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?”
The Greek myth of Narcissus, one version of it at least, describes a young, proud hunter known for his good looks. He disdains others, including the mountain nymph Echo, who falls in love with him. Because of his behavior, Nemesis, a goddess of revenge, lures Narcissus to a pool, where Narcissus falls in love with the water’s reflection, not comprehending it is his own image. In one version, he stares at his own reflection until he dies. 
From this tale we have the terms “narcissism” and “narcissist,” and even the condition of “narcissistic personality disorder,” in which “people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to slightest criticism.” 
A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on interviews conducted by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.
Ready to immerse yourself in some of the perspectives of trauma and transcendence being presented at Pacifica’s Trauma + Transcendence Conference June 22-24, 2018? We’ve rounded up our Pacifica Post blog posts and audio recordings of scholars and analysts presenting at the Conference who also recently spoke with Bonnie Bright, Ph.D., about their research.
Although registrations for attending the Trauma + Transcendence Conference in person have sold out, you can still gain access to the video livestream of the Conference’s Friday and Saturday events. Enjoy the Conference from the comfort of your home desktop computer or device by watching the livestream presentations in real time. You also have the option to earn continuing education credits by watching the livestream; please add the additional “Continuing Education Credit Fee” when you register. Details: https://retreat.pacifica.edu/trauma-transcendence/
In the book The Unshuttered Heart: Opening Aliveness/Deadness in the Self, Jungian analyst Ann Belford Ulanov, Ph.D., L.H.D., says, “we can find our depth by being found in the depths.” But what does it mean, "to be found in depths"? For those of us who constantly seek to better understand ourselves and the world around us, or, as Joseph Campbell said, are "seeking an experience of being alive," what are some ways that we might find ourselves in these depths, to gain those profound insights that help us experience being alive? Ann, who is a prolific author and presenter at Pacifica’s upcoming sold-out Trauma and Transcendence conference in June 2018, says that one way we can find our depth in the depths is through our dreams. “You can’t make up the dream,” she says. “The dream makes up you. And some dreams you really get right away, and they tell you something you never knew before, and it’s as if you’re being addressed.”
Spiritual Implications of Psychosis: How a Spiritual Perspective Can Provide Health Benefits to Mind and Body. A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on an interview with Tanya Marie Luhrmann, Ph.D., by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), schizophrenia is defined as “a severe mental disorder, characterized by profound disruptions in thinking, affecting language, perception, and the sense of self. It often includes psychotic experiences, such as hearing voices or delusions. It can impair functioning through the loss of an acquired capability to earn a livelihood, or the disruption of studies.” The condition affects more than 21 million people worldwide. 
If you began hallucinating, perhaps seeing or hearing things that no one else could perceive, how would you interpret this unusual experience? Ann Taves, Ph.D., professor of Religious Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara and presenter at Pacifica’s upcoming Trauma and Transcendence conference in June 2018, became interested in this topic back in the mid-80s, when there were a lot of people who were being diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. She had a friend who had been abused as a child and who apparently had multiple personalities, or dissociated identity, as the clinicians now call it. Ann says that because she came from a very rational sort of family, it had never dawned on her that our minds could experience changes like what it does with disorders, and she credits knowing her friend and hearing her talk about her experiences as the point at which, for Ann, the door first opened into the range of what was possible.
Depth Psychology, Art, and the Archetype of the Walled Woman: An Interview with Conceptual Artist Tracy Ferron, M.A. A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.
Immurement, the concept of confining people inside walls, is a historical reality. Women, especially, have been victims and sacrifices of this macabre practice.
For Tracy Ferron, a conceptual artist and student of depth psychology, the archetypal theme of “walled women” first surfaced in a powerful dream. At the time, she was deeply engrossed in research on Big Pharma and societal complexes of power in a class at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she completed her master’s degree in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life in June 2017. During this process, powerful feelings of hopelessness and frustration arose, dovetailing with her personal life where she felt quite “stuck” in shifting her life’s direction after nearly 20 years spent raising five children.
A presentation by Susan Rowland, Response at the Radical Edge: Depth Psychology for the 21st Century Summary article by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.
Changing society requires changing our ideas about education, specifically about disciplines, began Susan Rowland in her stimulating talk on Dionysus and the power of transdisciplinarity. The Greek god Dionysus, perhaps best known as the god of grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy, doesn’t attempt to divide things up, but rather mixes them up instead.
Dionysus has a drum, which covered a lot of the artistic practice of the time of the ancient Greeks, Rowland relates. At that time, when Dionysus presided over the Athenian dramas, going to the theater was not a leisure activity, but a major civic action, which involved politics and religion, as well as the arts.
Resistance and Radical Edges Conference, June 2017 Introduction to Dr. Donald Kalsched and clinical depth psychology by the Chair of the Clinical Psychology Department, Dr. Oksana Yakushko
On the weekend of June 16-18 of 2017 The Retreat at Pacifica Graduate Institute hosted over one-hundred guests at the landmark conference Response at the Radical Edge: Depth Psychology for the 21st Century. Chair of Pacifica's Clinical Psychology Program, Dr. Oksana Yakushko, welcomed guests on the morning of June 17th and gave some opening remarks. We hope you enjoy the replay of the live presentation. If you would prefer, Dr. Yakushko has kindly offered her written speech which you can access below the video.
A warm morning greeting to all of you. I hope you have enjoyed yesterday’s offerings, opening plenaries, and connections.
I am Dr. Oksana Yakushko, the chair of the Clinical Psychology department which includes both the Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs here at Pacifica. I have the privilege of giving the opening remarks on this day and an introduction to our next distinguished speaker, Dr. Donald Kalshed, one of the top scholars on depth psychological perspectives on trauma.
My introductory comments will focus on offering a frame, a different container and symbol for the practice of psychology today.
There is a certain kind of transformational process that demands the most and the best of us so that we can respond to traumatic situations, just as military, veterans, and first responders do on a daily basis. From a depth psychological perspective, this kind of transformation can be initiated through a psycho-mythic journey to warriorhood, believe Ed Tick and John Becknell, who offer archetypal and depth psychological frameworks for military, veterans, and first responders, including police officers, sheriff departments, border patrol, firefighters, paramedics, EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians), and dispatchers and other individuals who take emergency calls.