Pacifica Graduate Institute Announces Journeys of the Soul Week

By Joanne A Calitri   |   September 19, 2023
Dr. Leonie H. Mattison EdD MBA, President and CEO Pacifica Graduate Institute (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

Dr. Leonie H. Mattison, president and CEO of Pacifica Graduate Institute (PGI), has announced PGI’s newest weekend workshop with an open invitation to the public titled, Journeys of the Soul Immersive, scheduled for September 27 through October 1, at their 801 Ladera Lane, Carpinteria location. 

The event includes a wine and cheese reception, films, panel discussions, immersive learning sessions, Soul Circles, a meditation workshop, and bookauthor salon.There is a dedicated website detailing the curriculum. Registration is offered at several discounted rates for the on-campus weekend event, including discounts for seniors, students, and alumni. Continuing Education Units can be added for an additional charge.

On the roster of speakers in addition to Mattison is Dr. Bayo Akomolafe, Psychologist & Poet; Dr. Thema Bryant, President American Psychological Association (APA); Dr. Camille Harris, PGI Clinical; Dr. Dylan Hoffman, PGI Jungian and Archetypal Studies; Dr. Emily Lord-Kambitsch, PGI Myth Co-Chair; Dr. Susan Rowland, PGI Depth Psych and Creativity, Jung Award Recipient; Janet Blaser, MA, MFT, Jungian Analyst, Sandplay Practitioner and Pacifica Alumna; Jemma Elliot, M.A., LMFT, LPCC, PGI Counseling Department Co-Chair; Roland Palencia, documentarian and filmmaker – UNIDAD: Gay and Lesbian Latinos Unidos; Dick Russell, journalist and author of The Life and Ideas of James Hillman; Andrea-Marie Stark, Intuitive practitioner rooted in Hakomi, Shamanic, Trauma, Depth, and Animal Assisted Therapies; Minh Tran, MA, LMFT, graduate of PGI’s MA Counseling Program and current Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices; and Dr. Jaiya John, internationally recognized freedom worker, author, poet, and founder of Soul Water Rising, a global rehumanizing mission to eradicate oppression.

In our online interview, Mattison shared:

Q. How did the workshop come about and what is its mission?

Dr. Thema Bryant, President of the American Psychological Association (photo courtesy of Dr. Bryant)

A. Humanity is at a unique point in our shared history. Alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, we face a triple planetary emergency – a climate crisis, a mental health crisis, and a social justice crisis. These crises create patterns of different traumas that threaten to wound the soul. Neither evidence-based psychology nor depth psychology alone have the answer. Pacifica Graduate Institute is pleased to offer Journey Week, a soul community that unites voices calling for change in a space where people feel heard, held, and nurtured. 

Journey Week is a groundbreaking event bringing together for the first time all of PGI’s collective and substantial human resources, including our faculty, dissertation students, alumni, current students, administrative leadership, Pacifica Extension leadership, PGIAA, and H.R. leadership, to open our doors and reach out to the Central Coast community as well as to prospective students.

The goal of this conference is to offer a space where we can come together as fellow travelers, for creative and soulful depth engagement with these themes, to listen to and learn from each other, to connect with nationally recognized leaders and learn from depth-oriented scholars and practitioners, to share our thoughts and our hearts, to appreciate our differences, and celebrate our achievements, to engage in dialogue and participate in deep reflection. 

The idea for Journey Week came from a shared commitment of the Pacifica community to make depth psychology education, research, and services accessible and affordable to everyone. To bring this vision to life, Pacifica will prioritize and weave together the depth psychological scholarship and research at the core of Pacifica with the larger psycho-analytic community in exploring collaborative responses to the ongoing mental health crisis affecting young and old. This crisis clearly illustrates that none of us alone has the answer. Still, if we can begin to open doors, to build bridges of conversations and innovative research, to bring the academy into the community and the community into the academy, to make psychologically informed responses more accessible and relevant, to take this journey together, rather than in isolated silos, then maybe we might make more progress in not only addressing the mental health crisis, but in proactively educating our communities about generative habits and practices for mental health throughout the developmental life cycle before it reaches the level of crisis. 

The challenges of our times demand more than just political reforms. They are compelling us towards journeys of the soul that will ask for great courage and deep humility. Rather than the iconic Hero’s Journey, the challenges of the 21st century seem to be asking for new mythologies of collective heroism, more diverse communities, new understandings of power and inclusive leadership, and organizational models that are more sustainable ecosystems than hierarchical power pyramids.

Adding to Mattison’s mission is keynote speaker Dr. Thema Bryant, President of the APA, who provided:

“I’m looking forward to Journey Week as a time to embrace community, creativity, and spirituality. This gathering is in alignment with my presidential initiatives of equipping people to heal the ongoing realities of trauma, grief, and oppression. Collectively we can shift from survival mode to thriving and liberation.”  



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