Depth Psychological Approaches to Suffering

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 27, 2016 9:31:49 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ― Kahlil Gibran

We are all intimately familiar with suffering. And, while we might wish it away when it is painfully present, it is a normal part of human life, Dr. Lionel Corbett, M.D., Jungian analyst and professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute reminded me when I recently sat down for a depth discussion with him on the topic.

Etymologically, the word “suffering” comes from two Latin roots: sub—meaning “under”—and ferre, meaning “to carry or bear,” as in “to bear a burden.” But suffering is not necessarily pathological, Lionel insists. The root of the word “suffer” is also the root of the English word “fertile,” so it is also related to the idea of bearing fruit. Psychologically, then, suffering can produce something; it’s not random or meaningless, nor merely something to get rid of. In reality, it can act as either a fertilizer or a poison. It can be harmful or it can be helpful, but we need a framework by which we can understand it.

Read More

Posted in: The Psyche, Trauma, Pacifica Events, Psychology

Storytelling, Myth, Dreamtending and Narrative

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 16, 2015 2:49:39 PM

On Monday, December 14, 2015 the The Narrative Project hosted a thoughtprovoking
and impromptu salon at the intersection of Storytelling, Myth, Dream Tending & Narrative. Ann Badillo of The Narrative Project hosted the evening with Ed Santana, Ph.D., Pacifica's Interim Director of Institutional Learning and Strategy and Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., Chancellor and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Read More

Posted in: Current Affairs, Trauma, Pacifica News

We Are All Parisian

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 25, 2015 3:09:22 PM

A guest post by Dr. Susan Rowland, Chair of Pacifica's M.A. Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life Program.

Dear Everyone,
Ten years ago when Al Quaeda bombed London, the Mayor of Paris said: “today we are all Londoners.” The following day, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said “We are all Londoners” in Trafalgar Square packed with all of London’s multicultural communities. As a Londoner, then a resident, always by birth, no one speech or event did more to lessen the sense of trauma I felt.

Read More

Posted in: Current Affairs, Trauma, Mythology

Fighting Violence with Violence: An Emotional Response to Terrorist Attacks?

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 24, 2015 3:51:42 PM

How do we make decisions regarding the recent attacks in Paris, Beirut, Somalia, and last April's incident at Kenya's Garissa University College? On NPR a few days ago, news commentator Robert Siegel talked about how calm United States President Barack Obama was being because the president did not want to make decisions based on emotional responses.

Some groups are calling for more bombings targeted at these individuals behind the recent terrorists attacks, but should our response to violence be more violence? I emailed Mary Watkins, a professor of depth psychology here at Pacifica to get her thoughts. She responded with this: 

Read More

Posted in: Current Affairs, Trauma

Community Reparations for Victims of Jon Burge's Torture Techniques

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jun 10, 2015 1:47:00 PM

Community Reparations

A guest post by Liz Diligio, a 2nd year student in the Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology Specialization of the M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology Program (C.L.E. program)

In May of 1972 Jon Burge, a Vietnam veteran, was promoted to police detective on Chicago’s south side. For the next twenty years Burge and other officers used torture techniques Burge learned in Vietnam to force confessions from men arrested in the neighborhood. Jon Burge eventually sent over 200 hundred men to prison based on confessions obtained through torture. The practice finally came to light during proceedings before the Police Board in 1992, when City lawyers admitted that the evidence of Area 2 (Burge’s district) use of torture established "an astounding pattern or plan… to torture certain suspects… into confessing to crimes.”

Read More

Posted in: Current Affairs, Trauma, Connecting Cultures, Social Justice

Heartbreak: Recovering from lost love and mourning, Part I

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 10, 2014 7:30:00 AM

A guest post by Ginette Paris. The following is excerpted from her acclaimed book Heartbreak: New Approaches to Healing - Recovering from lost love and mourning.

Read More

Posted in: The Psyche, Trauma