9142460473?profile=originalThe hit television series, Cheers, was a staple for many of us in the 1980s and early 90s. Sitting down in the front of the TV to catch a good laugh was sometimes the highlight of a busy week. Little did I know that decades later, I’d be having a conversation—about depth psychology—with on one of the award-winning writers of the series who is pursuing a degree in the Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Cheri Steinkellner has an impressive number of awards, including Emmys, Golden Globes, and Tony among them as a writer/producer on a number of shows, including the Broadway hit, “Sister Act, the Musical.”

Now, Steinkellner has turned her attention to a new project, a play she has written with visionary teacher, Jean Houston, which emanates distinctly depth psychological themes. Entitled “Tonight in Dreamland,the play (which is being previewed on Saturday, March 4th for The Pacifica Experience), features three women characters in rather archetypal roles: an anthropologist, an astrophysicist, and an actress. As the story unfolds, each character discovers unlived parts of her life which are being lived out in the lives of the other characters, and must learn to accept and embrace more of the unconscious or un-manifested parts of herself. When I asked Cheri (playing on a popular aphorism in film): “What’s a nice sitcom writer like you doing in depth psychology?”—her answer comes as no surprise.

“Finding my shadow!” she promptly replies—elaborating that she’s been trying to figure out what all this stuff she's been doing for decades actually means. I’ve always been intrigued by the writing process, especially writing characters because it can also a process of self-inquiry, since characters can embody various aspects of ourselves that we may be unaware of.

Steinkellner recalls how her collaboration with Jean Houston actually began because she was having a series of odd dreams and couldn’t figure out what they meant. In therapy at the time, her therapist suggested she try... (Read the full blog post or listen to the audio interview)

BONNIE BRIGHT, Ph.D.,(Founder of Depth Psychology Alliance), is a Transpersonal Soul-Centered Coach certified via Alef Trust/Middlesex University, and a certified Archetypal Pattern Analyst®, and has trained extensively in Holotropic Breathwork™ and the Enneagram. She has trained with African elder, Malidoma Some'; with Transpersonal Pioneer Stan Grof; and with Jungian analyst, Jerome Bernstein, among others.Her dissertation focused on a symbolic look at Colony Collapse Disorder and what the mass vanishing of honeybees means to us both personally and as a collective. Bonnie’s path to soul began with a spontaneous mystical experience in 2006, and she continues her quest for awakening each day with a sense of joy, freedom, and gratitude at the magic afoot in the world.

JAMES R. NEWELL, Ph.D., MTS, (Director of Depth Psychology Alliance) earned his Ph.D. in History and Critical Theories of Religion from Vanderbilt University (2007), and holds a master's degree in pastoral counseling and theology from the Vanderbilt University Divinity School (2001). James is also the director of the Depth Psychology Academy, offering college-level courses in Jungian and depth psychology. James has spent much of his working life as a professional musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with interests in jazz, blues, folk, world, and devotional music. Since his youth, James has worked with a variety of blues greats including John Lee Hooker, James Cotton, Jr. Wells, Hubert Sumlin, Big Joe Turner, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and others.