Saturday, June 19, 2010

Have To Drive

I decided to become a Jungian therapist a year and a half ago. It just came to me one day, I don’t really remember when or how, it just was. Not knowing how one goes about this task, I asked my therapist Leslie. She told me “You have to find a school that will teach Jung.” She said it in such a way that it seemed as though it may be difficult. I think in my mind at the time I equated difficult with impossible and too daunting to think about any further for a while. She also said I would have to get a bachelor’s degree (in anything I wanted, her suggestion was music for me) and then get a master’s degree in psychology and then you can get licensed and practice. For some reason I thought there were “counseling programs” to train you and no actual college degrees were required. This is all highly laughable to me now and shows how little I knew about what it means to be a Jungian psychotherapist.

Several months later, I was unable to sleep in the middle of the night and did a search for “colleges that teach Jung” on my Mac. I wasn’t finding programs that were called Jungian Studies but programs in Depth Psychology that included Jung’s theories in their programs. Again, it’s very funny to me because I had no clue what depth psychology was and found myself asking Leslie at our next session. She explained that Depth Psychology is the umbrella and Jung would fall within it, along with Freud and others who studied the Unconscious. She asked me what schools I had found and was Pacifica Graduate Institute one of them? Yes, actually it was! But it’s in California. However there is a school in Seattle called Antioch that teaches depth psychology. She looked at me smiling and said, “You’ll get a great education at Antioch.”

I saw a few immediate problems, the first being that Antioch is in Seattle and I don’t drive to Seattle. The second was that it’s a private university and the tuition was pretty high and why spend that much money just to finish an undergrad degree? Once again, I put the idea to bed for a little while.

Fast-forward to earlier this year when I had my “epiphany” (for lack of a better word) that if I didn’t go back to school soon to get the degrees I need I would never become a psychotherapist. I decided to apply to the new University of Washington campus in Bothell, which wasn’t too far from home and offered a new degree in Community Psychology. It seemed interesting enough but the classes are held during the day, which would mean I would have to quit my job and find something in the evenings. And I wasn’t really too thrilled about the likelihood of taking classes with kids fresh out of high school. Even still, I applied in February for winter quarter 2011. When I didn’t hear anything right away I began to get worried I wouldn’t get accepted. And if that was the case, what was my Plan B?

Enter Antioch University. I started poking around their website and found out they are a school that is geared towards working adults and only offers classes in the evenings. Well that would cut out the teenybopper factor and eliminate the need to find a new job. Plus, you could design your own degree program. I would be able to combine concentrations in Psychology an Spiritual Studies (a combination of depth and transpersonal psychologies) to prepare me for my ultimate goal: graduate work at Pacifica in Santa Barbara, California—the premier institute for Jungian studies and depth psychology. Antioch was looking that the perfect school for me. I applied to Antioch in March and got called for an interview in April and was accepted in May. I have yet to hear from UWB.

There was still that issue with driving. I had turned my initial statement of “I can’t go to Antioch because it’s in Seattle and I don’t drive to Seattle” around into “I will learn to drive in Seattle so that I can attend Antioch.” But I still had to do it and I had to do it fast because orientation was being held two weeks after I got my acceptance letter. I thought I would have a whole summer to leisurely practice driving to convoluted, one-way street laden Seattle but life had something different planned for me. I did two practice drives with my boyfriend over the next two Saturdays and then I would be solo for Monday’s event. I was nervous all day long with shaking, no appetite and constant bathroom breaks. Then it was time to go. And as I got on the highway, I was fine. I got off the highway and carefully navigated my way through downtown with hyper vigilance. But I was fine. My gps announced “Antioch on your right” and I was there and I was fine. Now came the part of meeting a bunch of strangers. And again I was fine. In fact, I was more than fine--I was at home. All the anxiety about getting there dropped away because I knew I was in exactly the place I needed to be. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt that before. In that concrete building in Seattle that was a symbol of no-man’s-land for so long I had found a place where I belonged. And now the driving seemed like nothing because the driving leads me here.

I have to drive. I drive my car to school so that I can drive my ambitions. One day I will drive to California and drive to my ultimate goal. And then I will drive some more to destinations yet to be realized. I will drive. And I will be fine.


  1. I so admire your *drive* to be a jungian analyst! Yours is an incredible story. You clearly have a calling. I hope that Antioch is the perfect home for the beginning of your journey.
    When you are ready to apply to Pacifica I would be happy to ask any questions.
    P.s. As synchronicity would have it, I had to get over my fear of driving in order to attend Pacifica .

  2. :) I am glad that you finally got to start the journey. And, I want to thank both you and la belette rouge for following me on Twitter. I hope you enjoy perusing my site for all kinds of Jungian concepts illustrated and questioned.

    :) Robert, the Retired Eagle

  3. PS I hope you journal your journey here or at a new blog site and let me know where to find that journal of a modern heroine.