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

Psyche and the Sacred

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 8, 2017 4:16:41 PM

Psyche and the Sacred: An Interview with Dr. Lionel Corbett. A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

"You can't define the sacred," insists Pacifica professor and author, Dr. Lionel Corbett. "We can only talk about how we experience it. When C. G . Jung contemplated the sacred, he used the criteria of German theologian, Rudolf Otto, who described the experience of the sacred or the holy as “numinous”—that is, something that is mysterious, tremendous, or fascinating, having a powerful emotional quality beyond the ordinary or the everyday ego."

Corbett, a Jungian analyst who also trained in medicine and psychiatry, offers some stories from Biblical myth that exemplify such qualities of this experience. Rather than attributing such transformational events to the Judeo-Christian God, Corbett attributes them to what Jung calls the “objective psyche” or the “autonomous psyche.”

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Posted in: psyche, The Psyche, sacred, mythological, C.G. Jung

We Must Respond

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 4, 2017 10:33:47 PM

A guest post by Chancellor and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute, Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

Today we grieve. Our hearts open and we send support and love to those family members and friends who lost loved ones in the shooting in Las Vegas, and, too, to those in places of natural as well as human made strife. Yes. It is a time of mourning.

The turmoil in the world’s soul is visceral. We are experiencing the collective trauma 24/7. No longer can we encounter our angst like a bad dream frightening us in the night, only to disappear in the morning when our eyes open to the avalanche of texts, Instagram posts, tweets, and emails alive on our phone, seducing our attention even before we get out of bed. No. The nightmare is real, here to stay, a living actuality . . . and demanding our response. Yes. We find ourselves in a time of great peril, as the world, as we know it, faces the imminent threats of ecological devastation, the sixth extinction, and technological takeover, which Elon Musk names as “the most serious threat to the survival of the human race.”

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Posted in: The Psyche, collective trauma, Current Affairs, Trauma

Where Politics, Psyche, and Community Converge

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Sep 11, 2017 1:55:50 PM

Where Politics, Psyche, and Community Converge: An Interview with Andrew Samuels
A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

U.K.-based psychotherapist and activist, Andrew Samuels has a long history as a consultant to political clients on the presidential and prime ministerial level. While Samuels first published Politics on the Couch in 2001 and The Political Psyche in 2015, his newest book, A New Therapy for Politics? [1] delves ever more deeply into the intersection between psychotherapy and politics and lends a critical eye to his own chosen profession in an effort to bring the two together.

Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung, both pioneers in the field of psychotherapy, wrote about politics over the course of their careers, Samuels points out, but psychotherapists have generally been “magnificently unsuccessful” in creating a significant contribution to the political arena.

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Posted in: The Psyche, clinical psychology, C.G. Jung, Psychotherapy, Therapist

Depth Psychology in the World: New President Joseph Cambray on Extending the Vision for Pacifica Graduate Institute

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Aug 31, 2017 10:41:41 AM

Depth Psychology in the World: New President Joseph Cambray on Extending the Vision for Pacifica Graduate Institute
A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

As the newly appointed President and CEO of Pacifica, Dr. Joseph Cambray is no stranger to the Institute. With a long history as a Jungian analyst, he began teaching as adjunct faculty in the Depth Psychotherapy Program (now the Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices) at Pacifica in 2010, and started serving as provost in 2015. During his tenure as president of the IAAP (International Association for Analytical Psychology), which ended in 2013, Cambray had become increasingly interested in the diversification of depth or analytical psychology (often these two terms are used interchangeably) that he was witnessing on the worldwide stage as it moved into new communities. He was drawn to Pacifica in part because he perceived the powerful opportunities it offered to pursue new directions in depth psychology and to help grow depth psychology on the world stage.

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Posted in: depth psychology, Pacifica News, The Psyche, Pacifica Graduate Institute

The Core Complex of a Traumatized Psyche

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 7, 2017 4:50:43 PM

Opening Keynote presentation by Donald Kalsched, Ph.D., Response at the Radical Edge: Depth Psychology for the 21st Century
Summary article by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

“The false God changes suffering into violence. The true God changes violence into suffering,” begins Jungian analyst Donald Kalsched, quoting Simone Weil, French philosopher, mystic, and political activist [1], at the “Response at the Radical Edge” conference at Pacifica Graduate Institute. That day, Kalsched was up in the dark hours before dawn reworking his talk, which he gave a new title, “Healthy and Unhealthy: Hatred in the Psyche and In the Country.” He noted that the “false god” is abroad in the country at the moment, and while many in the field of Depth Psychology are working hard on behalf of “the true God” who turns violence into suffering, they are finding it difficult in a culture that supports the “false God” in this scenario.

Paul Russell [2], a respected analyst who taught in Boston, defined “trauma” as an injury to our capacity to feel. When our capacity to feel is injured, we cease to be able to imagine, because imagination depends on emotional literacy. In the process, archetypal aspects attempt to do the feeling for us, notes Kalsched, who has deemed this process the “self-care” system, which, in its attempt to sequester and protect can also end up persecuting us and keeping us from experience in order to preserve our innocence. However, we need to experience: the world actually needs suffering, Kalsched insists, citing poet John Keats along with archetypal psychologist James Hillman who loved to quote him, saying, “The world is a veil of soulmaking.”

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Posted in: Trauma, Pacifica Events, The Psyche

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

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