Helping Foster Children Through Dream Work and Other Depth Psychological Tools

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Oct 29, 2018 11:00:00 AM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on an interview with Mai Breech, conducted by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Mai Breech here. (approx. 27 minutes)

Mai Breech, a Psy.D. doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, has a long history of working with orphans and foster children. In 2007, she founded the Children’s Art Village, a grassroots non-profit organization providing art and music to children in Ghana, India, and Nepal so that they can express their creative selves through a means that doesn’t require language, but rather utilizes their creativity. Over the years, the Children’s Art Village has served over 3,000 children annually, and continues to do so. Typically, the programs are summer programs, offering art and music camps for these children in very different orphanages that she partners with. 

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Posted in: Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, depth psychology, graduate school, Trauma, relationships, Pacifica Students, dreams, creativity, clinical psychology, The Psyche, Psychotherapy, Therapist, relationship

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: transformative, creativity, humanities, Alumni

Dream Tending and Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 24, 2017 1:41:21 PM

A guest post by Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

I just offered a seminar in Dream Tending to our students in the Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices Specialization of the Depth Psychology Ph.D. Program. What a delight it was to do so. This community of diverse professionals came to “the work” with a passion and background in the Healing Arts. On this day they brought their empathy, creativity, and experience into the classroom. The imaginal field in South Hall at the Lambert Road Campus activated in generative ways. The “inner-subjective imaginal field” opened widely, including dream images, dreamer, and dream tender, an essential dimension of hosting the embodied, living images of psyche. When the relational field, in this case a specific learning environment, resonated with care, curiosity, and high regard, the figures in dream became particularly vital and presented themselves in potent ways.

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Posted in: The Psyche, images, graduate school, active imagination, creativity, imaginal

Depth Psychology and the Creative Arts: Theater, Therapy, Individuation

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 10, 2017 3:48:50 PM

Depth Psychology and the Creative Arts: Theater, Therapy, Individuation, An Interview with Lisa Schouw
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Lisa Schouw has had a long career in the arts, in singing, songwriting, theater, and as a teacher of those arts. She began her formal study as a depth psychotherapist later in life when she was nearly 50, after discovering Pacifica and pursuing her Master’s degree in the Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life Program there.

While the early part of her life was very creative as she moved back and forth between dance, music, and theater, Schouw had had a longstanding interest in psychology, and recognized the need to provide a container to “hold” the personal material which would often unfold or “unravel” as they started to work with music or theater. When she discovered depth psychology and Pacifica, it occurred to her that she had found a way to “stitch those worlds together.”

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Posted in: depth psychology, creativity, theatre

Tonight in Dreamland: a New Play co-written by Award-Winning TV Writer Cheri SteinKellner & Visionary Jean Houston

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 28, 2017 3:21:36 PM

Tonight in Dreamland: Archetypal Perspectives a New Play co-written by Award-Winning TV Writer Cheri SteinKellner & Visionary Jean Houston
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

The hit television series, Cheers, was a staple for many of us in the 1980s and early 90s. Sitting down in the front of the TV to catch a good laugh was sometimes the highlight of a busy week. Little did I know that decades later, I’d be having a conversation—about depth psychology—with on one of the award-winning writers of the series who is pursuing a degree in the Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Cheri Steinkellner has an impressive number of awards, including Emmys, Golden Globes, and Tony among them as a writer/producer on a number of shows, including the Broadway hit, “Sister Act, the Musical.”

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Posted in: soul, dreams, symbol, theatre, Santa Barbara, creativity, Pacifica Events

On Memoir, with Maureen Murdock

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 23, 2017 5:01:10 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Some of the best memoirs you can read are those that are reflective, those which are informed by dreams, myth, and synchronicities, maintains Maureen Murdock, a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist and the author of multiple memoirs and books about memoirs. In other words, there’s a depth psychological perspective that can facilitate, enhance, and deepen the telling of one’s story in a profound way.

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Posted in: writing, images, dreams, Pacifica Events, creativity

All Kinds of Classrooms

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 12, 2015 1:02:43 PM

A guest post by Aaron Mason; M.A. in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life Program Alumnus; 2015

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Posted in: Alumni, C.G. Jung, creativity