Depth Psychology: MA Program


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Public Programs in Depth Psychology 2014

Barbara Holifield, M.S.W., M.F.T., Indwelling: Our Human Participation in the Dream of the Earth

Barbara Holifield MSW MFT Saturday Jan 25, 2014, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Art 108, Sonoma State University
Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
Donations accepted
$30 fee for 3 hours CE for therapists (BBSE); CE registration at the door the morning of the event
$8 parking in Lot A next to the Art Building or $5 in Lot E, F, G (download campus map)

What Jung intuited nearly a century ago has never been more relevant: that Western culture would become lost if we were not able to sustain a connection to nature and learn from the wisdom of the indigenous people whose stories are deeply woven with the land. We have critically disconnected ourselves from the earth. Only gradually are we beginning to grasp the gravity of our situation and the complex ramifications of our culture’s dissociation from its relational existence in the matrix of life.

This morning we will pay particular attention to the process of embodiment in development, its disruption in trauma and healing in depth psychotherapy. We will investigate the similarities and implications of this with that of indwelling earth. Our exploration of these ideas will evolve from poetry, lecture and experiential use of active imagination. If weather permits we will venture outside to soulfully engage with the natural world.

What emerges though our experience we will use to build on Thomas Berry’s idea that hope for our future lies in our human participation in the dream of the earth. From here we will consider how moving from a reified individualistic notion of Self to an interdependent one links us to the Anima Mundi in such a way that our work “is aligned with a new respect for the mysterious eloquence of earthly reality––a deeply immanent sense of the sacred quietly dawning across the planet.” 

Barbara Holifield, M.S.W., M.F.T., is a Jungian analyst who in her early childhood journeyed through the wild lands of North America and worked as a wilderness therapist. Immersion into the wilderness continues to be an intrinsic and profound element in her life. She weaves somatic and relational perspectives into her work, which includes focus on the psychophysiology of trauma. She is a training analyst at the C. G. Jung Institute in San Francisco, adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and an Authentic Movement teacher. Her recent writings have focused on the topic of psyche within the matrix of the natural world.

Francis Weller, M.A., M.F.T., Living in the Ashes: The Sacred Work of Grief

Francis Weller, MA, MFT Saturday Feb 22, 2014, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Art 108, Sonoma State University
Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
Donations accepted
$30 fee for 3 hours CE for therapists (BBSE); CE registration at the door the morning of the event
$8 parking in Lot A next to the Art Building or $5 in Lot E, F, G (download campus map)

Many cultures see the time of grief following significant loss as a time of living in the ashes. It is a time of mourning, of digesting and metabolizing the sorrows that accompany loss. This season of sorrow was a period of interiority, a sacred time during which we are deepened by the work of grieving. We are remade during these times, broken open to the night world of soul where we recognize our intimate connection to the world. We return from this time in the ashes as men and women carrying gravitas for the community.

What happens when our grief is not offered time and space to be acknowledged? Where does it go and how does it shape our daily life? Left unattended, our sorrows seep underground, darkening our days. It is our unexpressed sorrows, the congested stories of loss that, when left untouched, block our access to the vitality of the soul. To be able to freely move in and out of the soul's inner chambers, we must first clear the way. This requires finding meaningful ways to speak of sorrow.

During our time together, we will explore the soul's relationship to grief, how grief shared deepens our capacity for compassion and eases the congested sorrows that cloud our hearts. We will discuss the Five Gates of Grief and ways to bring a soft attention to the layers of grief in our lives. We will also explore the obstacles to grief that hinder our ability to empty the bowl of grief we carry. We are invited to honor the ashes of our losses and remember that "where there is sorrow, there is holy ground."

Francis Weller, M.A., M.F.T., is a community builder, writer, teacher and psychotherapist in Northern California who has been working with the emotional, creative and spiritual life of men and women for over thirty years. Francis draws from an extensive background in depth psychology, mythology, group work and indigenous traditions. His work embodies his love of soul, the arts, ritual and his devotion to bringing these into living and sustainable community. He is the author of Entering the Healing Ground: Grief, Ritual and the Soul of the World and the founder and director of WisdomBridge. He has taught at New College of California, Sonoma State University and the Sophia Center in Oakland.

Daniel Polikoff, Ph.D., Rilke: Poetry and the Art of Soul-Making

Daniel Polikoff PhD Saturday April 5, 2014, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Art 108, Sonoma State University
Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
Donations accepted
$30 fee for 3 hours CE for therapists (BBSE); CE registration at the door the morning of the event
$8 parking in Lot A next to the Art Building or $5 in Lot E, F, G (download campus map)

Like his eminent contemporary Carl Jung (born the same year as the poet), Rainer Maria Rilke unfolded a compelling vision of the nature and destiny of the human soul. He did so, moreover, after the unique form and fashion dictated by his poetic calling. Rilke's passionate lyrics—full of  grief and yearning, desolation and profound joy—promise answers to the deepest riddles of the soul, yet his Orphic speech itself often remains riddling. How are we to construe the lineaments of Rilke's vision, and how understand its poetic making?

In this session, we will focus upon understanding Rilke's poetry as a vehicle for his soul-development. Interweaving salient features of Rilke's biography, close reading of major poems, and critical attention to ideas and motifs central to depth psychology (individuation, anima, the nigredo, hieros gamos), we'll attempt to gain a sense of the deep wisdom inscribed in Rilke's poetic oeuvre, and the creative processes—inseparably poetic and psychological—through which the poet's life and art were forged.

Daniel Polikoff, Ph.D., is a poet, translator, and internationally recognized Rilke scholar. His book on Rilke and archetypal psychology In the Image of Orpheus: Rilke—A Soul History (Chiron, 2011) was reviewed in both Jung Journal and Spring. He has shared his knowledge of Rilke in many venues in the United States and abroad (most recently, his talk on Rilke and Alchemy last November at the San Francisco Jung Institute, which was also offered as a webinar through the Asheville Jung Center). He has  published two books of poetry as well as an edited translation of a dramatic version of the Grail legend, and lives with his wife and son in Mill Valley.

Depth Psychology Work in the World: A Saturday Retreat

dragonfly Saturday April 12, 2014, 9 a.m. -2:30 p.m.
The Cooperage, Sonoma State University
Doors open at 9:00 a.m. Program begins promptly at 9:30 a.m.
Attendance is free but must register at Eventbrite; Donations are accepted
This event is co-sponsored by the Psychology & Spirituality Lecture Series
$5 parking in Lot J (download campus map)

Join us for a soulful retreat on bringing depth psychology work into the world. This is an experiential retreat in which we'll set up a liminal field with the goal of hearing and sharing ways to bring deep self into work in the world. We'll attend to our own deep self as we listen to creative and innovative presenters who have been successful in establishing distinctive and unique ways of working in the world. We'll hear about their on-going practices to keep connection to deep self, how they have met inner and outer challenges, and how they have navigated setbacks and successes in their journey. We'll work and share in the large group and small dyads or triads as well.

This retreat is the first of a yearly cycle of Depth Psychology Work in the World retreats. At each retreat we'll open a liminal space to explore this topic. Our emphasis is on accessing, encountering, and listening to deep self in ourselves and others, while holding the focus on the topic of work in the world. Our grounding assumption is that this process takes time to unfold, as we seed, cultivate, care for, and tend what grows within. This is not a quick-fix retreat; think of it as an oasis of drawing from a deep well in the journey of soulful work in the world. As individuals and as a community we need time to develop practices of inner and outer listening, of seeing and of being seen, of silence and of expression. We are committing to hold open the space in community to invite soulful presence, and to explore within that space. These opportunities to experience deep self in community with others who are also exploring it, are open to all.

These retreats are held around the seasonal cycles of the fall equinox, winter solstice, and spring equinox (but not at summer solstice--here, let light and full flowering!). The fall retreat will be around Sept 27 of 2014.

Our presenters on April 12 include Starhawk, an activist around earth-based practices and spirituality; Felicia Matto-Shepard, an innovative depth-oriented workshop facilitator; and Rio Olesky, an astrologer and teacher.

Come prepared to share | to be moved | to be inspired in the field we will all create. Coffee and croissants from 9 - 9:30 a.m.

Starhawk Starhawk is one of the most respected voices in modern earth-based spirituality. She is a global justice activist and organizer who conducts Earth Activist trainings and whose work and writings have inspired many to action. She is the author or coauthor of twelve books, including The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess, and her newest book, The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups.
Felicia Matto_Shepard Felicia Matto-Shepard is a psychotherapist who brings a background in dreamwork, work with the dying and the bereaved, shamanism, and art, movement and dance to facilitate her work with personal transformation. She is a candidate in training to be a Jungian Analyst at the C. G. Jung Institute in San Francisco, and leads workshops and couples retreats with her husband, Jim Matto-Shepard.
Rio Olesky Rio Olesky is a professional astrologer who teaches at the Santa Rosa Junior College, writes monthly columns for local and national publications, and speaks on radio and television talk shows. He has been a practitioner of Kriya Yoga since 1975 and brings a spiritual focus to his work.

Attendance is free but register through Eventbrite so that we have enough seating and refreshments.

Please bring an object that represents your vision of your deep self work in the world. We'll make a central mandala of the objects to serve as an orienting focus for our day.

We'll have lunch in conversation, so bring a bag lunch and dine with us outdoors or inside. Iced tea and lemonade provided as liquid refreshment in the afternoon. No time to pack a lunch? Olivers Market on E. Cotati Avenue has a wonderful deli for take-out, and they open at 7 a.m. Come at 9 a.m. for coffee, croissants and conversation.

Don't know anyone?..... just introduce yourself with a story of how you come to be here, and connections will unfold. The program begins promptly at 9:30 am.


Public Programs

Naomi LowinskyHear Dr. Naomi Lowinsky speak on the wild source of poetry on Sat April 27, 10am - 1 pm in Art 108.

Information Meeting

LabyrinthLearn about the Psychology M.A. in Depth Psychology degree at the Information Meeting on SatMarch 9, 2-4 pm in Stevenson Hall 3042.

Applications for Fall 2019

Hand HennaWe are accepting applications for fall 2019 now through Cal State Apply.