Depth Psychology List

Depth Psychology Blog

This blog offers information and education about Jungian and Depth Psychology oriented approaches by psychotherapists, counselors, coaches, speakers, authors, healing professionals, and dozens of other modalities. You'll read personal stories from these practitioners about the power of symbols, the unconscious, dreams, archetypes, Jungian thought, nature, ecopsychology, mythology, and so much more. 
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  • 17 Jun 2016 2:34 PM | Bonnie Bright (Administrator)


    “Meaninglessness inhibits the fullness of life and is therefore equivalent to illness. Meaning makes a great many things endurable—perhaps everything.” —C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 340

  • 07 Jun 2016 11:15 AM | Bonnie Bright (Administrator)

    Dr. Lance Owens has dedicated the past thirty or more years of his life to studying C.G. Jung, whose willingness to engage with and understand his visionary experiences has transformed so many lives. Owens has also recently become profoundly interested in the life and work of Erich Neumann, who was arguably one of Jung’s most gifted students, and who eventually became a close friend of Jung’s. Through the influence of Jung, Neumann made his own creative and compelling contributions to the field of depth psychology through works such as The Great Mother(1955), The Origins and History of Consciousness (1954), and Depth Psychology and a New Ethic(1949) among others.

    Lance Owens’ interest in Neumann was amplified by the publication of letters between Jung and Neumann in 2015, correspondence that revealed the tremendous respect Jung had for his friend and for the Neumann’s capacity to grasp many of the depth concepts that were so critical to Jung for his own reasons. In fact, Owens’ himself has also uncovered such a deep regard for Neumann that in a recent email to me, he wrote quite poignantly, “Neumann has become one of those ‘dead friends of the soul’ that come to help and haunt us, with their questions, and their answers, and the facts of their own lives. I do now believe that hearing Neumann’s voice, across the decades, is a crucial event in understanding the development of Jung’s movement, and of Jung’s own experience.”

    During our recent conversation, Lance explained how Neumann, having grown up in an integrated German family in Berlin, realized in his twenties that there was no place for him in German culture. Rather, he embraced his Jewish roots in spite of not being a practicing Jew. When Hitler took power in 1933, Neumann left Germany for Israel, stopping over in Zurich for six months in order to spend time in analysis with Jung.

    As Lance views it, this was part of an initiatory phase for Neumann. He was, perhaps, looking for tzadik[i], a spiritual guide, when he went for analysis with Jung. During Neumann’s quest for his Jewish roots, he had been intrigued by Martin Buber’s writings on Hasidism[ii], which was centered around renewal and spiritual energy. Hasidism, a movement that emerged in the eighteenth century, was led by a mystical rabbi, Israel ben Eliezer (also called Baal Shem Tov), widely considered to be the founder of Hasidism.[iii] Neumann believed that ben Eliezer and his successor, the Mezritcher Maggid, had found a transparency between the outer and the deeper realities, enabling them to see through, to perceive the Divine in the world.

    Neumann seemed to find in Jung the tsaddik he was searching for, a unique leader who also had the ability to see through the world to the depth in a similar way. In accordance, Lance Owens informs me, Neumann, after those six months of analysis with Jung, affirmed for the remainder of his life that it was the transformative event of his life and he could not imagine what his life might have been without that experience.

    Once Neumann arrived in Israel, he established depth psychology there. While today’s training to become a Jungian analyst can be quite intensive and drawn out, Owens points out, Jung had one primary for someone to become a Jungian analyst: the analyst-in-training must know the psyche was real. Neumann most certainly got that, Owens insists.

    Jung-Neumann_851x315.jpg

    Upon his arrival in Israel in 1934, Jungian psychology was still new to Neumann, but he did his best to establish his practice based on what he knew. Though he returned more than once to visit Jung in subsequent years, by 1939 when World War II began in earnest, correspondence between Jung and Neumann was completely cut off until 1945 after the war was over. During that time in Israel, Neumann was seeing patients, sometimes up to 50 hours a week, many of them victims of the Holocaust with very little money, but a great deal of trauma that needed to be addressed. Neumann’s patients were dealing with issues of the Jewish spirit, Lance affirms.

    Neumann was very isolated during the period of time he was on his own in Israel. In fact, as Owens notes, the Jung-Neumann letters are subtitled, “Analytic Psychology in Exile,” and Neumann was very much in exile. While most of Jung’s followers had the benefit of remaining with him throughout the war years, Neumann, having no other choice, took what he learned from Jung and applied it, imagined into it, and expanded it in ways that occurred to him as he went along. When Neumann was finally able to return to Zurich in 1946, he had written massive amounts of content, including the beginning of Depth Psychology and a New Ethic and Origins and History of Consciousness, among others. Neumann took the entrée that Jung had given him, to accept that the psyche was real, and he talked and wrote about it.

    When Neumann and Jung reconnected after World War II ended, Jung was deeply appreciative of the extent of Neumann’s creative application of depth psychology, Owens relates. Neumann’s book, Depth Psychology and a New Ethic, focused on encountering the shadow in ourselves that we see in the “other,” and Jung praised it highly. When Neumann sent Jung a copy of Origins and History of Consciousness, Jung deemed it “brilliant.” As Owens shared with me, he is aware of the work of no other whom Jung praised as directly as he did that of Erich Neumann.

    Jung’s own lifelong work began to manifest in his writings in the Liber Novus, also known as The Red Book, beginning in 1913 and continuing through World War I until 1918 or 1919. The work revealed that Jung felt the Christian age was coming to an end, an idea Lance Owens investigates in his own paper entitled, “Jung and Aion.”[iv] Jung saw that there was a two-thousand-year transformation taking place in human consciousness, Owens asserts. New God images were forming. Jung felt we needed to come into a new relationship with the “depths,” with the psychic realm. There were things “bubbling up—in us, through us, in our cultures” —as Owens puts it.

    Jung fully engaged those questions throughout his life, even though he was not necessarily quick to communicate them. For a long while he said he did not think he could share the “secret knowledge” he had acquired, though some of that changed in 1944, when Jung had a series of visions after he had a heart attack resulting in a near-death experience.

    Owens notes that both Jung and Neumann felt that humanity was on the edge of a great transformation. Jung felt a deep connection to his tradition, his “dead,” his Christian history, Owens insists, and at the same time, Neumann approached things from his tradition as a Jew. However, they both came to many of the same conclusions, and both focused on two core issues: the question of evil, and the forgotten or repressed feminine.

    The visions that ultimately became The Red Book (which many Jungians still have not studied, Owens notes wryly), contributed to Jung’s recognition that the subject of “evil”—the dark one, the shadow, the mercurial figure, the “other”—was tremendously forgotten in Christian theology. In Judaism, this shows up in the concept of the yetzer hara[v]—defined as “the inclination to evil,” Owens suggests. Jung understood that the understanding of evil had to be incorporated in our coming conscious understanding of what it means to be human.

    The second issue Jung wrestled with was the forgotten feminine—the “in-dwelling imminence of a transcendence in this world”—the idea of guides, Lance believes. Neumann, too, had encountered the forgotten or repressed feminine in Judaism in the face of patriarchy. He pulled from Jewish psychology the image of the Shekinah[vi], the divine feminine or the feminine element of the transcendent which dwells in the world, but which has been exiled.

    Jung’s idea of the coming consciousness involved not only a recognition of evil and of the feminine, but also of a coniunctio in consciousness, a union of inner and outer, of “sense and nonsense,” between bright and dark, and between masculine and feminine elements. Jung began to really write about them after his illness in 1944, in AionAn Answer to Job, and Mysterium Coniunctionis, and it was during this period that Jung truly found he could talk to Neumann about the issues most critical to him. While it is possible Neumann saw parts of The Red Book and had probably even discussed some of Jung’s experiences and findings, Neumann had come to many of the same conclusions through working his own process and through his own perspective which was, in many ways, parallel to those of Jung.

    We each come to those universal truths in our own way, Lance insists. Finding what’s authentically ours involves us each going in to our history, our psychic history and our heritage. This heritage can come in dreams or visions, without any cognitive planning of the process. Neumann came to his own myth authentically through his own tradition in mystical aspects of Judaism, allowing him to engage and dialogue very profoundly with Jung’s own psychology in so many ways.

    Dr. Lance Owens is speaking at “Creative Minds in Dialogue: The Relationship between C. G. Jung and Erich Neumann,” a symposium at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA, June 24-26, 2016, alongside several other internationally acclaimed speakers including Murray Stein, Lionel Corbett, Nancy Furlotti, Ann Lammers, Rina Porat, Susan Rowland, Evan Lansing Smith, Steve Zemmelman, Riccardo Bernardini (of the Eranos Foundation in Switzerland, where both Jung and Neumann were actively engaged), and Erel Shalit, who is a Jungian analyst based in Israel and who hosted a conference on the recently published Jung-Neumann letters there last year in 2015.

    Listen to the full interview with Lance Owens here (Approx. 35 mins.).

    Learn more/Register for the symposium at http://www.pacifica.edu/current-public/item/creative-minds-in-dialogue

    [i] A tzadik (also spelled zadik or sadiq) refers to a spiritual master: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tzadik

    [ii] See Martin Buber’s works such as The Tales of Rabbi NachmanThe Legend of the Baal-Shem, and Tales of the Hasidim

    [iii] Israel ben Eliezer, the founder of Hasidism, was also known as the Besht, or Baal Shem Tov, a Jewish mystical rabbi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baal_Shem_Tov

    [iv] “Jung and Aion: Time, Vision, and a Wayfaring Man” by Lance S. Owens is available to read at http://www.gnosis.org/Jung-and-Aion.pdf

    [v] Yetzer hara, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yetzer_hara

    [vi] Learn more about the Shekinah the Jewish Virtual library at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Shekhinah.html

    Lance S. Owens is an historian and a physician in clinical practice. He has served on the clinical staff of the University of Utah for over two decades.  Since publication of Jung's Red Book: Liber Novus in 2009, Dr. Owens has published several studies focused on Jung's extraordinary visionary experience. His lectures and seminars on Jung and the Red Book (available online) have been enjoyed by many thousands of listeners. Dr. Owens is also the founder and editor of “The Gnosis Archive”, the major Internet repository of ancient Gnostic texts, including the complete Nag Hammadi Library of Gnostic Scriptures. A catalog of his publications and audio lectures is available at: www.gnosis.org/Lance-Owens




    bonnie_bright.jpgBonnie Bright, Ph.D., graduated from Pacifica’s Depth Psychology program in 2015. She is the founder of Depth Psychology Alliance, a free online community for everyone interested in depth psychologies, and of DepthList.com, a free-to-search database of Jungian and depth psychology-oriented practitioners. She is also the creator and executive editor of Depth Insights, a semi-annual scholarly journal, and regularly produces audio and video interviews on depth psychological topics. Bonnie has completed 2-year certifications in Archetypal Pattern Analysis via the Assisi Institute; in Technologies of the Sacred with West African elder Malidoma Somé, and has been extensively involved in Holotropic Breathwork™ and the Enneagram.



    NOTE: This blog originally posted on Pacifica Post

  • 01 Jun 2016 4:25 AM | Bonnie Bright (Administrator)


    "Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished; and they have been the living inspiration of whatever else may have appeared out of the activities of the human body and mind. 

    It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation. Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth."

     —Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, p. 269


  • 28 May 2016 3:49 PM | Bonnie Bright (Administrator)

    The idea of limitless growth is the most destructive myth of our times, began Dr. Vandana Shiva, in her inspiring plenary talk at “Climates of Change and a Therapy of Ideas,” Pacifica’s recent 40thanniversary conference held on the Ladera campus in Santa Barbara, CA.

    Vandana Shiva, who trained as a physicist at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, is Founder and Director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology and for Navdanya, the movement for seed saving and ecological agriculture. She is also the author of numerous books including Staying AliveEcofeminism, Seed Sovereignty and Food Security: Women in the Vanguard (Ed.), Soil Not OilEarth Democracy and Who Feeds the World.

    In her moving lecture, Shiva reminded the hundreds of Pacifica students, alumni, and faculty—along with many members of the larger community who gathered in the Barrett center—that we are now living in an age recently dubbed the “Anthropocene,” the “age of man,” and pointed out some of the cultural and ecological issues that have led to the multitude of critical situations we now collectively face. 

    Shiva is a powerful voice for preserving the earth and healing culture and planet through conserving natural seeds, promoting biodiversity, and helping people connect to the land through organic gardening.

    While some scientists are looking to implement geoengineering solutions to combat climate change, including launching chemicals or reflectors into the sky to reflect the sun and prevent warming (as if the sunlight were the problem, she wryly notes), organic gardening would allow us to pull 10 gigatons of carbon out of the atmosphere.

    In fact, one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases is farming, I learned. Industrial agriculture, in particular, results in disturbance of massive amounts of earth, releasing excess CO2 normally sequestered in the soil into the atmosphere. Fertilizers, also, are large contributors to carbon emissions, and the use of pesticides and insecticides containing deadly chemicals is widespread in most industrial farming.

    In addition, the loss of biodiversity to large tracts of lands planted with acre after acre of so-called “monocrops” such as corn and soybeans completely obliterate ecosystems that provide nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other pollinators to survive. The word agriculture refers to the “culture of the land,” Shiva pointed out, yet today, due to the way we treat the land, agriculture has become like war.

    More, Shiva contends, in large part due to our history of colonialism which infringed on the rights of indigenous individuals in many parts of the world, a few individuals and organizations have been enabled to take advantage of the situation, not only taking over land and property that belonged to the original inhabitants, but also by setting legal precedents that work to their advantage.

    Specifically, some of those corporations that produce chemicals for the agricultural industry, such as fertilizer and pesticides, are misusing their power to create lucrative initiatives that she finds highly disturbing. Corporations such as Monsanto have created monopolies on gigantic tracts of land, planting them with specially engineered seeds that often integrate pesticides right into the seed.

    In her book, Soil Not Oil[i] and elsewhere, Shiva discusses how a new class of insecticides called neonicotinoids, developed by Shell and Bayer and chemically related to nicotine, are killing the soil and the pollinators that provide us with food. Only 10% of butterflies remain because of the spraying of RoundUp, she suggests; most are emerging from their cocoons with deformed wings. My own doctoral research, which focused in part on Colony Collapse Disorder, the mass decimation of honeybee hives, revealed that “neonics” are also implicated in loss of honeybees.

    When RoundUp and related pesticides are sprayed on the crops we ultimately eat, Shiva relays, it leads to the decimation of bacteria that make precursors to neurotransmitters, effectively killing much of the good bacteria in our guts, allowing pathogens to grow and take over. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, which is generously sprayed on genetically engineered crops, may indeed be a culprit in the process Shiva describes.[ii]

    The rapid increase in rates of autism, which may be linked to pesticides, is also a growing concern. When I looked into Roundup specifically, I discovered that as of 2009, the line of RoundUp products, including genetically modified seeds, represented nearly 50% of Monsanto's business.[iii]

    Ultimately, Shiva contends, organic agriculture feeds the planet with more nourishing food and can sequester the carbon we need. Seed programs, like the movement she started with Navdanya to create seed banks, can ensure our collective future, too, and maintain the diversity desperately required for our future prosperity. Those individuals that have the capacity to destroy life on earth have an incapacity to understand how they are destroying it, Shiva insists, and we need more hands and love on the land to beatify the earth and help the land to heal. What is it we will do now?

    Learn more about Vandana Shiva’s conference talk in Part Two of this report, coming soon.

    NOTES

    [i] Vandana Shiva (2008). Soil Not Oil. Brooklyn, NY: South End Press.

    [ii] Joseph Mercola. (June 9, 2013). “Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide May Be Most Important Factor in Development of Autism and Other Chronic Disease”. Mercola.com: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/09/monsanto-roundup-herbicide.aspx

    [iii] Matt Cavallaro. (June 26, 2009). "The Seeds Of A Monsanto Short Play". Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/29/monsanto-potash-fertilizer-personal-finance-investing-ideas-agrium-mosaic.html


    Bonnie Bright, Ph.D., graduated from Pacifica’s Depth Psychology program after defending her dissertation in December 2014. She is the founder of Depth Psychology Alliance, a free online community for everyone interested in depth psychologies, and of DepthList.com, a free-to-search database of Jungian and depth psychology-oriented practitioners. She is also the creator and executive editor of Depth Insights, a semi-annual scholarly journal, and regularly produces audio and video interviews on depth psychological topics. Bonnie has completed 2-year certifications in Archetypal Pattern Analysis via the Assisi Institute; in Technologies of the Sacred with West African elder Malidoma Somé, and has completed extensive studies in Holotropic Breathwork™ and the Enneagram.

    NOTE: This blog was originally posted on PacificaPost.com

  • 28 May 2016 3:49 PM | Bonnie Bright (Administrator)




    “Animals wake up the imagination….I’ve found that animal dreams can do this too. They really wake people up. 
    Animal dreams provoke their feelings, get them thinking, interested, and curious. 
    As we get more into imagining, we become more animal-like…more instinctually alive.” 


    —James Hillman, Dream Animals, p. 2

  • 09 May 2016 7:28 PM | Bonnie Bright (Administrator)

    Ecotherapy: Nature Reconnection as a Powerful, Transformational Healing Practice: 

    A Short Interview with Linda Buzzell, MA, MFT

    If the name, Linda Buzzell, sounds familiar to you, it’s no surprise—particularly if you are moved as I am by the growing ecological crisis that is unfolding around us. Linda Buzzell, MA, LMFT, PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) has been a psychotherapist for more than 30 years and has specialized in ecopsychology and ecotherapy since 2000. She co-edited the 2009 Sierra Club Books anthology, Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind. From my perspective, Linda is a true pioneer in the field, with a wonderful gift for sharing her passion for the planet in a multitude of ways that appeal to a broad audience.

    In addition to writing regularly for Huffington Post, Linda generously shares her time to do interviews and events that illustrate the value (and, arguably, the imperative) of reconnecting with the natural world. Linda recently joined me as a panelist for an online event, “Earth, Climate, Dreams” sponsored by Depth Psychology Alliance, and she is leading an upcoming weekend workshop, Ecotherapy: Nature Reconnection as a Powerful, Transformational Healing Practice, at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, May 13-15, 2016.

    Linda recently sat down with me to answer a few questions about the power of ecotherapy:

     

    BB: Why were you first drawn to ecotherapy?

    LB: I grew up in rural Canada and nature was a powerful healer when my mother died. After years of being an indoor psychotherapist, I rediscovered the amazing power that nature has to heal when I moved to my current home. I was amazed how time spent communing with and tending my garden could raise my mood and calm anxieties. That inspired me to do research about ecopsychology and apply various nature connection practices in my therapy practice. And that in turn led to Craig Chalquist and I editing Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind for Sierra Club Books, where we gathered insights from people like Joanna Macy, Meredith Sabini (The Earth Has a Soul: Jung, Technology and Modern Life), Bill McKibben, Theodore Roszak (The Voice of the Earth), David Orr, Jungian analyst Mary-Jayne Rust, Andy Fisher (Radical Ecopsychology), Stephen Aizenstat, Richard Louv, Robert Greenway and many others.

     

    BB: That book is indeed a remarkable collection of many inspiring individuals who are contributing to this field. It has been on my own bookshelf pretty much since it came out, and I often turn to it for ideas and inspiration. Many of the works in that anthology focus on the power of reconnecting with the natural world. In what ways do you personally see nature reconnection practices are “powerful medicine”?

    LB: On a purely scientific level, more and more robust research is showing how even a tiny touch of contact with the many aspects of nature (within our own bodies, our consciousness, in our gardens, with animals or in the wilderness) has demonstrable, measurable healing results. And of course the process is much deeper than that! Modern people have been living in cages imposed by our own worldviews and economic/political structures and suffer from what Richard Louv calls "nature deficit disorder." Helping people escape from those cages is exciting work!

      

    BB: To give an idea of some of those “cages” you mention: Many people are increasingly experiencing symptoms like eco-anxiety; numbing, apathy, or dissociation; or even environmental illnesses where substances in the environment make us sick. How can ecotherapy offer solutions for those who feel they are suffering due to ecological issues?

    LB: Ecotherapy addresses the escalating issues arising from our degrading environment. As Jungian analyst and author, Jerome Bernstein, points out, very sensitive people are especially aware of and affected by the earth's pain and the pain of the many species, including humans, who suffer from our mistreatment of the earth. The upcoming workshop I’m leading at Pacifica will include learning about some of the "cultural ecotherapies” that treat conditions specific to our historical moment, such as eco-anxiety, eco-grief, eco-trauma, eco-shame, eco-despair and trauma from forced migration," solastalgia and environmental melancholia, or the "waking up syndrome" that arises as we fully grok the enormity of environmental and social challenges. Climate psychology is another important example of an emerging cultural ecotherapy. Ecotherapists may be considered important first responders at any environmental trauma scene, using techniques to facilitate transition and restoration of the community commons, to help build personal and community eco-resilience, and to serve as catalysts in the collective recovery from consumerism.

      

    BB: Ecotherapists as first responders—What a powerful image! It’s a metaphor that engenders a visceral or embodied understanding of what is needed to address the urgency of reconnection with the natural world. What are some of the applied ecopsychology methods currently being practiced in consulting rooms and outdoor spaces that appeal to you most?

    LB: My own favorite is horticultural therapy, because I love plants and gardens. Animal-assisted therapies are also really exciting too, as are the wilderness therapies, which can be highly transformative by facilitating intimate contact with non-human-controlled nature for specific, intense periods of time.

      

    BB: In general, why should we, as individuals, really care about this initiative? Who can benefit from learning more about ecotherapy?

    LB: The research is now driving the field forward to new applications with multiple populations using multiple methods. Teachers, therapists, doctors, coaches, counselors, public health workers, parks and recreation specialists, urban designers and other professionals are all beginning to include nature connection practices in their fields, because they work! Prisons, schools, care farms, violent neighborhoods, outdoor psychotherapy, and Alzheimers facilities are some of the many places that now including nature connection practices in their healing protocols.

      

    DETAILS & REGISTRATION for Linda’s Upcoming Workshop in Santa Barbara, May 13-15, 2016: Click here


    NOTE: This post is also available on Pacifica Post. Click here to view.

     

    Linda Buzzell, MA, LMFT, PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate), has been a psychotherapist for more than 30 years and has specialized in ecopsychology and ecotherapy since 2000. She and CraigChalquist edited the Sierra Club Books anthology Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind, a core text in clinical ecopsychology. She is a member of the Editorial Board of Ecopsychology, the peer reviewed journal of the field, and was a keynote speaker at the 2014 Ecotherapy Symposium at the University of Brighton in the UK. She is Adjunct Faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. In 2002 she founded the International Association for Ecotherapy and is co-founder of the Ecopsychology Network of Southern California. She blogs on ecopsychology and ecotherapy at The Huffington Post. She is a member of the Ecopsychology Network for Clinicians, where she taught “The HOW of Ecotherapy.” In 2006 she received her Permaculture Design Certificate and with her husband Larry Saltzman has created a food forest around her home that serves as her ecotherapy office. For further information, www.ecotherapyheals.com and www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-buzzell

     

    Bonnie Bright, Ph.D., earned her doctorate in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is the founder of Depth Psychology Alliance, a free online community for everyone interested in depth psychologies, and of DepthList.com, a free-to-search database of Jungian and depth psychology-oriented practitioners. She is also the creator and executive editor of Depth Insights, a semi-annual scholarly journal, and regularly produces audio and video interviews on depth psychological topics. Bonnie has completed 2-year certifications in Archetypal Pattern Analysis via the Assisi Institute; in Technologies of the Sacred with West African elder Malidoma Somé, and has been extensively involved in Holotropic Breathwork™ and the Enneagram.

  • 09 May 2016 6:48 PM | Bonnie Bright (Administrator)

    Ecotherapist Linda Buzzell, Panel Presentation for "Earth, Climate, Dreams"—A Summary



    In a short presentation as a panelist for “Earth, Climate, Dreams,” an online event hosted by Depth Psychology Alliance that took place in April 2016, Linda Buzzell, MA, MFT, shared some insights into the power of “daytime dreams” and working to develop eco-resilience in the face of challenging times. I found Linda's insights into eco-resilience quite powerful, prompting me to summarize them here in order to share them with you.

    Linda begins by mentioning the work of Dr. Steven Aizenstat and psychotherapist, Lauren Schneider, both active in the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), and how they perceive that we can get direct communication from the rest of nature by observing the natural images that arise in our dreams. 

    Regarding dreams, Linda notes, it is also important to look at “daytime dreams” as well as those we have at night. With this, she suggests that young people in our country have been suffering from lack of an alternative vision of our climate and the ecological crisis. What would it look like if we were doing it right, she asks?

    Linda has been working with Craig Chalquist, Ph.D., with whom she co-authored the 2009 Sierra Club anthology, Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind, to come up with principles of eco-resilience. As our society is going to be going through some difficulties, how can we be resilient as individuals, families, communities and ecosystems, she wonders. The Permaculture design course provides practical approaches to empower yourself, your family and community to allow you to be as eco-resilient as possible. 

    Linda mentions that she participated in a reading circle for Carolyn Baker’s, Navigating the Coming Chaos, which she found to be a very helpful book to engage around. Referring to “The Waking Up Syndrome,” an essay she co-wrote with therapist Sarah Anne Edwards, Linda describes how they engage Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ stages of death and dying to look at the ecological crisis and see how we go through denial, distraction, or despair. 

    She references how drastically each of us can be affected by news such as how climate change or ecological decline is happening much faster than predicted. We each experience trauma due to these ongoing “shocks,” Linda believes—what John Howard Kunstler calls the “Long Emergency” or Sarah Edwards calls “residual trauma.”

    Engaging in community in order to look at issues, dreams, etc. helps with one’s personal eco-resilience, she suggests. The idea of a waking dream in nature is a way we can experience the larger psyche, by communicating with or spending much more time with nature, whether it’s in “little nature” nearby, or in the larger wilderness. This is one more way we can be guided by earth and the larger psyche of nature as to what we need to be doing individually and collectively as to what’s happening on our planet.

     

    View the video of Linda's panel presentation here (approximately 7 minutes)

    View the full "Earth, Climate, Dreams" online panel and community c... (approx. 94 mins)


    Linda is offering an Ecotherapy weekend workshop at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, May 13-15, 2016.  DETAILS & REGISTRATION HERE


    ABOUT LINDA

    Linda Buzzell, MA, LMFT, PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate), has been a psychotherapist for more than 30 years and has specialized in ecopsychology and ecotherapy since 2000. She and Craig Chalquist edited the Sierra Club Books anthology Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind, a core text in clinical ecopsychology. She is a member of the Editorial Board of Ecopsychology, the peer reviewed journal of the field, and was a keynote speaker at the 2014 Ecotherapy Symposium at the University of Brighton in the UK. She is Adjunct Faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. In 2002 she founded the International Association for Ecotherapy and is co-founder of the Ecopsychology Network of Southern California. She blogs on ecopsychology and ecotherapy at The Huffington Post. She is a member of the Ecopsychology Network for Clinicians, where she taught “The HOW of Ecotherapy.” In 2006 she received her Permaculture Design Certificate and with her husband Larry Saltzman has created a food forest around her home that serves as her ecotherapy office. For further information, www.ecotherapyheals.com and www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-buzzell

     

  • 01 May 2016 9:23 AM | Kim Hermanson, PhD

    I grew up in a hard working Norwegian farming family in the Midwest and not surprisingly, Midwestern practicality is etched into my cells. When I walk into an art gallery, I often marvel at the amount of time someone spent gluing hundreds or thousands of tiny pieces of glass into a sculpture or creating a fine painting. Thousands of hours in many cases, with no practical benefit other than to be looked at and admired. We can look at and admire a tree or a mountain, why do we need art?

    We tend to evaluate the success of artists by whether they can make a living from their art. This is not an easy path and for many artists I know, it’s a struggle. But perhaps there are other reasons why artists labor against the odds to produce art. Perhaps underneath it all, it’s not so much about making pretty things for people to look at and buy. Perhaps what they’re really doing—consciously or not—is engaging in a process that allows them totouch something that’s alive.And perhaps their creative efforts help the rest of us touch this place as well. Maybe… on some subconscious level, the creative process teaches us how to be better humans. Maybe it shows us how to step into something more expansive than ourselves.

    The artistic process is not valued in our culture as a deeply profound way of knowing. That is clear when school districts make budget-cutting decisions…and arts programs are the first to go. And although corporations pay lip service to the need for creativity and innovation in order to stay competitive, most of them are too focused on their bottom line to explore a dimension of wisdom that bypasses our cognitive minds.

    In my classes and Doorway sessions, I work with metaphor, which is a powerful—and untapped—way of knowing. Artists, consciously or not, have been connecting with the metaphoric realm for eons. Metaphor lies at the heart of the creative process.

    The physicist Arthur Zajonc wrote:

    I believe that artists are the harbingers of the future mentality required both by science and by the imperatives of living in our precarious times . . . we now truly stand in need, not only as scientists but as a civilization, of the artist’s cognitive capacities.

    Sigmund Freud once said that no matter where his research led, a poet had already been there ahead of him. The question is: whyWhat is it that the poet does…that takes him or her beyond ordinary reasoning capacities?

    Capacities such as the artist’s willingness to dwell in perplexity and confusion, welcoming any unlikely connection that shows up, and his or her sensitivity to nuance and qualities of beauty that others miss, provide us with important directional pointers. Unfortunately however, our culture separates off the artistic realm from normal everyday human activity. Whether artists are viewed as weird or genius does not matter, because in either case they are considered different from the rest of us.

    Tribal cultures didn’t make artistic products that they set aside and looked at. In fact, they didn’t have the concept of “art” as something separatefrom life. To them, the process of creating art was a way to commune with the Gods. They made art because they needed to connect with something greater than themselves. I believe we all have that fundamental need. To live we need to grow—we need to reach beyond ourselves into something greater. We are meant to be learners in this world; we are meant to reachbeyond.

    When we step into a potent metaphor, we step into anotherdimension, a place I often call the Feeling Dimension. In this metaphoric Dimension, we connect with and feel...the profound creative energies of the Universe. 

    Excerpted from my upcoming book, "A Portal to the Creative: Using Metaphor to Unlock Creative Genius and Inspire Breakthroughs"



  • 24 Mar 2016 4:07 PM | Bonnie Bright (Administrator)

    Dr. Pat Katsky is a Jungian Analyst and core faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and she has been a therapist for thirty years. When Pat sat down with me in a recent interview, our conversation focused on the idea that some of the most psychologically healing experiences come from the natural world, a theme derived from an upcoming certificate program, “Dreaming the Earth: Earthing the Dream” starting April 15, 2016.

    dreaming_the_earth.jpgPat mused on how in the last million or so years of history, humans have always needed nature and did not feel separate from it. But with the industrial revolution and the development of society as we know it, we have lost the connectedness. It has become something we do for vacation, she observes, then we return to jobs and daily life where nature is distant.

    Knowing Pat is a Jungian analyst, I ask her how she believes our dreams shed light on our connection to the planet. Dreams are the deepest part of us speaking to us, sharing wisdom and perspective, she responded, noting how Jung used the word numinous to describe certain kinds of dreams that make us feel we are in the presence of something larger than ourselves—when we feel awe or a sense of mystery.

    As an analyst, she has seen many “big” dreams—that is, life-changing dreams clients from clients that involved the natural world. She recounts some stories (which, she notes, she has permission to share). Some dreams, for example, introduce a particular animal which becomes a totem figure for the dreamer. In one specific dream, an individual found himself standing on the ground, which began to shake. In the dream, the dreamer thought he was experiencing an earthquake, but then became aware it was a giant animal shaking itself awake. Other clients have had images about unusual movements of stars, or of the sun and moon in an unexpected relationship to one another. As you might imagine, Pat insists, some of these kinds of powerful images can have lasting, life-changing effects on people.

    I ask Pat how she recommends people work with the images they receive, particularly for those individuals who are longing for that sense of reconnection with earth. One of the beautiful things about nature is that it exists both inside of us and outside of us, Pat notes in response. For some people, their greater sense of connection with the earth requires them to do something in the outer world, whether cultivating a garden or visiting certain natural settings.

    Pat mentions that the certificate program she is co-teaching at Pacifica will incorporate some special elements, including community dreaming where people gather at the beginning of the day and share dreams. Often themes emerge throughout the day that echo the images that came out of the group dream work in the morning. Among other experiential activities, participants will also have the opportunity to use art supplies or nature elements to engage with a dream image.

    Are there other practices, I wonder to Pat, that can be used to enhance our engagement? She responds with her own enthusiasm about topics that will be included in the upcoming certificate program, including a presentation from Pacifica’s organic gardener whom she likens to the “archetypal green man,” Dr. Steve Aizenstat, who will be presenting on DreamTending™, and Dr. Joseph Cambray, who will speak about complex adaptive systems. We are increasingly discovering that as a system develops, new more complicated order can evolve—a rather radical idea, as Pat notes. Cambray will also go into the biological basis of how our mind works when we go into natural settings. Dr. Joseph Bobrow, a zen roshi, will talk about Buddhism and interdependence in the natural world, and Linda Buzzell will present with Craig Chalquist on eco-resilience—how to find a path forward with heart in the midst of the difficult times we face, and the need to forge a different kind of relationship with the natural world than we currently have as a species.

    I ask Pat then if her calling to work as a therapist and provide a container for people to do that kind of work was based in any way on her relationship to nature and what she saw happening on the planet even 20 or 30 years ago. For her personally, she finds something so replenishing about being in nature in that way after immersing herself in the psychic life of so many as a therapist. There’s something that can’t be put into words, Pat insists, about experiencing remote natural settings where one can access very meditative places of deep silence. There we can let nature speak to us, and gift us its gifts to enrich us, giving us the capacity to go back and help others.

    Katsky is currently a docent in a nature preserve owned by UCSB, which offers trips into nature for school children and the general public, and she mentions to me how greatly she has enjoyed watching people make that step and to see what it does for them. I am reminded of a talk I heard at a women’s conference a couple of years ago, where the speaker, who was from India, mentioned that in some of the worst slums in India, kids had never seen a tree except in a book. That just broke my heart when I heard that, I tell Pat, and it makes me appreciate the work she is doing to make nature more accessible to kids and everyone.

    I think about the wonder of seeing a tree, and query Pat on how she feels about wonder and awe in our culture today? Have we lost the capacity for it, I inquire. What role does it play for us moving forward into the future? Pat has a ready answer. Jung said the main focus of his work was not on pathologies but on the approach to numinous experiences—of awe and of being in the presence of the sacred. He felt that that was the direction in which he wanted people to move, because he believed having these experiences is what healed people. When you have a numinous experience, it’s not something you can ignore, she expounds. It’s like a puzzle; sometimes you have to “puzzle over it” for years sometimes to ascertain the range of its meaning.

    When you work with numinous experiences, you get the sense that you’re engaged in a dialogue with “a kind of inner wisdom that will give you dreams, synchronicities and knowledge you need to help you continue the path of your own individuation,” Pat believes.

    For me, this evokes the memory of one of my favorite teachings from Jung, who asked, “Is man related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life.”

    rhizome.jpgWhen I quote this, Pat responds with another idea from Jung, that personal human growth is like the growth that comes out of a rhizome. Rhizomes, she clarifies, are an extraordinary class of plants where the roots go out sideways. You don’t know it when it’s happening but suddenly a new plant emerges that looks like a separate plant, but it’s actually living off of this much larger rhizome. It can be transformational to think of ourselves in this way, as not separate beings but rather feeding off of this larger rhizome.

    As we close the interview, I am left with this image of the rhizome, which has continued to work me, almost as a dream might do. It is but one of millions of metaphors that come to us from the natural world that we can relate to strongly. Nature is indeed a remarkable teacher, and engaging with it intentionally and appreciatively can only enhance our own personal growth.

    Listen to the full interview with Pat Katsky here (Approx. 29 mins.)

    Learn more / Register for the Depth Psychology and Appreciative Nature Practices certificate program here

    katsky-pat.jpg

    Pat Katsky, Ph.D., has been a core faculty member at Pacifica for over 15 years, teaching and mentoring students in many of Pacifica’s programs. She is currently serving as Vice-Provost, and formerly was Chair of the Depth Psychotherapy Program. She was certified as a Jungian analyst 20 years ago, and has been a psychotherapist for over 30 years. Her research interests include the process of becoming a psychotherapist, the world of dreams, and the religious function of the psyche. She has published and lectured on these topics in the United States and abroad. Pat was formerly the president of the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, and serves regularly on the reviewing and certifying boards of the San Francisco and Los Angeles Jung Institutes. She co-founded a non-profit counseling center in Los Angeles, Counseling West, which serves individuals, couples, and families seeking a depth psychotherapeutic approach in charting a path in their lives, and she continues to participate in this organization as a member of the board of directors.

    bonnie_bright.jpgBonnie Bright, Ph.D., graduated from Pacifica’s Depth Psychology program after defending her dissertation in December 2014. She is the founder of Depth Psychology Alliance, a free online community for everyone interested in depth psychologies, and of DepthList.com, a free-to-search database of Jungian and depth psychology-oriented practitioners. She is also the creator and executive editor of Depth Insights, a semi-annual scholarly journal, and regularly produces audio and video interviews on depth psychological topics. Bonnie has completed 2-year certifications in Archetypal Pattern Analysis via the Assisi Institute; in Technologies of the Sacred with West African elder Malidoma Somé, and has been extensively involved in Holotropic Breathwork™ and the Enneagram.



    *This blogpost was originally posted on Pacifica Post, an official blog site for Pacifica Graduate Institute, on March 24, 2016

  • 17 Mar 2016 3:54 PM | Bonnie Bright (Administrator)

    Depth Psychology is often associated with “soul.” Many great thinkers in the field have shared some important thoughts on the topic, and perhaps none more so than psychologist and author, Thomas Moore, whose best-selling book, Care of the Soul, is one of the most recognized and appreciated works on the topic. Thomas Moore is speaking at the upcoming Climates of Changeconference in celebration of Pacifica’s 40th anniversary in April 2016.

    soul.jpgWhen I sat down recently with Thomas to discuss the topic of soul and spirituality, my first request was that he elaborate on the difference between spirit and soul. Moore’s understanding of the topic is rooted firmly in the past, going back to some of the earliest teachers of soul. While he explained his perception of the difference between spirit and soul in some detail, what struck me is that soul thrives on the “holy” and that there is a “non-human” dimension to it.

     Most of the work Tom does is rooted in the spiritual traditions or in the depth psychology of both C. G. Jung and James Hillman. Both of these fields generally accept that there’s more going on within us and in the world around us that we can know, understand, or control. As an example, Tom points out that he did not “design” the life he has led, but rather has “discovered” it as he went along, trusting and having faith in life itself, even when he had no idea what was going to happen next. That for him is “not human,” because it is more than any human being can possibly understand.

    While you may call one’s unfolding “destiny,” or “fate,” the language or metaphor or poetic language we engage to express the Mysterious is primarily about our feeling of its value and our great reverence toward it is what Thomas calls the “holy.” This describes Moore’s own sense of reverence for the Mysterious which has shaped his life.

    In his most recent book, A Religion of One’s Own, Thomas shares some ways to tap back into a sense of spirituality. When the topic arose, I asked Thomas his opinion about the role of formal religion, which seems to be waning in our modern world.

    Tom surmises that existing institutions, including religions, need to be re-imagined to suit our times. His definition of religion is a “creative and concrete response to the Mysteries.” Religion is not just an idea or belief, he insists, nor is it about perfecting ourselves. It’s about our relationship to the Mysterious “other.”

    path_beach.jpgMoore cites Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, nineteenth-century authors, poets and philosophers whose grasp of religion was, in the sense that Moore describes it, a “personal experience of the holy.” They designed their lives to be more contemplative, Moore suggests, in order to be in relationship to nature and to the mysterious things in life. Thomas also insists secular literature is holy, confirming that he gets religious and spiritual guidance there. Traditional religions have changed in contemporary culture and are now “losing favor” because we are moving into a new world, he says.

    Upon hearing this, I think of the alchemical adage that the the “old king” must die in order for alchemical transmutation to begin and so something new can take its place. We are seeing dynamic change on the planet, and so much is in decline— not just religion, but also in the natural world and in social systems around the globe. Allowing ourselves to be open, to be touched by wonder and awe of otherly forces is a critical process. If we don’t surrender, transformation will be forced on us, because it will happen whether we like it or not, I suggest to Thomas.

    Moore agrees, invoking a Latin term he utilized as a monk, contemptus mundi, which means not contempt for the world, but rather resistance to the world. To develop a sense of the holy, he says, we have to resist the secular culture and resist the science-based culture of today, as it doesn’t make room for the holy and the “other.” The secular world is not enough for us. In order to have a soulful life, we need to have a sense of the holy. In a paradoxical way, the more we can be in touch with the transcendent and the mysterious, the more human we are, Thomas contends. It touches and opens and feeds our soul in a way that can only happen when we have a connection to a bigger reality, so a “soulful life” corresponds to the life of the holy.

    James-Hillman2010.jpgI felt a growing realization as Thomas talked about being human, a reminder that the root of the word human is related to humus which is related to the earth itself. There is no “inside” and “outside,” just as Thomas said. Everything is connected. When I mentioned this to him, he reminded me that James Hillman, with whom Moore was friends for 38 years, believed that soul is in everything. Hillman was greatly interested in the anima mundi, or soul of the world, Moore told me, remembering how Hillman decided to stop his private therapy practice because he wanted to turn his therapeutic attention to the world. For his part, Thomas tells me, he chose to do both—to continue his private practice in order to help the individual, and to write books to help bring an awareness of soul in the world outside of us.

    I’m reminded then how Jung talks about how the work must begin with the individual, and as we each do our own work, it can ripple out into the world. It makes me think of how hard it can be at times to actually do the work and how precious and poignant it is when we get overwhelmed by the world and experience dark nights of the soul. I ask Tom if he has insights on how we can deal with these valleys we encounter.

    Among other suggestions, one important practice is to express ourselves in poetic language, to find an artistic way, even a beautiful way, to depict how you’re feeling. It’s the beauty that brings soul forward, Thomas maintains.

    I think of a lecture not long ago where I heard Thomas talk about a Japanese art form, wabi-sabi, the Japanese art of imperfection, where cracks in pottery are repaired with gold to enhance them and make them beautiful. All of us could benefit from the idea of wabi-sabi when we are in the valleys, or dark nights, Moore expounds, because we are wabi-sabi in that moment. “What if we had the idea of ourselves as essentially and beautifully imperfect?” he asks. That would help us get through those dark moments.

    In response, I contemplate how each of us has a different way of dealing with challenges that arise for us, and different ways of tapping into that sense of soul or holy or sacred. How can we introduce the holy more fully into the collective, I wonder.

    We are suffering from our secularism, Thomas says. The church and the secular world are split into opposites. That kind of split is an indication of neurosis. Something is wrong. It would help if we didn’t separate what we do on one day of the week from the rest of the week.

    Another positive move is to find the holy manifested in the natural world. By doing this, we can make every effort to move against the degradation of the natural world we’re experiencing. Spiritual life requires nature. It also requires time and work—a lifelong process of going through passages and initiations in order to become a mature person, and a psychology that is deeper than what is currently taught in most schools, Thomas suggests.

    For Moore, connecting psychology with religions is very valuable. Religions teach a lot about initiation, values, and seeing a vision of the world. Secular psychology doesn’t provide the depth of thought, or “deep culture,” or a connection with the wisdom of the past, all aspects of soul which are so greatly needed for tending the soul of the world. Engaging with depth psychology and finding the holy in our own experience, though, is a beginning. May each one of us make that move toward consciousness in whatever small, precious way we can.

    Listen to the full interview with Thomas Moore here (Approx. 33 mins.)

    Learn more / Register for Pacifica’s upcoming 40th Anniversary Conference, Climates of Change and the Therapy of Ideas

    moore_thomas.png


    Thomas Moore, Ph.D., received his degree in religion from Syracuse University. Before that he was a monk for thirteen years. He is the author of Care of the Soul and nineteen other books, with four new publications coming out in 2016. He has been a psychotherapist for forty years and lectures widely on depth psychology, religion/spirituality and the arts. He was a close friend of James Hillman for 38 years. He is also a musician, translator and writer of fiction. For more information, visit www.careofthesoul.net




    bonnie_bright.jpgBonnie Bright, Ph.D., graduated from Pacifica’s Depth Psychology program after defending her dissertation in December 2014. She is the founder of Depth Psychology Alliance, a free online community for everyone interested in depth psychologies, and of DepthList.com, a free-to-search database of Jungian and depth psychology-oriented practitioners. She is also the creator and executive editor of Depth Insights, a semi-annual scholarly journal, and regularly produces audio and video interviews on depth psychological topics. Bonnie has completed 2-year certifications in Archetypal Pattern Analysis via the Assisi Institute; in Technologies of the Sacred with West African elder Malidoma Somé, and has been extensively involved in Holotropic Breathwork™ and the Enneagram.


    *This blogpost was originally posted on Pacifica Post, an official blog site for Pacifica Graduate Institute, on March 17, 2016

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