About: Betsy Perluss

I grew up on Catalina Island, located 25 miles off the coast of Southern California, and where my family has lived for three generations. As a child I was deeply moved by this landscape. Much of my sustenance came from the surrounding hills, steep canyons, and wildly narrow beaches. I was raised among Prickly Pear, Scrub Oak, Manzanita, Iron Wood, and California Sage. The surrounding ocean, with its emerald translucency and multicolored kelp provided me with a sense of profound mystery. My strong attachment to my island landscape has taught me that the surrounding environment provides us with the material that gives substance and form to the myths and archetypal images by which we live. Whether it is rocky islands, vast deserts, precipitous mountains, deep valleys, or grassy plains, the characteristics and contours of the landscape shape our cosmology, form our spiritual beliefs, and construct our worldviews. In 2004, I completed the PhD program in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Here, I wrote my dissertation on Landscape Archetypes, which weaves together insights from Jungian Depth Psychology, nature studies, and wilderness experiences. My passion resides in the realm of psyche and nature, wilderness rites of passage, and depth psychology. I am also the co-director of Vision Quest and Training for the School of Lost Borders, a training center for wilderness rites of passage located in Big Pine, CA. Currently, I am Associate Professor of Counseling at California State University, Los Angeles, where I teach teach graduate studies in marriage and family therapy.

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