness is characterized by the return of the repressed memories -- that is, therefore, by the failure of the defence.... The re-activated memories, however, and the self-reproaches formed from them never re-emerge into consciousness unchanged: what become conscious as obsessional ideas and affects¹

Jung, too, expressed the opinion that our memories can torment us to a dangerous extent when he wrote,

It may be that the majority of hysterical persons are ill because they possess a mass of memories, highly charged with affect and therefore deeply rooted in the unconscious, which cannot be controlled and which tyrannize the conscious mind and will of the patient.²

You don’t have to be a depth psychologist to notice when, at times, memories of your own rise up unexpectedly out of nowhere, often instigating powerful emotions. It happens for me with a handful of certain memories show up, surprising me with their content and their intensity, making me wonder why a certain memory would arise for me when millions of others are lost.

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Posted in: Trauma, Alumni, transformative, symbol, images