In Blog

Dear Pacifica Community, Neighbors and Friends,

Forty years ago, Pacifica Graduate Institute originated from a deeply felt commitment to community service. In the small college town of Isla Vista, we first learned, then offered, the skills of community counseling. We worked in particular with at risk teens and their families, college students in emotional pain, and veterans returning home scarred from the wars. As we evolved as a healing community, our skills grew in sophistication and experience and we deepened our capacities to include the clinical and depth psychological perspectives.

Over the decades, working in community has been a “calling” for those of us at Pacifica. Our school’s vision statement, Anima Mundi Collendae Gratia, for the sake of tending the soul in and of the world, echoes our commitment to the work we are called to offer.

Recent events in Santa Barbara, including the fires and the debris flows, have affected so many in our community. We experience our neighbors’ grief and loss as our own.  We feel the sorrow, we share the hurt. Many of us have been personally touched; losing property, becoming displaced, or experiencing the tragedy of grief for those who have lost their lives.

As a member of this community, Pacifica Graduate Institute feels called to respond to the pain of our neighbors by sharing our skills and expertise. To that end we have set up a Support Network comprised of clinically trained, heart-centered Pacifica Faculty and Alumni.

To date we have provided services to our First Responders, who have come from far and wide to help with our crises and recovery.  These men and women often work 12-18 hour shifts putting out fires, dealing with debris flows, and facing life-or-death dangers as they protect and save lives. The intensity of the situations First Responders face can cause great amounts of emotional stress, and some find relief from the kind of counseling care Pacifica’s faculty and alumni practice.

In addition, we have set up a CareLine – at 805-679-6163 — to extend our services to residents of our beloved community. The CareLine provides a contact point of care to anyone needing to reach out for emotional support.

Our Pacifica story is shaped by our collective story, our community story. In this sense of belonging, we find our joy and our compassion. In offering the Support Network and CareLine, Pacifica Graduate Institute hopes to return to the community the love and support they give to us.

My family and I are so very proud to be members of our South Coast extended community. Along with so many others, I feel privileged to be able to give back, to offer skills that may be of help to others in need.

With gratitude,
Steve Aizenstat

Founding President and Chancellor
Pacifica Graduate Institute

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