Alumni Spotlight: Holly Reusing, MA Counseling 2005
PGIAA proudly features Alumni Profiles toward sharing stories of the Pacifica experience. Our initial offering (‡) derives from an online collection of stories — the now defunct depthstories.com as maintained by current Core Faculty Jennifer Selig, Ph.D. (Depth Psychology, 2004). We welcome these stories, and further stories from all of Pacifica’s degree programs.
‡ Holly Reusing | M.A. (Counseling Psychology, 2005 | Ph.D. candidate Depth Psychology)
Owner, Manager, Instructor at Gracie Barra Corona, California (Gracie Barra Martial Arts Academies)
Where do you live?
I live in my home in Corona with my husband and two daughters. We are surrounded by California scrub brush, avocado groves, and all the inhabitants of a wondrous environment.
What brought you to Pacifica?
I was drawn to Pacifica after attending a book study focused on Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and at the suggestion of Maren Hansen at a seminar where she was speaking on her book Mother Mysteries. Although the draw to Depth Psychology had been developing for many years, after my first child was born the yearning for formal studies became a pressing call. I was fortunate to learn about Pacifica’s programs and the pioneering work that was happening in Carpinteria.
How has your Pacifica degree served you professionally in your occupation or your vocation?
I completed the Counseling Psychology program in 2005 and then began the Ph.D. program in Depth Psychology right afterward. Everything that has developed in my professional life has been influenced by and related to my studies at Pacifica. I am still hoping to make the journey of MFT licensure; however, my current work with students, families, and martial arts industry leaders keeps me occupied and fulfilled. We offer family programs for men, women, and children, and many of our practitioners are highly competitive athletes. I have enjoyed teaching and have been thrilled with the opportunity to lead and consult with the founders of a rapidly growing and dynamic sport. It has been a great honor to bring a foundation of depth and contemplation to martial arts philosophy and to the industry as a whole. The scope of impact that my counseling studies has had is something I cannot even dream of trying to measure. I feel keenly aware that every experience I encounter is impacted by my years of study at Pacifica. I feel forever grateful for the encounters and insights I had during the Pacifica counseling program. They have helped me to build the psychic foundation that I walk with in the world.
How has your degree served you personally?
My personal life has been extremely affected by my work in counseling and Depth Psychology. My family life and my personal interests are all much richer than I could have planned. I have always been amazed at the high level of excellence that is achieved at Pacifica in the balance between the natural byproduct of personal growth and counseling educational requirements that is achieved in the classrooms of Pacifica. It is one of the magical ways that one learns while attending and can be carried for a lifetime. The work in the counseling program is very individual, social, and collective and masterfully and continuously meets the rigorous demands of quality and excellence. This is one of the gifts of studying Depth Psychology in a setting that has an incredible history and a richly woven foundation. Once you set out on such a journey at a place of depth such as Pacifica, your discoveries will forever change the way you see yourself and others. Ultimately, it is a place where a sense of self-responsibility, in the spirit of genuine individuation, can begin, become fostered and flourish.
What was a particularly meaningful or memorable part of the Pacifica experience for you?
There are a great many, but I had the opportunity to work with some truly amazing people. I believe the intense collective journey with classmates is a true gift of psyche. Having the opportunity to share the journey into learning the depth traditions together is a rare and needed opportunity, but many of us agree that Pacifica is one of the few places we have found such a gift. In addition, the quality of instruction is such that I was able to study under some of the most amazing minds of our times. Pacifica is notorious for providing this rich opportunity and I will cherish these experiences with such amazing professors.
What is the title of your dissertation?
The Soul of Mental Illness: Counseling Perspectives through the lens of Jungian Psychology, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, and Quantum Physics.
Would you like to mention any other publications?
I have written for several newsletters, and wish to hone my writing skills for the public reader perhaps after I complete my Doctoral Dissertation, which I am currently working on.
What are your areas of interest?
I have been involved in indigenous studies for many years and bring those teachings with me wherever I go. I am also keenly interested in Somatic Psychology as a whole and the transformative potential of all embodied practices. I am a certified yoga instructor and my long term interest in holistic studies has been fed and supported by my education in counseling and Depth Psychology.
I am very actively engaged in work with dreams, and have also developed a strong presence with young people in my community, in part because they are my students and more broadly, because I have two daughters who are 11 and 14 that keep me engaged on many levels.