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

Hurtful Parenting: Identifying and Overcoming the Impact of Narcissistic Families

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Jul 5, 2018 10:41:42 AM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on an interview with Dina Zaki, L.M.F.T., by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Dina Zaki here. (approx. 31 minutes)

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. [1]

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.” [2]

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Posted in: Trauma, Psychology, clinical psychology, relationships, love, Pacifica Students, Pacifica Graduate Institute

Conversations on Trauma and Transcendence: A Roundup

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Jun 13, 2018 11:57:53 AM

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/

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, Trauma, transformative, Psychology, Spiritual, Pacifica Events, clinical psychology, dreams, psyche

Navigating the Depths: How the Psychoid and Unus Mundus Can Help Us Transcend Trauma

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Jun 5, 2018 6:29:10 PM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on an Interview with Ann Belford Ulanov, Ph.D., L.H.D., by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Ann Ulanov here. (approx. 31 minutes)

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.”

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, Trauma, transformative, Psychology, Spiritual, Pacifica Events, clinical psychology, dreams, psyche

Spiritual Implications of Psychosis: How a Spiritual Perspective Can Provide Health Benefits to Mind and Body

Posted by Krystyna Knight on May 25, 2018 10:22:00 AM

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.

Listen to the full audio interview with Tanya Luhrmann here. (approx. 34 minutes)

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. [1]

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, Trauma, transformative, Pacifica Events, Psychology, Spiritual

Normalizing Non-Ordinary Experiences: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Posted by Guest on Apr 30, 2018 10:09:19 AM

Normalizing Non-Ordinary Experiences: An Interdisciplinary Approach. A blog post by Melissa Nazario, based on an interview with Ann Taves, Ph.D. by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Ann Taves here. (approx. 28 minutes)

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.

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Posted in: Psychology, C.G. Jung, Trauma

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

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

The Beating Heart of Standing Rock: Walking The Great Mystery With All My Relations

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 7, 2017 1:42:50 PM

A guest post by Joseph Bobrow, Roshi, Ph.D.

From April 2016 to February 2017, tens of thousands of people journeyed to Oceti Sakowin, Seven Fires Camp, in Cannonball, North Dakota in support of the water protectors on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in a momentous gathering of tribes, their allies, and people from all walks of life and all ages, standing in solidarity to put a halt to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and protect the water of 17 million living downstream. They won a major victory when the Army Corps of Engineers denied a key permit to the builders (Energy Transfer Partners) and insisted on a thorough Environmental Impact Study. Soon after Donald Trump took office in January, 2017, he ordered that construction resume without the study [1]. The pipeline sprung leaks even while being tested. Now, it is in full operation.

The impacts from the remarkable community of solidarity and action at Standing Rock did not end when camp was closed, the teepees and communal structures razed, and the holdouts arrested. Other protest camps are springing up around the country, including Camp White Pine in Pennsylvania, where residents are working to stop the Mariner East 2 pipeline, and in Louisiana where a multifaith alliance is organizing a camp to block the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. The ripples from Standing Rock was also felt on July 4, 2017, when tribes gather in Black Hills, SD for “Reclamation of Independence.”

To convey and keep alive the power and joy of Standing Rock, I want to share my experience as part of an action by 524 clergy on November 3, 2016. At Standing Rock multifaith spiritually-informed direct action was the interplay, in a remarkable contemporary context, of the principles of Native spirituality: The Great Mystery (Wakan Tanka, also Great Spirit) and All My Relations (Mitakuye Oyasin).

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Posted in: Trauma, Social Justice, community psychology, Pacifica Events

Disconnected from the suffering of others

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 5, 2017 10:08:08 PM

Keynote presentation by The Truth Telling Project co-founder David Ragland, Ph.D. at Response at the Radical Edge: Depth Psychology for the 21st Century
Summary article by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

When political philosopher Hannah Arendt reported on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the pivotal organizers of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, for the New Yorker in 1963, she described a disturbing fact. In his defense, Eichmann, who was certified as “normal” by a half a dozen psychiatrists, only insisted that he was doing his job; that it had been his duty to obey his superiors in his daily work by hastening millions of Jews to their deaths on trains bound for concentration camps [1].

Eichmann’s refusal to take responsibility for his actions is illustrative of what Arendt referred to as the “banality of evil.” Her notion of banality suggests that evil exists in everyday life, and by not taking a stance against it, by not making the effort to eradicate it, we become complicit [2].

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Posted in: Trauma, Pacifica Events