Who is Ginger Swanson?
Ginger Swanson, Ph.D., is a Depth Psychologist and the Founder of Asarum Retreats in Santa Barbara, California where she hosts and facilitates individual and small group retreats. Along with a formal education in Depth Psychology, Ginger brings a shamanic history and sensibility to her private practice and retreat work, which includes dream tending. Dr. Ginger Swanson lives and works on an inspiring and enchanted 18-acre private estate in Santa Barbara and enjoys being described as the Tender of Souls.
Tell us about Your Work
Ginger Swanson founded Asarum Retreats—a soul-tending utopia—wherein she offers support and respite to people in need of solace, solitude, and rejuvenation. Her focus is on attracting individuals and small groups seeking to listen into and further the works of soul—individually or collectively—she invites all to simply settle in and listen to the calling of their own soul. Ginger started her retreats and private practice with the goal of creating a safe, natural, and relaxed setting for her clients and retreat guests.
The most recent retreat Ginger held at Asarum Retreats was entitled Tending Soul, Tending Life. With Dream Tending as an intrinsic part of her work (based on the teachings of Dr. Stephen Aizenstat), Ginger led an intimate group through dream-tending, body-tending, and life-tending rituals to their ultimate work—the calling and tending of their souls. Clients called it “Magical.” One of the participants said she was eternally grateful for having been guided to reframe a haunting childhood nightmare, and that her Dream Tending with Ginger would forever change her life. Another participant said, “It was an opening into a world she had never imagined possible.”
Ginger will host and facilitate a “Myth and Memoire Writing Retreat” in Sana Barbara on Sept. 15 – 17, 2017. Participants will explore their personal myths as they work on outlining, structuring, and writing their memoires. This event will be followed by a weeklong “Tending Body, Soul, and Dreams Retreat,” November 3 – 9, 2017. Ginger Swanson will be co-facilitating this retreat with personal trainer and nutritionist, Heather Bond, CFT, EMT. Ginger and Heather will combine dream-tending, soul-tending, and body-tending with the goal of reinvigorating the body, mind and spirit of the weary soul. See GingerSwanson.com for more information.
How/Why did you get into this line of work?
Entering the field of depth psychology was akin to coming home for me. I had a passion for psychology that went back as far as my early teens. After a couple decades of working in business management and as financial controller in legal and tech fields, I left corporate life and returned to psychology—where I discovered depth psychology—and the calling of my soul.
I came to comprehend depth psychology as “the field of study that seeks to explore that which resides “below” and “beneath” the surface of things and works to understand that which resides in the unconscious of the individual—and the collective.” The individual and collective unconscious is the ultimate dwelling place of archetypes and complexes—concepts developed by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung—the psychological drivers of humanity. When it came to psychology, I’d always been intrigued, when I discovered Pacifica I was hooked.
What is most rewarding about it; what makes it all worthwhile?
Honoring soul is honoring life and honoring life is love. It’s that simple, yet so few seem to get it.
What are the most critical problems faced?
The most critical problem with pursuing a career in Depth Psychology is the lack of knowledge about the field and it’s benefits, in society’s mainstream systems, i.e., governmental agencies, insurance companies, and educational institutions. Those entering the field have to possess an entrepreneurial spirit and develop creative ways to bring the work of depth psychology into a world that is slow when it comes to recognizing the value and importance of depth psychology and it’s affect on individuals, cultures, and societies.
Has there been a defining moment your life that made you decide to take the direction that they did?
Yes, With a B.A. in Film and Media I was on my way to a Master’s Degree in Film when I discovered Dr. Stephen Aizenstat’s Dream Tending work and Pacifica. I did a complete shift from film to psychology—and am now merging the two as I work to complete a documentary film project focused on the life of a well-established community of creative writers.
If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you, what would be your “dream” achievement?
In a year from now I hope to have: a thriving retreat business focused on soul tending, and a private practice that is beneficial and meaningful to my clients. I also hope to have completed my documentary film project.
How do you keep a healthy work/life balance?
I entertain and enjoy the company of my friends and family. I also travel when I can to wonderful places such as Africa, Europe, Central and South America and throughout North America. I also keep balanced by practicing Bikram Yoga—it’s my “go to” for mental and physical equilibrium. As for my spirit, I absorb the energy of the earth as walk along the creek and the many trails at Asarum Retreats. Sometimes I just sit in the amphitheater and drift into lazy and luxurious daydreams.
About Pacifica and You –
What brought you to Pacifica?
Dr. Stephen Aizenstat’s Dream Tending program.
How has your Pacifica degree served you professionally in your occupation or your vocation?
Recognizing the value of my Ph.D. has been a work in progress as finding my new “professional legs” has come with a number of challenges. With Asarum Retreats and my private practice established, I am able to stand proudly with my degree in hand, knowing that it is much more than “a piece of paper.” It means that I possess the knowledge, credibility, and stamina to help others tend the needs and calling of their souls. The accomplishment that my Ph.D. symbolizes is interwoven into the being that is my soul.
How has your degree served you personally?
Yes. It’s brought me confidence and tremendous personal growth.
Any last thoughts or a favorite quote?
“Tread lightly through the darkness, for you’ll surely stumble upon a few suffering souls.”
~ Ginger Swanson