• I agree. This is a great direction for us.

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    • I'm coming!

  • To Jesse's point, I would have liked to have had time for a second meeting of our task force before the Board Meeting this Friday. However, there have been so many committee and task force meetings which several of us have been involved in--combined with a few of us traveling--it just hasn't happened. We will regroup next week. Meanwhile, I wanted to share some insights and evolution to my own vision based on many recent meetings and conversations with friends, colleagues and mentors.

    Visioning Ideas – Depth Psychology Alliance

    Created by Bonnie Bright, 8-4-15


    I have been thinking a lot about structure and options and this question around "Who are we?" and  "What are we offering?" I had some really excellent meetings the past couple of weeks, with friends, colleagues, and mentors  and this is what's currently resonating for me:

    1) We would benefit greatly from converting to a non-profit (not a new idea, but maybe one who's time has come)

    2) The Ning site is just one aspect of our offering (to Gary's point at the last board meeting). But Depth Psychology Alliance is more than "just" a site. Therefore:

    a. We open the Ning site to be publicly viewable ASAP so it is ever more "accessible" to everyone, especially those who have encountered depth psychology somewhere and want to know more.

    b) The Ning site remains a primary destination to access a plethora of resources--event listings, video library, discussion forum, archived discussions and posts on a huge number of topics--Also links to archive/aggregate past Alliance events like the "What is Depth Psychology? board panel discussions from May and June)--as well as a place to find likeminded others. As such, it stays open (widely accessible to and viewable by the public, though one must become a member to post as a way to vet people)

    c) We increasingly add a dimension of educational AND experiential programs and events that may take place "elsewhere" (GoToWebinar, Zoom, Teleseminar, etc) but tie in to the Ning site as we can (like "Dinner & Depth," which was an audio broadcast and live conversation by phone or internet, but directed participants to the Ning site to use the live chat during the event). We have already been doing some of this for a couple of years. This makes the brand more dynamic and more conducive to a “movement” than a site or even a community.

    A new idea (spawned by Gary's query about our identity) is that we NOW start adding facets that DON'T REQUIRE the use of the Ning site at all—but simply utilize/feature the name/brand of the Alliance in other more mainstream modalities (BTW, it's AS easy to say "A-lli-ance" as it is "D-P-A" and I continue to believe "Alliance" is a stronger brand than the initials. Open to debate, of course :) This might look like a Facebook group page where discussion can take place in the Facebook space rather than efforting to direct people to become members of the Ning site and spawn conversation ther (which has rarely happened). Or—it may even look like Facebook pages or groups managed by individuals/partners/collaborators of our choosing that set up and manage pages "in partnership with Depth Psychology Alliance."

    This is coming up for me now because I have been talking to Kim Hermanson (who offered a Dinner & Depth lecture last week and is planning a free event for Alliance members at the end of August). Kim was asking about how best to host a written discussion forum for participants of the class she’s offering through the Alliance and expressed concern that people would have to join the Alliance to join the discussion. I realized if she uses a Facebook page (or any other social media platform for that matter,) but connects it to the Alliance, we still get a huge benefit without forcing people to join the site. The Depth Alliance brand can start to grow exponentially, even if the Ning site and membership doesn't immediately reflect it. (Presumably people would still eventually join if we offer a few perks, and we would implement ways to build our membership and email database per some of Donna’s (and others’) recent suggestions).

    3) As the ultimate goal (over the next 2-5 years at least), we form a professional association for depth psychologists and mythologists and customize it to depth psychology-oriented therapists, educators, authors, and students. A targeted association/society does not currently exist in this form. Something similar might be CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists) that currently boast 31,000 paying (licensed therapist) members. (Click here for their membership info). As the ONLY professional association for depth psychologists and mythologists, we can charge a meaningful fee in exchange for options like:

    • Free administrative services to list their events on the Alliance Ning site
    • vocational training
    • industry publications (Depth Insights ezine), but also discounts from partner publications--maybe Jung Journal, etc.
    • professional listing (Depth List)
    • discounts on webinars/online courses (both Alliance sponsored and others)
    • Access to EBSCO, ProQuest, ARAS, and other relevant databases
    • discounted editing and/or graphic design/layout/book or newsletter publication services
    • training or services for social media marketing/self-promotion 
    • discounted personal health insurance since many of us won't have employers or corresponding benefits?
    • discounted web services such as design, blog setup, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), webinar platform software
    • annual or bi-annual conferences
    • discounts to conferences and events from other organizations
    • job board, or “for sale” listings for used books, sandtray equipment, etc.
    • legal call center? (one of the benefits currently offered by CAMFT)
    • access to regular soul-centric groups (DiscoverRings) that offer things like dreamwork, metaphor/imaging techniques, art therapy, writing, storytelling, etc.

    We might consider giving an annual award for Excellence in both Depth Psychology and Mythology.

    We may consider designating an international “Depth Psychology Day” where groups come together all over the world to do depth work and report back—whether it be dream work, active imagination, shamanic journeying, somatic work, inquiry in nature, art therapy, etc.—then we create a video or multimedia archive of the work, and/or a yearbook that documents the events.

    We could also set up regional or local chapters where members could be led by chapter chairs and host their own educational and networking events, who then report their experiences for a periodical or newsletter. Several of you have suggested this, and of course Craig, Gary, Dorene, and Eva all have attended local “hive” gatherings I initiated for the Alliance in the SF Bay area as early as 2011 and 2012.

    We might also be able to get grants or sponsorship to do significant research projects (inquiring into how the voice of the earth is manifesting in individual and collective dreams, for example, or archiving works from our modern depth psychology elders (Stan Grof, Meredith Sabini, and Robert Romanyshyn come to mind, among others).

    We may want to ally ourselves with a cause; cause-related marketing often serves to set a brand apart, so if we ally ourselves with something that really aligns with our vision and mission, we may amplify our brand exponentially.

    I’m sure there’s far more that can go into this initial outline. For one, it doesn’t address specific campaigns to educate people who have never heard of depth psychology—the basic version of “Taking it to the Streets”. But we can grow once we have non-profit status, some income, and the capacity to pay staff and consultants to do the tasks we need done.

    Please share your initial ideas, responses, feedback, insights by replying to this message.

    • Bonnie, so much here. On initial reading, here are some of your thoughts that resonate very deeply:

      1) Creating a non-profit would allow us to go for grants and other funding not available otherwise; also, we could ask for donations in addition to any membership fees (tax deductible, so member may increase the amount given, may be more willing to purchase books, cds, etc, via the Alliance vs. somewhere else, and may will funds,etc. This gives a different feel to money exchange; this also has more of a feeling of being part of a community/tribe, which I like very much). 

      2) Keeping with the non-profit piece, I am imagining that the Alliance could grow and be able to offer scholarships to people interested in pursuing education in depth psychology.

      3) I think it is important to see if we can get teens & young adults involved in the Alliance - one avenue is to offer scholarships, however, we may want to have a SM campaign (and part of the Alliance) that is inviting to them (I'm thinking like Rainn Wilson's Soul Pancake).

      4) Agree with Gary and others who recognize that not all postings, activities and focus needs to be on bringing people back to the Alliance website (what is "the Ning"? Is that what you are calling the website?).

      5) Of course, very interested in experiential offerings!

      (More later)

    • Excellent additions, Donna. I like the idea of scholarship.

      To your point #3--Gary is simultaneously suggesting a targeted campaign to reach out (at minimum) to the Under 40 crowd; Brent is working on a proposal that would put us in partnership with another org run by millennials; and I think reaching out specifically  teens/early 20s would be so powerful. Maybe our first takers could form a focus group to develop content and decide what might be of value to that age group....

      Finally--NING --Sorry for assuming everyone can read my mind. Its the company the provides the back end (functionality) of the web site we use, allowing for event posting, discussion threads, video library, etc. So the "Ning" site is our current web site. I'm thinking for the next version we'll go with WordPress and keep the Ning site as one button/link underneath the larger site rather than having the Ning site BE the full site.

    • I'm glad there are others interested in reaching out to the Under 40 crowd! I look forward to helping with this process. 

  • Do we want to try to get in another meeting before the Aug 7th board meeting? Not sure if member's schedules allow for it or not. 

  • Attached is a rough draft of what occurred in our first Vision Task Force meeting on Friday, July 17. We also recorded the nearly 2-hour long meeting and I've placed it in a dropbox if you'd like to listen in.

    Committee members: please read and provide any corrections or additions needed by replying to this post

    Minutes: attached here

    Click here for the audio recording

    Visioning Task Force Minutes-071715.docx

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    • I'm struck by what a powerful conversation you all had! I don't know whether what I'm about to write will be additive or even sound, but it's been cooking in me around my efforts to grow my own business, and it may validate your conversation about activism. Use or not as the task force sees fit.

      I think that if we want people to want to invest money in our offerings, all our offerings must at least aim to move people to action. That is, the offerings should ignite a fire in people to dig deeper into themselves (the personal plane) or extend themselves out in the world (the collective plane). The Internet is so flooded with free information and perspectives and blogs that can be engaged with on a purely intellectual or academic level, people don't have to pay for mental stimulation. Example: An all-time favorite site of mine is I signed up for a nominal recurring monthly donation of $7 just because I love the quality and content of the site and want to ensure that it continues . . . even though I seldom have the time to read what's available. As terrific a site as it is, the owner, Maria Popova, struggles just as DPA has. This weekend, the subject of the site came up in a conversation I had in a group of 7 women, all financially secure. They looked at me like I was crazy to pay for something that they got for free. They were proud that they were getting to enjoy Brainpickings for no fee. I was surprised at their reaction--these are cool women. In thinking about it, I was struck that going to that site does't move one to anything. It tickles one's fancy, and articles may turn on some lightbulbs, but they don't move one forward in any deliberate way. I have come to believe that there must be perceived value (i.e., not always real value) that transforms in some way and cannot be gotten without some noteworthy investment.


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