The Soul Stands Ajar: Aesthetic Encounters as Portals to Wonder & Meaning

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Nov 26, 2018 3:18:33 PM

A guest blog post by Mary A. Wood, Ph.D., co-Chair of the M.A. Program in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life at Pacifica Graduate Institute

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” —Emily Dickinson

There are moments in life when time seems to stand still—moments when we find ourselves transfixed, and eventually transformed. These moments can be cosmic in scale, as reflected in the awe that we feel when beholding a rare solar eclipse, or an approaching storm. These moments may also be quite intimate, but no less moving, such as when we witness an animal emerging from hiding or when we hear an exquisite song. We recognize, and always remember these moments because they are announced by bodily sensations; we gasp, our hearts beat faster, and tears often flow.  Our bodies tell us that the ordinary has given way to the extraordinary.  These experiences are best described as “aesthetic,” as we find ourselves living, at least for a few moments, as creatures that are gloriously and achingly alive.

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Posted in: Psychology, depth psychology, archetypes, Spiritual, mythological, soul, transformative, The Psyche, symbolism, sacred, humanities, symbol, art, C.G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, James Hillman

Gratitude and the Path to Wholeness

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Nov 22, 2018 7:05:50 AM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario

At this time of year in the northern hemisphere, the earth’s axis orients away from the sun, temperatures cool, and many of us celebrate with loved ones some form of thankfulness and respite from work–modern iterations of our ancestors’ harvest festivals.

Though the concept of gratitude is also ancient, it has become a bit of a modern buzzword. So, is gratitude really as beneficial as the masses say it is? Actually, yes. Robert A. Emmons and Robin Stern, researchers known for their work in studying gratitude, reviewed studies on the subject and list several of the physical, emotional, and psychological outcomes of cultivating gratitude in “Gratitude as a Psychotherapeutic Intervention.” [1] 

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Posted in: Psychology, depth psychology, archetypes, Spiritual, mythological, soul, transformative, The Psyche, resources

"Our Hearts Open With Love" | Statement on the Thousand Oaks Tragedy by Dr. Stephen Aizenstat

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Nov 8, 2018 12:05:42 PM

By now, you've likely read or heard the news of the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California. Dr. Stephen Aizenstat, Founding President and Chancellor of Pacifica Graduate Institute, shared this letter regarding the tragedy with many in our community, and we wanted to share its message of hope with all of you.  

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Posted in: Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, graduate school, Trauma, Pacifica Students, relationships, relationship, love, Spiritual, collective trauma, depth psychology, Social Justice, Current Affairs

PTSD and the Military: Depth Psychological Perspectives and Resources

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Nov 7, 2018 7:44:33 AM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario

Called Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other countries, we originally commemorated November 11th because of the signing of the treaty that halted fighting during World War I. Today, known as Veterans Day in the U.S., the focus has shifted a bit, as we show respect and gratitude to those who previously served in our armed forces. We often associate the words “service” and “sacrifice” with being in the military because a mission’s success requires things that aren’t as common in the civilian world: working twelve-hour shifts for months while deployed thousands of miles away from loved ones, missing important birthdays and holidays, and for many, having to put one’s self in harm’s way in a combat zone, risking life and mental wellness.    

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Posted in: Psychology, clinical psychology, Psychotherapy, Therapist, resources, military, depth psychology, archetypes

Bears, The Wild Woman Archetype, and the Road Toward Individuation

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Nov 5, 2018 11:01:00 AM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on an interview with Stacey Shelby, RCC, Ph.D., conducted by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Stacey Shelby here. (approx. 30 minutes)

At first, Stacey Shelby, RCC, Ph.D., didn't want to explore the Wild Woman Archetype for her research while in the M.A./Ph.D. Program in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Jungian and Archetypal Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Part of it was due to the type of research she would conduct and the effect it would have on her life. When authoring the book Tracking the Wild Woman Archetype: A Guide to Becoming a Whole, In-divisible Woman published earlier this year, she used a research methodology called alchemical hermeneutics, as described by Dr. Robert Romanyshyn, Pacifica Graduate Institute Professor Emeritus, in his book, The Wounded Researcher: Research with Soul in Mind.

In the introduction to Tracking the Wild Woman Archetype, Stacey defines alchemical hermeneutics as “an unconventional methodology not readily found in traditional academic institutions, and it acknowledges that researchers are often called to their work through personal wounding and complexes. This research methodology is an alchemical process that affects the researcher.”

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Posted in: Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, depth psychology, relationships, Pacifica Students, dreams, clinical psychology, The Psyche, Psychotherapy, Therapist, relationship, jungian, individuation, symbol, archetypes, nature, alchemist

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

Trauma is Remembered in the Body: How Somatic Studies Can Help Heal Homeless Youth and Beyond

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Sep 21, 2018 5:15:00 PM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on an interview with Daniel Ballin, LCSW, conducted by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Daniel Ballin here. (approx. 31 minutes)

“Somatic studies” is an umbrella term that includes somatic psychology (working with the experience of the body to support mental health), somatic movement therapy(working with the experience of the body to promote improved movement functioning), and many forms of complementary and alternative medicine. A somatic perspectivealso flourishes within the fields of education, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, performance studies, and dance. [1]

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Posted in: Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, depth psychology, graduate school, Trauma, somatic, Alumni

“All Psychology is Depth Psychology” and 6 Other Thought-Provoking Ideas That Will Change Your View of Depth Psychology

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Aug 10, 2018 8:43:38 AM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on an interview with Jesse Jacob conducted by Bonnie Bright, PhD

Listen to the full audio interview with Jesse Jacob here. (approx. 31 minutes)

Jesse Jacob does not settle for status quo assumptions or lazy thinking in depth psychology. He finds the term “depth psychology” strange because it implies other psychologies are then shallow. A 4th year Clinical Psychology PsyD student at Pacifica, Jesse previously studied language to understand how it shapes and affects an individual’s thinking. In his interview with Bonnie Bright, he provides alternative perspectives on commonly used depth psychological phrases and concepts. For example, he recalls a fellow student in his cohort saying, “Depth psychologists treat the whole person,” to which Jesse responded, “So do other psychologies only treat half the person?”

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Posted in: Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Spiritual, depth psychology, graduate school, clinical psychology

Love and Relationships as a Spiritual Path in the 21st Century: A Jungian Perspective

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Apr 18, 2018 12:56:01 PM

Love and Relationships as a Spiritual Path in the 21st Century: A Jungian Perspective.  An Interview with Polly Young-Eisendrath.  A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Polly Young-Eisendrath here (approx. 41 mins)

Personal love—that is, love that we feel within—has changed in the 21st century, according to Jungian analyst, Polly Young-Eisendrath. In this day and age, we seek three very specific outcomes in our relationships that have not always been sought in “traditional” relationships. First, we want relationships that take place between equals, which are reciprocal and mutual. Second, we want to choose whomever we want to love and not be bound to traditions or tribes. Finally, we long to be witnessed by another person who really knows, sees, understands, and hears us.

 

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Posted in: depth psychology, relationships, love, C.G. Jung

Depth Psychology: Empowering Multicultural Women in the Wider World

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Apr 5, 2018 9:18:33 AM

Depth Psychology: Empowering Multicultural Women in the Wider World-An Interview with Self-Made Media Mogul, Nely Galán, MFT.  A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Nely Galán here (approx. 32 mins)

We’ve all heard the adage that success doesn’t always bring happiness, a concept Nely Galán knows well. As a Latina and a self-made media mogul who has produced hundreds of television shows, headed a TV network, and generated a significant amount of income, she felt an odd sense of relief when the economy crashed in 2008, bringing many of her projects to a halt. She realized the extent to which she felt like a hamster running around a wheel, and while she would never have tried to exit the industry if she had maintained her level of involvement in multiple projects, the economic downturn provided her a way out.

 

By that point in her life, she had been through psychotherapy and understood, from a personal perspective, how powerful it could be. Acknowledging that she had always wanted to go to school to study psychology, she took the plunge; first finishing a B.A., before applying to Pacifica, which had already been in her “mind and heart for a while,” as she reveals.

 

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Posted in: depth psychology, Pacifica Students, clinical psychology, Alumni, individuation, leadership, gender, vocation