She is sitting in the common room and there is Jazz playing on the CD player. I sit next to her, but we exchange no words. I smile and she looks at me. Together we let the music drift over us. I know the words and I sing them to her. She moves her hand, I move mine in the same way. She recognizes what I am doing and I am excited. Perhaps she will tell me something through her movement! She starts doing various "primping" motions (Fixing her hair, playing with her nails etc) I do this with her for a while. Then I realize that my expectation for communication has made her self conscious. I stop looking at her, and follow her gaze to my cup sitting on the coffee table. We observe the cup for a long time. Gently I look back to her and she very slightly raised her shoulders as if to say "Now you've got it."
By Ruth Steinhardt, Intern
AgeSong Bayside Park
When I met her, her warmth and excitement filled the room. She greets me with open arms and a smile that stretches from ear to ear. "You know I used to do hair in my salon," she whispers to me. She reaches out for my hand and squeezes it tightly. How lucky am I to be sitting with this beautiful woman. As we sit together, she shares her stories about motherhood. "You know, I only have one daughter and I love her," she points to a picture of her daughter that rests above her bed. How lucky am I to be sitting with such a loving & devoted mother. As I listen, she points to a newspaper clipping and talks about her far away home. "I used to live in Mexico, you know. We used to dance to the Mexican music!" she laughs with excitement. How luck am I to be learning about her traditions in Mexico. So lucky to be a part of her beautiful journey through life.
By Stephanie Clauson, Intern
AgeSong Hayes Valley and AgeSong Laguna Grove
Clinical Internship & Research
This being human is a guest house, every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all!
Pacific Institute provides a unique 1-2 year internship program designed to promote a developmental process in which interns and trainees move into the role of existential facilitator and therapist. This internship is an important stage in the process of becoming a professional therapist, healer, and elder. Interns and trainees are encouraged to take an active role in carrying out the program's research and educational goals.
The Socratic dictum "know thyself" is in many ways the primal motivation to become a clinician in the human services field. Having said that, knowledge of self is inter-related to knowledge of other. Along with developing clinical skills and professional expertise, Pacific institute draws from the rich tradition of human thought and experience the help we need to struggle with the fundamental questions of being a human being: Why are we here? How are we here? What does life want from us? What do we want from life?
Interns and trainees from both the doctoral and masters level are trained in the phenomenological-existential and process-work approaches to therapy within which they are encouraged to develop and grow their own style of care and clinical support.
All events and meetings at the facility are based on and designed around communal and individual needs and requirements. Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and Social Work interns and practicum students must be registered with the Board of Behavioral Sciences. Psychology interns or trainees must assure that they comply with the guidelines set forth by the Board of Psychology. Practicum students must comply with their school's requirements and have completed a number of counseling-related courses.
The internship is open to students in good standing enrolled in Ph.D. or Psy.D. clinical level and M.A. in counseling psychology graduate programs. Applicants must have completed at least one year of graduate work and be certified by their department or school as ready to begin internship level training.
The Internship includes:
- Psychotherapeutic and assessment activities with a caseload drawn from the Residential Care Facilities for the mentally ill and the Elderly, which are owned, managed, or served by Pacific Institute.
- Individual supervision for this caseload.
- Training seminars on theory and technique.
- Demonstrations and clinical case conferences.
- Clinical activities that encompass individual encounters and group activities.
- Individual encounters: Each intern works with up to 10 residents or outpatient clients over a one-year period. The intern is assigned a caseload and monitors the well being of these residents and clients.
- Group activities: Each intern also creates and leads at least two weekly psycho-spiritual groups and is available for crisis intervention.
- One hour of individual supervision.
- Two hours of group supervision.
- Interns and trainees participate also in intake services and become involved in special projects within the Institute.
- Research opportunities to explore non-verbal approaches to clinical interventions, gero-psychology issues, feminism and ageism, and other topics.
The Clinical Supervisor manages intern supervision and oversees all resident issues of a clinical nature. He/she is a licensed professional in the State of California and meets current supervisory requirements. The Assistant and/or Clinical Director is the interns' primary administrative contact. He/she coordinates all aspects of interns' presence in the practicum-site facility, including orientation, logistical concerns, and any other issues of a non-clinical nature. The Assistant and/or Clinical Director works closely with the practicum site's staff (RCFE's, Mental Health Clinic, ICT's case managers and social workers) to insure a smooth operation of the program and to insure program effectiveness.
Read Orah Krug's, Director of Certificate Progams at EHI, presentation at Div 32 APA Conference (Spring 2013) entitled "The Renewal of Humanism: Lessons from an Existential-
Humanistic Training Program".
Visit the Existential-Humanistic Institute for more details about the Existential-Humanistic Therapy Certification Programs.
Program Contact Information:
AgeSong Institute promotes a caring, loving and inspiring living environment that feeds body, mind and spirit and reflects the true value of who elders are. When it comes to caring for our elders, we ask for a deep and loving care from our interns. Because we know that working with elders can involve traversing challenging new territories, we often refer to our interns as Warriors of the Heart (based on the term Warriors of the Light coined by Paulo Coelho) and/or Midwives of the Soul (Doris Bersing).
AgeSong Institute interns work with premier health care systems throughout California to support transitional care services for older adults in need of residential milieu support before they return home. AgeSong Institute interns play a vital role in ensuring the success of this program.
We know that being an elder brings with it many gifts and lessons of life that only those with much life-experience can offer. Elders are our teachers and mentors, our leaders and guides. If we deeply listen to them with all of our senses as well as our heart and soul, we gain much wisdom and understanding for our own journey through life.
Who Are Interns?
With backgrounds in psychology, gerontology, counseling, grief and loss support, and/or human development, interns come from a variety of schools and universities in the Bay Area and beyond. We select interns who show an authentic interest and passion to work with the aging population, and with an interest in being part of a movement that views aging with respect and awareness. This is a view that looks at the gift of years that aging or maturing affords us.
The AgeSong Institute teaches a humanistic-existential, process oriented approach to working with individuals in general and elders specifically. This approach refrains from pathologizing and labeling and tries to understand the appearance of symptoms as important messages to be explored and understood. In such a phenomenological approach, symptoms are understood as solutions to whatever ails or burdens a resident rather than a problem to be eliminated.
Each intern is supervised by a licensed professional and required to attend trainings and group supervision sessions weekly. Many of our past interns, following a year-long internship program, have returned licensed and re-joined our team. Others stay in touch from afar keeping us abreast of the work in which they are engaged.
What Do Interns Do?
All residents have an opportunity to connect with interns who, if they so desire, provide emotional and therapeutic support individually and/or in group settings.
Interns spend two or more days a week in an AgeSong community and may accompany residents to group programs, share stories while on walks, connect in a painting class, listen to music, and read poetry together. They also plan trips to the opera or share in a quiet moment. Groups focus on meditation, expressive arts, movement, humor, national and international news, literature, travel and much more. Our interns follow the lead of elders; they show us what is important to them.
Interns support the community should a crisis arise, if a fall occurs or when residents become ill. Individual counseling and support groups are provided as requested for residents and families, as well as training and support for care partners and staff. Families and friends are invited to be a part of our community and to be as active as they choose to be. Interns may be in contact with families and friends to pass along information, to set up meetings when beneficial, to gather history or valuable information, or to invite families and friends to events and programs.
BAPIC Practicum Application
For BAPIC Practicum 1&2 Applications please follow BAPIC's uniform application procedures and guidelines. Applications can be submitted through the BAPIC website at: http://www.bapic.info/
CAPIC Pre-Doctoral Application
For CAPIC Pre-Doctoral Internship Application please follow CAPIC’s uniform application procedures and guidelines. Applications can be submitted through the CAPIC website at: http://www.capic.net/
MFT Trainee/MFT Intern Application
Please submit a CV/Resume, a letter of intent, and three letters of recommendation. All materials may be submitted via email attachment to email@example.com or submitted via mail to:
attn: Dr. Carolyn Stead
624 Laguna Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Pacific Institute has a fundamental mission of furthering research in the field of existential, humanistic, and transpersonal psychology. In fulfilling its endeavors, the Institute focuses on philosophical aspects as well as on practical applications of its approach on the fields of mental health, non-ordinary states of consciousness, and gero-psychology.
Founded in 1992, the Institute began as a groundbreaking center of integrative, whole-person services, learning, and training. Today, ITP is a leader in applied gero-psychology and education of clinicians, care partners, and consultants who apply humanistic principles and values in a variety of settings.
The Institute's transformative educational paradigm, valuing the non-mainstream approaches to learning and doing research attracts students from all over the world to our wellness and learning programs.
Some of our ongoing research projects are:
|From Crone to Mentor (pdf)
A study about the meaning of life for feminist baby-boomers in later years
by Doris Bersing, Ph.D.
|The Courage To Forget: An Interpretive Study of Exisential Concerns Revealed In Group Processes by Individuals Living With Dementia (pdf)
by Suzan Bollich, Ph.D.
|Reflections on the Existential-Humanistic Approach to Eldership
by Rochelle D'Silva-Suri
Poster at the 2nd Annual Conference of The Society for Humanistic Psychology
Sponsored by the Division 32 of APA
Humanistic Psychology in Practice
August 11-13, 2008 — Boston, Massachusetts
|Through The Circle: Mandala Art and Dementia (pdf)
by Rev. Patti Goldstein, M.A.
|The Meaning of Intimacy to Older Adults in Assisted Living: A Phenomenological Perspective (pdf)
by Liz Macera, PhD, RN, NP-C and Mats Christiansen, MNSc, RN
|The Delicate Ecology of Delusion (pdf)
A Cross-Cultural Case Study on the Inner Landscape of Elderly with Dementia
A Research Proposal by Elizabeth Shaver and Kalyani Metha
|Life Journey into Alzheimer's Disease Study (pdf)
Exploring the Inner Landscape of an Elderly with Dementia utilizing Existential Approaches
by Nader Shabahangi, Ph.D — Pacific Institute and Patrick Fox, Ph.D — UCSF
|Feminism Through Time: Age, Difference, and Ideology (pdf)
by Tamar Shirinian
This project explores the "schism" within feminist thought through space so that global issues, which are pertinent in a postmodern and globalized world can be seen within various scales rather than as a teleological process of "women's rights" and Western "feminist" issues. Within this work, I hope to discuss age, difference and ideology not just within a temporal platform, but within scales of time, space and self.
|Open To Not Knowing: Existential and Process–Oriented Approaches to Therapy with Elders with Dementia
A research study conducted and sponsored by The Pacific Institute's Assisted Living Facilities: Hayes Valley Care and Laguna Grove Care (pdf)
by Puran Khalsa, PsyD, and Matt Spalding, EdM, PsyD
The purpose of this study is to discern and assess the unique and effective components of the phenomenological–existential and process–work approach to the clinical treatment of elders with dementia in the Pacific Institute Senior Communities in San Francisco, CA.
|An Older Woman Always has a Story...The Role of the Mature Woman in an Evolving Patriarchal Society (pdf)
by Vanessa Valentino, PsyD