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


Learn About Our Unique
Somatic Studies Specialization

About the Somatic Studies Specialization

In a disembodied world at risk of losing its soul, there can be no more crucial task than reclaiming the sensual mystery of our bodily selves. Long recognized in indigenous cultures, the lived experience of the body is experiencing a renaissance within Western world views. From neuroscience and medicine to traumatology and the expressive arts, scholars and researchers are rediscovering the integral role of the bodymind in healing, learning, and social transformation.

Students in the Somatic Studies specialization integrate the insights of depth psychology with a somatic perspective in order to bring body and soul into the evolving conversation about what it means to be human. Focused on real world issues across a range of academic and professional domains, students develop new understandings and create innovative practices with the potential to transform the communities in which they live and work.

The program incorporates an interdisciplinary range of practices and perspectives held within eight subject area streams. Within these streams – including Integrative Health and Wellness, Somatic Depth Counseling and Psychotherapy, Community Development, and Embodied Depth Leadership – students articulate unique fieldwork projects and dissertation research that allow them to work at an advanced level in their chosen fields. Students may also pursue qualification as a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist® or Registered Somatic Movement Educator® through an articulation agreement with the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA ).

Students in the Somatic Studies specialization go on to publish books, start community non-profits, or develop consulting practices. Graduates may also choose to pursue academic careers, teaching in higher education or engaging in post-doctoral research. Each in their own way, students bring a highly developed understanding of the body/psyche intersection to the work they choose to pursue.

“I am the poet of the body. And I am the poet of the soul.” -Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass



Somatic Studies & ISMETA


The Somatic Studies specialization in the Depth Psychology program at Pacifica Graduate Institute is an Associate Member of the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA). Selected courses in the Somatic Studies curriculum are pre-approved toward independent track application to become a Registered Somatic Movement Educator or Therapist® with ISMETA. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a list of current pre-approved courses and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for additional information about the independent track application process. This curriculum is not necessarily intended to meet requirements for any particular state clinical licensure; applicable state regulations should be consulted. For gainful employment information, visit pacifica.edu/gainfulemployment.

Marion Woodman Scholarship

The Marion Woodman Scholarship Fund is for the Somatic Studies Specialization of the M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology program. A number of scholarships are offered to newly admitted students in the Somatic Studies specialization based on financial hardship and academic excellence. See the Marion Woodman Foundation for more information about her.

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For information regarding Pacifica's M.A./Ph.D. Somatic Studies Specialization, please contact Alyson Alexander M.A., Senior Admissions Counselor, at 805.879.7307, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

See Academic Program Information. 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.

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