M.A./Ph.D. Program in Depth Psychology Emphasis in Somatic Studies

The Program in Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Somatics Studies is unique because it is based on the tradition of depth psychology, which holds the unconscious dynamic of the psyche to be a rich and profoundly evocative resource for both mental and physical healing. The program recognizes that psychological health must be gauged in terms of our capacity to be embodied, because our body mediates our essential relationship to the world. Accordingly, it offers a strong experiential component through active imagination, dream work, movement, and meditation.

The Somatics program also recognizes that there are as many entries into the body/ mind dynamic as there are beings on Earth. The program's students reflect this fact. They come from diverse backgrounds. Some are psychotherapists or dance or movement therapists, while others are body workers, massage therapists, yoga teachers, or personal trainers. Still others are healthcare practitioners, including nurses and acupuncturists. And there are students with no background in body therapies but a keen interest in exploring depth psychology from a somatic perspective. The curriculum is a blend of hard sciences and creative expressions of the humanities. Some courses are based on science, but the program is not constrained by science. That means that we study the areas of neuroanatomy, neuroplasticity, and psychoneuroimmunology without being reductive and finite.

Students in the Somatic Studies specialization...

are supported to develop as scholars – to become skilled in the teaching, research, and community service that engaged scholarship demands, and to take those skills into the world in a meaningful way. Beginning in the first year of study, the fieldwork component offers an important opportunity to practice these skills and to become more deeply immersed in the issues and communities that the student feels called to serve. Through a process of engaged mentorship, students in work in small groups alongside a faculty member who provides both formal and informal advising. Examples of fieldwork projects include embodied self-care strategies for community service workers exposed to trauma, creating mandalas with children involved in the legal system, and developing somatic and holistic approaches to cancer support. These fieldwork projects may then evolve into dissertation research at the doctoral level.
  • Learn skills and practices that enable the body's capacity to heal
  • Bridge neuroscience with holistic healing modalities
  • Critically examine theories of Depth Psychology that inform psyche and soma

Marion Woodman Scholarship

The Marion Woodman Scholarship Fund is for the M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology with emphasis in Somatic Studies Program. A number of scholarships are offered to newly admitted students in the Somatic Studies Program based on extreme financial hardship and strong academic excellence.

For information regarding Pacifica's M.A./.Ph.D. Somatic Studies specialization, please contact Alyson Alexander M.A., Senior Admissions Counselor, at 805.969.3626 ext. 305, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
"Our body is our home, a treasure trove that houses our awareness. It is an exquisite vehicle that when well-tended will offer us direct access to the unconscious. In this program we learn to inhabit our bodies through a variety of experiential forms such as active imagination, dream work, movement, and meditation." -Cally Huttar, Ph.D., program chair.
For Academic Program Information CLICK HERE. All of Pacifica Graduate Institute's degree programs are accredited by the Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC) and the Department of Education to offer financial aid.