What’s It Like to Come to Class at Pacifica?

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 25, 2017 10:34:50 PM

A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

On my first day of class I was nervous. Probably all of us were. The catastrophe of 9/11 gave all we did an added poignancy, raising the question of what we were there for in the face of such tragedy and its fallout.

At Pacifica we sit in a circle, which could be daunting at first for the shy, but I was relieved to see a small group of us. That, I came to realize, was the norm at Pacifica.

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Posted in: Pacifica Graduate Institute, graduate school

My first days at Pacifica: First year student reflections

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 11, 2017 10:50:49 AM

My Pacifica Experience. A guest post by Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices Specialization student Winsome 'Win" Alston.

I was excited about starting my studies at Pacifica because of what I had read about Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.  When I studied Jung many years ago, I was fascinated by his work on dreams, the archetype and the various characters we embody as we progress through life. Similarly, Joseph Campbell’s book on The Hero’s Journey also resonated with me and stirred something within my psyche. Thus, when I read about Pacifica, Depth Psychology, Jung and Campbell, there was only one place for me – Pacifica.

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Posted in: Pacifica Graduate Institute, graduate school, integrative therapy

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

MA Counseling Psychology: 2017 Thesis Presentation Day

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 19, 2017 11:32:19 PM

The Friday before commencement is the M.A. Counseling Psychology Program's Thesis Presentation Day. Students who wish to present their thesis to fellow classmates, family, staff, and professors have the opportunity to showcase their research findings and experiences throughout the procesw. Today we would like to highlight all of the presenters and the titles of their papers. Thesis presentations for the M.A. Counseling Psychology Program will take place on Friday, May 26th at Pacifica's Ladera Lane Campus.

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Posted in: Pacifica News, Counseling Psychology, graduate school

Mythological Studies and Dream Tending

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 19, 2017 10:09:28 AM

A guest post by Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

At Pacifica, Joseph Campbell once said, "dream work can be a yogic practice." I'll never forget him sharing that with us. To this day, his insight informs my practice of Dream Tending. Touching into the same loam, the mythic imagination, Dream Tending opens a way to listen to the movements of psyche as she tells the stories that implicate us in larger mythological motifs. To tend a dream is to befriend the living images, each with an intelligence of its own, each with a story to tell.

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Posted in: The Psyche, images, graduate school, active imagination, Mythology

Counseling Psychology and Dream Tending

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 12, 2017 12:27:41 PM

A guest post by Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

Pacifica's first Graduate Degree program was in Counseling Psychology, an extension of Pacifica’s then named Counseling Skills Certificate Program with roots in community mental health. Next to the University of California Santa Barbara, we offered outreach peer counseling to returning veterans coming back from Viet Nam as well as working with individuals dealing with drug and alcohol related challenges. What a time it was! All of us were learning the newest "treatment" strategies and methods, just then evolving out of the "Human Potential Movement." Our mentors were folks like Virginia Stair, Erik Erikson, Fritz Perls, and all kinds of leaders in the emerging fields of couples and family therapy. Combine this with a sprinkling of Ram Dass, the Grateful Dead, and too many others to count, we developed increasingly sophisticated counseling skills that to this day form the core of what we now know as a professional M.A. Counseling Psychology Program with emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Clinical Counseling, and Depth Psychology.

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Posted in: The Psyche, images, graduate school, active imagination, Counseling Psychology

Dream Tending and Pacifica’s Academic Programs

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 10, 2017 4:06:16 PM

A guest post by Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

Just over forty years ago, in Isla Vista, California, at a small community counseling center, an image began to push itself forward. At that time, I along with others felt this "presence" more as a "motivation" than a "known vision" with direction, let alone visibility.

Now, looking back, the essential "soul spark" moving through us at that time had a life of its own. Destiny was unfolding in ways not yet seen. Living images are like that. They make their intentions known through "hints" at first, "intimations," not yet clear patterns of what or how the future will be shaped.

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

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Cultivating, Counseling, and Stories from Cameroon

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 4, 2017 11:13:04 PM

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Cultivating, Counseling, and Stories from Cameroon An Interview with Paul D. Coverdell Fellow and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Courtney McCubbin
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Nothing can substitute for experience as a way of knowing. It serves as a powerful initiation process that begins the moment you put your foot on a particular path. This appears to be the case for Courtney McCubbin, who served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon in Africa from 2001 to 2005. While McCubbin struggled mightily to learn French in order to communicate with the people there, a task that frequently brought her to tears, she took comfort her deep desire to help people, and threw herself into projects in reforestation, agroforestry, and agronomy, which contributed to the healing of the forests and the farmers there who needed help.

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Posted in: graduate school, Connecting Cultures, depth psychology, active imagination, Ecopsychology, C.G. Jung, Counseling Psychology

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Stories from Romania

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 5, 2017 4:22:15 PM

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Stories from Romania, An Interview with Paul D. Coverdell Fellow and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Erin O’Halloran
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Erin O’Halloran grew up watching Peace Corps commercials on TV which featured footage of volunteers serving in Africa and young children in grass hut houses. Even though the images were somewhat romanticized, the pull toward a life of service was always strong for her, and she always knew it was something she wanted to do.

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Posted in: graduate school, community psychology, Connecting Cultures, depth psychology

Ministry: Where Religion and Psychology Find Each Other

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Apr 5, 2017 3:39:19 PM

A guest post by professor Maren Tonder Hansen, M.Div., Ph.D.

My professional training and interests gravitate toward the many intersections between psychology and religion. As a young woman, I studied for the Unitarian ministry, earning a Master of Divinity. Through coursework at the Graduate Theological Union, I explored not only religion, but also the psychology of Jung, dream analysis, and devoted a semester to training in hospital chaplaincy. In my experience, the depth dimensions of psychology and religion enriched and informed each other.

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Posted in: depth psychology, Therapist, soul, graduate school