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

A Revision of One’s Calling: A Journey through Embodied Experience

Posted by Krystyna Knight on May 9, 2018 1:26:24 PM

A Revision of One’s Calling: A Journey through Embodied Experience. A blog post by Melissa Nazario, based on an Interview with Elizabeth Wisniewski, D.C. by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Elizabeth Wisniewski here. (approx. 28 minutes)

In her first summer fieldwork as a student of Pacifica’s Ph.D. Program in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Somatic Studies, Elizabeth Wisniewski, a doctor of chiropractic, yoga instructor, and reiki practitioner, guided students through a blindfolded yoga meditation and painting class, followed by group process. The students, she said, found it scary and uncomfortable at first, but after about twenty minutes, they noticed that they were no longer competing with others in the class, nor competing with themselves to get into some crazy asana or pose.

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Posted in: Pacifica Graduate Institute, somatic, somatic bodywork, Pacifica Students

Epigenetics, Ancestors, and Living Your Calling

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 21, 2018 1:05:45 PM

Epigenetics, Ancestors, and Living Your Your Calling: An Interview with Heather McCloskey Beck A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Encouraging others to find their gifts and live their calling is a topic that has been deeply moving for Heather McCloskey Beck, who authored Take the Leap: Do What You Love 15 Minutes a Day and Create the Life of Your Dreams (2013, Conari Press). Synchronistically, decades ago, while walking on a beach in Montauk, Long Island, Beck was inspired and outlined in the sand an idea that came to her about how to create a happy life. Although the water had already swept away her markings by the time she returned from her walk, the idea resonated with her so strongly that when she returned to her campsite, she wrote it down and mailed it off to a friend.

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Posted in: the body, somatic, Pacifica Students, active imagination, depth psychology, soul, James Hillman

My first days at Pacifica: First year student reflections

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 14, 2018 3:16:01 PM

My Pacifica Experience. A guest post by Somatic Studies Specialization student Chanda Williams.

1. Leading up to the start of classes, what excited you most about the program and Pacifica?

I feel as if this has been a decision long in progress. Since I learned about Pacifica, I was intrigued and wanted to study in all of the programs! So I needed time to get clarity regarding my passions and my work in the world. I was most excited to see the reading list for my Somatic Studies courses, and to discover that I already owned a few of the books. I considered that to be a great sign that I am on the right path. I also looked forward to meeting my cohort and learning more about them.

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Posted in: Pacifica Graduate Institute, graduate school, somatic, Pacifica Students

Mythological and Archetypal Perspectives on Childbirth in Contemporary Culture

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 22, 2017 1:46:35 PM

Mythological and Archetypal Perspectives on Childbirth in Contemporary Culture: An Interview with Britta Bushnell, Ph.D.
A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

When yoga teacher Britta Bushnell first became pregnant, it was natural for her to add prenatal yoga to the yoga classes she was already teaching. This move eventually led to her training with childbirth specialist, Pam England, the author of the classic birth book, Birthing from Within[1]. England had already formulated a remarkable method that integrated mythology to help parents prepare for birth as a rite of passage, and for Bushnell, the training was transformational—so much so that it ultimately led to the two women becoming business partners.

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Posted in: Mythology, mythological, transformative, somatic, the body, rite of passage, Education

Integration: Chinese Medicine, Somatic Studies, and Depth Psychology

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 22, 2017 10:48:38 AM

Integration: Chinese Medicine, Somatic Studies, and Depth Psychology. An Interview with Brian Falk
A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Chinese medicine has a long history based in a philosophical tradition, with its roots in Daoism, and later, Confucianism. Above all, it's essentially a system that's rooted in nature, explains Brian Falk, who has a clinical practice in Chinese medicine, and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Somatic Studies at Pacifica.

The Chinese spent thousands of years developing a very comprehensive way of looking at humans in relationship to the cosmos, therefore, Chinese medicine can also be viewed as a type of cosmology, Falk notes. The way in which the Chinese conceptualize disease and health has a very different philosophical frame than that of Westerners. Using primary treatment tools like acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, and cupping, Chinese medicine differentiates itself from allopathic medicine in the sense that it focuses on maintaining health and preventing illness.

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Posted in: images, dreams, Connecting Cultures, depth psychology, The Psyche, somatic, the body

Embodied Activism

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 11, 2017 12:22:21 PM

A guest post by Somatic Studies Specialization Chair Rae Johnson

Reflect. Engage. Resist. Transform.

As current social conditions galvanize even more of us to do the work of dismantling oppression, it can be difficult to know exactly where to begin. For those of us who bring a somatic perspective to our work in the world (and even for those who don’t), it can be helpful to understand how the body is implicated in social justice work, and how to engage our bodies in the process of activism. This post incorporates key ideas from many social justice theorists and somatic practitioners, and distills them into three key areas: doing your own work, working for others, and working with others.

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Posted in: somatic bodywork, somatic, Social Justice, the body