Angela Borda

Recent Posts

Moments of Complexity: An Interview with Dr. Joseph Cambray, CEO-President of Pacifica Graduate Institute. Part I of II

Posted by Angela Borda on May 24, 2022 12:58:29 PM

Joseph Cambray, Ph.D., has been the President and CEO of Pacifica for 5 years, and previous to that served as Provost. He will be leading the Pacifica Workshop Fielding the Unconscious: The Origins and Evolution of Field Theory on June 7, 14, and 21, 2022. As always, I am delighted to be speaking with him about his research and teaching.

Angela: In your upcoming June seminar, you will begin with the origins of the field concept in depth psychology, starting in the 19th century, from William James to Freud to C.G. Jung. In particular, you discuss the symbolic elements of the unconscious that Jung included in his clinical encounters. I will admit that I don’t know what field theory is. For any readers who might also be wondering, can you give us a quick introduction to the concepts of field theory, and the importance of Jung’s focus on the unconscious and symbolism as it relates to the emergence of depth psychology as a field?

Read More

Posted in: The Psyche, graduate school, Pacifica Graduate Institute, world issues, The Retreat at Pacifica, unconscious

The Numinous Anima Mundi: Healing the Climate Crisis Within

Posted by Angela Borda on May 17, 2022 3:49:20 PM

The Numinous Anima Mundi: Healing the Climate Crisis Within: An Interview with Jeffrey Kiehl

At no other point in the history of humanity has ecological survival been so imminently threatened by climate crises. On June 3, Pacifica presents a half-day workshop, entitled Climate, Cosmology & Consciousness: From Chaos to Cosmos of three leading scholars and environmental activists for an emerging and inspired vision of a possible path forward as we shift from crisis to consciousness and chaos to cosmos. Of these, Jeffrey Kiehl will speak on “Climate Chaos and the Soul of the World.” I’m delighted to be speaking with him about his upcoming presentation.

“Our psyche is set up in accord with the structure of the universe, and what happens in the macrocosm likewise happens in the infinitesimal and most subjective reaches of the psyche.” ~ C.G. Jung

Read More

Posted in: Ecopsychology, graduate school, Pacifica Graduate Institute, world issues, The Retreat at Pacifica

Pacifica Among “Top Producing Institutions” of Fulbright U.S. Students

Posted by Angela Borda on Apr 25, 2022 11:09:38 AM

Pacifica is honored to be included on the 2021-2022 Fulbright Program “Top Producing Institutions” of Fulbright U.S. Students, as announced in The Chronicle of Higher Education on February 27, 2022. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken congratulated Pacifica, saying, “This achievement is a testament to your institution’s deep commitment to international exchange and to building lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

So what are the Fulbright Awards and why are they significant? Our Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Peter M. Rojcewicz, explains, “The Fulbright Student Program is a network of some 140 nations dedicated to trans-national exchange that seeks advancement of cultural competency through academic and professional pursuit of graduate degrees, fieldwork, research, and teaching abroad. Fulbright students live with and learn from different peoples of the world, sharing daily tasks through direct interactions in classrooms, community sites, and homes of their hosts. They slowly grasp the standards various peoples use to perceive, predict, judge, and act upon their values. Learning through cultural dialog often triggers shifts in students’ world views from egocentric and ethnocentric to world-centric perspectives of planetary people.” It is also worth noting that many alumni of the program have gone on to become winners of the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize, as well as serving as heads of state.

Read More

Posted in: graduate school, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Fulbright

Strands of Prayer: The Archetypal Artist

Posted by Angela Borda on Apr 5, 2022 12:41:14 PM

Mary Antonia Wood is the Chair of the M.A. in Depth Psychology and Creativity with Emphasis in the Arts and Humanities at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and has published The Archetypal Artist: Reimagining Creativity and the Call to Create, a book that addresses the confluence of Jungian and archetypal psychologies, the artist, the shaman, and creativity itself. I’m delighted to speak with her about her new book.

Angela: The Archetypal Artist does not shy away from the big questions, Mary! You begin the first chapter asking “What is the soul?” And more specifically, the type of soul work facilitated by the shaman, including the cave painters of Lascaux and Les Trois-Frères, the archetypal ancestors of the artist. In your estimation, what is the relationship between creativity and the soul?

Read More

Posted in: creativity, humanities, storytelling, Engaged Humanities

The Sacred Well Murders: An Interview with Susan Rowland, Ph.D.

Posted by Angela Borda on Mar 2, 2022 4:09:00 PM

Susan Rowland, core faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and author of The Sleuth and the Goddess in Women’s Detective Fiction, among other works of academic writing and fiction, has just had a new book published by Chiron Publications, The Sacred Well Murders. “A simple job turns deadly when Mary Wandwalker, novice detective, is hired to chaperone a young American, Rhiannon, to the Oxford University Summer School on the ancient Celts. Worried by a rhetoric of blood sacrifice, Mary and her operatives, Caroline, and Anna, attend a sacrifice at a sacred well. They discover that those who fail to individuate their gods become possessed by them.” I was delighted to speak with Susan about her new novel, which is available on amazon here.

Read More

Posted in: humanities, collective trauma, storytelling

Shifting from Hero to Elder and Role to Soul: An Interview with Connie Zweig, Ph.D.

Posted by Angela Borda on Oct 26, 2021 4:02:16 PM

Connie Zweig, Ph.D., an alumna of Pacifica, well-known for her books on the Shadow, has just published The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul. She will be hosting Pacifica’s symposium on The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul, November 12-14, 2021.

You can find information and registration here.

Angela: I’m delighted to be speaking with you today, Connie. You’re a published author with several books to your credit, among then, Meeting the Shadow and Romancing the Shadow, and Meeting the Shadow of Spirituality. From this, I take it that the shadow is central to your work. People often refer to “shadow work” as examining those parts of ourselves that we aren’t comfortable with or wish to hide. What is the shadow to you, and how does it relate to Depth Psychology?

Connie: Carl Jung coined the term “shadow” to refer to our personal unconscious. One of his many gifts was the insight that anything at all can be repressed into the shadow. For Freud, there was only dark or negative material in the unconscious. But for Jung, anything could be banished into the shadow, including our early aptitudes and gifts. So, the shadow is like a darkroom that contains our dormant images, thoughts, and fantasies. Shadow work is the process that brings them back to life. And we know now that the mind and body are functionally identical, so the shadow is not some corner in the mind that we can’t see. The shadow material is in our cells, our muscles, nerves. That shapes our responses to life, and it colors our experiences of our circumstances at every moment.

Read More

Posted in: Pacifica Events, The Retreat at Pacifica

Heart Medicine: An Interview with Radhule Weininger

Posted by Angela Borda on Sep 9, 2021 3:06:22 PM

Radhule is an author, mindfulness meditation teacher, and psychologist with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, with a new book out, Heart Medicine: How to Stop Painful Patterns and Find Peace and Freedom. Since 1997 she has taught at Pacifica Graduate School as adjunct professor. I’m delighted to learn more about her work and life’s mission.

Angela: To begin, can you acquaint us with your connection to and work at Pacifica? At what point in your career did you decide to teach at Pacifica?

Radhule: My American story began, when I moved in 1985 from Germany to the U.S., shortly after I graduated from medical school. However, my true love belonged to psychology and the healing of the soul. In 1990, I received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and, after licensing, had psychotherapy offices in San Francisco and Berkley. I focused my training in San Francisco on psychodynamic and Jungian psychology. After I moved in 1994 from Berkley to Santa Barbara, it was a natural fit for me to start teaching at Pacifica.

For the last several years I have taught a class in the Depth Program on a topic I most love: the integration between Jungian and Buddhist psychology and practice. I began to study Buddhist practice when I stayed in a Buddhist monastery in Sri Lanka in 1980. Over the past 41 years, I have deepened my studies, meditation practice, and Dharma teaching. Those two strands of wisdom, Buddhist and Western psychology, flow together naturally and organically in my clinical practice.

Angela: Your first book, Heartwork: The Path of Self-Compassion, presents ten practices for opening the heart. Does your new book, Heart Medicine, flow from the first and are they to be worked with together?

Read More

Posted in: Trauma, depth psychology, meditation, interview

Sol in Motion: A Discussion with Poet, Activist, and Pacifica Graduate Student, Charles Williams

Posted by Angela Borda on Jul 13, 2021 2:37:58 PM

Angela: Thank you for speaking with me today, Charles. I’m intrigued by the diversity of your professional and personal pursuits. You are a capoeira instructor, a poet or spoken word artist, a counselor, and a graduate student. Let me first start with your time at Pacifica. What drew you to the school and what has your experience in the Depth Psychology, Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices Specialization been like so far? Do you know what you’ll be focusing on for your dissertation?

Charles: For my dissertation, I’m doing a phenomenological study about Capoeira Angola. The intention is to produce a description of the multiple ways Capoeira Angola can heal its practitioners from trauma experienced in their lifetime.

When we talk about Capoeira Angola, we’re talking about the mother of Capoeira, as it was birthed in Africa and took shape in Brazil. Some Capoeira teachers believe it may have come from a ritual dance in Angola. I tie in the past because Capoeira Angola is an affect response to trauma, for those who were enslaved and captured, a way to recapture their personhood, their identity and hold onto their culture, their beliefs. Present day, regardless of where practitioners are from, that story still exists for liberation. If we hold onto trauma, we can become victims. The metaphors and archetypes of Capoeira tie into depth psychology. To add to that, you have this collective of people who are with you as a support system. In Capoeira, Angola there is no hierarchical system, no creation of division, everyone is equally important, whether you just started or have been practicing for years. The idea is for all of us to win. You only lose if you lose your cool.

Initially I went to visit Brazil in 2010 because I was interested in pursuing a Ph.D. at UCLA in their "World Arts and Culture" program, and wanted to focus on how the spiritual aspects of capoeira can affect people in their daily lives. When I returned after being there for a month, I realized that spirituality is an individual pursuit. Therefore, with my interest in psychology and spirituality I began to wonder if there was such a thing as spiritual psychology. My counselor at the University of Santa Monica told me about Pacifica, a spirit-based program. I wanted to continue my studies in that vein, where space would be held for a spiritual approach. I already had my own counseling practice, and I wanted to bring in other modalities of healing. After some contemplation, I decided to go with DPT. I want to be the best I can be for me and those I work with.

Read More

Posted in: creativity, depth psychology, individuation, interview, poetry

Archetypal Data and Divine Gifts: An Interview with Pacifica’s Safron Rossi, Ph.D.

Posted by Angela Borda on Jun 8, 2021 9:40:04 PM

“Astrology provides images to be pondered for their symbolic richness and mythical amplification; they afford archetypal data, divine gifts.”
—James Hillman

Dr. Rossi will be leading the online course “Archetypal Astrology and Personal Mythology: Part I: Fire, Earth, Air and Water: The Elements of the Zodiac,” that will go from July 31–September 4, 2021. She is a core faculty member of Pacifica’s Jungian and Archetypal Studies M.A./Ph.D. program, and I’m delighted to speak with her about archetypal astrology and her upcoming course.

Angela: Astrology is something that many civilizations have created, although the systems are different, the idea being that something about the interaction of the stars and where and when we’re born into the world can be read like a map, that the moment you are born defines in some way what challenges and strength you will have, how you will relate to the world, and ultimately, what your destiny might be. How does archetypal astrology resonate or depart from this common understanding of astrology?

Safron: I would say that archetypal astrology emphasizes certain threads. Archetypal astrology is anchored in C.G. Jung’s psychology and his notion of the archetypes. So one of the primary ideas is that our birth chart, the planets, signs and their configurations, symbolize the archetypal patterns of the psyche. In other words, archetypes are living forces within us and astrology maps out those forces symbolically.

Another key idea is that astrology is archetypally predictive rather than concretely predictive. This differs from ancient ideas about astrology, but some modern approaches as well. Astrology does not tell us what is going happen so much as it indicates how we experience what happens. Another way to put it is that events don’t happen to people, rather people happen to events. So from this perspective, astrology is about understanding ourselves better, the archetypal patterns at work in us, which leads to having a more meaningful grounding to our lives.

Read More

Posted in: James Hillman, creativity, depth psychology, individuation, interview, Jungian & Archetypal Studies, astrology, Divine

Matriotism and America Dreams: An Interview with Minh Tran

Posted by Angela Borda on Jun 2, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Minh Tran is a Ph.D. student in Pacifica’s Depth Psychology program, as well as being a licensed family therapist. He has been selected to be a featured artist in the Artist Spotlight at LACPA. The featured project he was selected for is “America Dreams,” an intellectual musical exploring matriotism and social artistry. I’m delighted to talk with Minh about his project:

Angela: What can we look forward to in “America Dreams,” the presentation you will be giving on June 6th for the LACPA?

Minh: It’s a choreographed essay with its roots in a presentation I made for a course at Pacifica in Cultural Psychology, on America and social justice. That was the genesis. The Spotlight series the LACPA has this year, reached out to me to see if I wanted to elaborate more on the topic and present more on what “America Dreams” is about. The origin of the choreographed essay was inspired by a music video of a Vietnamese singer who was choreographing with her hands. I was so inspired by it. And at the gym, one fine morning, my active imagination was at work, and I started to think about my essay and my hands just started moving, and it started to look good, and I just went along with it. So the hand movements were new to me, but they are choreographed movements. In my clinical practice, I work with kids also, and I started experimenting with elaborating with my hands like puppets, and it became natural. I started paying more attention to hand gestures as a form of communication during telehealth sessions. On a conscious level I was drawing inspiration from Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, Milton H. Erickson, the “wizard of the desert.” His form of hypnotherapy widens what we think of as hypnotherapy.

My intention is to queer the line between edification and entertainment. I hope people who experience “America Dreams” walk away entertained, inspired, and moved on some level, as we are by a great concert or movie. But I want people to also think deeply about topics of the times. I want the art to speak to the times.

Read More

Posted in: Connecting Cultures, creativity, depth psychology, individuation, immigration