Course Descriptions: Specialization in Somatic Studies


Course Descriptions

Courses in this domain ground students in the psychoanalytic, Jungian, and archetypal lineages of depth psychology. In addition, connections are made to the interdisciplinary field of somatic studies as we explore the ways that new developments in neuroscience challenge and affirm the understandings of somatic depth psychology.

Introduction to Depth Psychology 
DPS 730, 2 units
The term depth psychology evokes many associations and images, yet is often difficult to define. In this course we formulate a definition of our field by investigating historical, cultural, and conceptual traditions that shape its identity. Topics include a history of soul, ancient approaches to healing, and encounters with the unconscious through dreams, literature, mythology, as well as a reflection on the ways that depth psychology has both emphasized and, at times, ignored the body in the course of its own theoretical development.

Neuroscience and Somatic Depth Psychology I  
DPS 720, 2 units
Students in this course develop a thorough understanding of the functional organization of the brain and how it is relevant for healing practices. Students will familiarize themselves with the language of neuroscience in order to be able to read and interpret ongoing research in neurobiology, the neuroscience of affect and emotion, behavioral genetics, functional neuroanatomy, and developmental science. They will be introduced to the methodologies of neuroscience focusing on studies using fMRI and EEG equipment.

Neuroscience and Somatic Depth Psychology II  
DPS 721, 2 units
This course will examine the neuroscience and related brain/mind/body correlations that underlie the various dimensions of consciousness, including: time, thought, body, emotion, and intersubjectivity. The emergence of the self through the integrated experience of these dimensions of consciousness and its relationship to the development of major brain networks during childhood and adolescence will be described. Also discussed will be the neuroscience underlying alterations in each of these dimensions of consciousness, as frequently observed in various forms of psychopathology, and their importance in the healing practice.

History of Healing Traditions I: Ancient Greece:  A Model of Integrative Medicine 
DPS 710, 2 units
The birth of modern western medicine is attributed to Hippocrates because he was the first to define the clinical approach that today, in turn, defines modern medicine. Hippocrates was the first to offer causal and somatic explanations instead of attributing all sickness to divine intervention. Nevertheless, on the islands of Cos and Delos, where Hippocratic medicine was put into practice, other influences prevailed. For example, the mythological figures of Asklepios and his daughters were revered as the symbols of another form of healing that Hippocrates himself found essential to restore health. Students will examine how this model still offers inspiration for rethinking integrative medicine.

Embodied Alchemy
DPS 750, 2 units
Marie-Louise von Franz tells us that alchemy was born at the meeting place of the speculative mind of the west and the experimental techno-magical practices of the east. This course revisits the work of alchemy in relation to somatic studies. Students will work the alchemical metaphor and its explicit and implicit connection to the body. Students will review the ways that neuroscience uses terms and concepts that have a long history, appearing not only in the repertoire of symbols from alchemy, but also in the concepts and vocabulary of depth psychology, including "imagination," "transformation," "dream," "symptom," and "healing."

History of Healing Traditions II: Non-Western and Indigenous Healing Traditions
 DPS 711, 2 units
This course addresses various non-western correlations to the concepts of mind, body, and disease with an emphasis on alternative modalities of healing. It includes an exploration of the healing traditions of Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America, with a focus on the diverse ways that health and disease are interpreted and treated within these varied cultural contexts.

Freud and the Psychoanalytic Tradition
DPS 760, 2 units
Students develop a working understanding of Freud's model for body/mind dynamics and how it challenged the materialism and the body/mind split of his time. They will also see how the psychoanalytic tradition is currently blended with studies in body movement and movement therapies.

Psyche and Soma in the Jungian Tradition 
DPS 761, 2 units
The basic concepts of Jungian psychology such as persona, anima, animus, shadow, the ego-Self axis, and others are studied. Attention is brought to the historical, philosophical, psychological, and religious influences acting upon Jung's psychology and in particular the scientific and philosophical milieu in which Jung developed his ideas about psyche and soma. Students will develop a critical perspective on this material and explore the usefulness of Jung's psychology for seeing more deeply into the issues of our time.

Archetypal Psychology
DPS 762, 2 units
Archetypal psychology, as envisioned by James Hillman, moves beyond clinical inquiry and locates its identity within the western imagination, finding affiliation with the arts, culture, and history of ideas. Its central aim is the appreciation and development of soul through the cultivation of the life of the imaginal. We investigate the history of this rich psychological perspective, focusing on ideas such as archetype, image, seeing-through, and the soul of the world, anima mundi, and explore how these ideas find a natural home when applied in somatic practice.

Post-Jungian Psychology: Marion Woodman and the Embodied Psyche
DPS 862, 4 units
This course focuses primarily upon the work of noted Jungian analyst Marion Woodman, with a particular emphasis on her theories about Body Soul Integration. This intensive course emphasizes embodied learning and deep self-exploration. It blends theoretical material with experiential exercises in dreamwork, movement, voice, and creative expression. Students will also study and examine the contributions of other post-Jungian thinkers such as Hillman, Stein, Whitmont, and Perera. Pass/No Pass.

This domain focuses on extensions of theory and knowledge that derive from connecting depth psychology with somatic studies. Course material concentrates on training in specific modalities that represent the intersection of depth psychology with somatic perspectives. Students will prepare and present material and casework drawn from their fieldwork or from their own somatic depth practices.

Introduction to Somatic Studies
DPS 725, 2/3 Unit
This foundational course provides students with an overview of the interdisciplinary field of somatic studies, and introduces them to the principles, concepts, and methods that underlie many established somatic modalities. Links are made to the research (in neuroscience and other fields) that supports a somatic perspective, while experiential components offer students the opportunity to begin to develop skills as a somatic depth practitioner.

Imagery in Somatic Studies I:  The Technique of Active Imagination and the Practice of Dream Tending 
DPS 770, 2 units 
This course will offer an introduction to Jung's technique of active imagination and how it has evolved into contemporary applications, such as the Dream Tending approach of Dr. Stephen Aizenstat. Students will start by reviewing the experimental evidence of the impact of imagery on the healing process. Students will learn to apply active imagination and Dream Tending as therapeutic measures for coping with medical illness and emotional disorders.

Imagery in Somatic Studies II: Embodied Dreamwork
DPS 970, 2 units
This course builds on the insights of Dream Tending and will explore the imaginal potential of the unconscious as accessed through dreams and visions. The blending of depth psychological and somatic therapy perspectives will enrich the process of interacting with the images. The symbols and metaphors of dreamtime will be given permission to unfold through dialogue, somatic and artistic explorations. The therapeutic and healing potential of our dreams will be hosted in our individual work, as well as our explorations in dyads and within the group.

Trauma, Pain, and Dissociation 
DPS 850, 2 units
This course reviews new approaches to the treatment of post-traumatic stress, and addresses related symptoms from a holistic integrative perspective. The course also focuses on the nature of the recovery process, including a review of health care practices within diverse cultural systems and historical contexts.

Chronic Illness, Terminal Illness, and Conscious Dying 
DPS 951, 2 units
The culturally dominant allopathic medical approaches for treating chronic and terminal illnesses are increasingly criticized as being inefficient, cost prohibitive, and failing to contribute to the overall well-being of the patient. Students will review the alternatives to traditional practices, reviewing new approaches for the training of nurses, doctors, and support personnel working in hospices and hospitals for the chronically ill.

Eros, Isolation, and Relationship
DPS 953, 2 units
In this course students examine the ways that the dynamics of love and relationship may produce or prevent symptoms and contribute to healing. Students will learn to use a depth psychological approach which goes beyond the symptom, treating the pain of betrayal and abandonment, for example, as a push from nature to evolve into a new form of loving and relating. Instead of "treating" the heartbreak, the client is offered an initiation into the darker aspects of the Lover's archetype.

Non-Western and Indigenous Healing Practices
DPS 952, 2 units
This course will focus on the theories and techniques of several different healing practices including shamanic practices from a variety of cultural contexts: curanderos, plant medicine healers, diviners, spirit healers, and others. As with similar reviews of western healing traditions, students will also examine these practices for clear connections to, and enrichments for, depth somatic psychology.

The Body in Literature
DPS 950, 2 units
Stories from literature and from worldwide oral traditions abound with metaphorical and literal references to the symptomatic and wounded body as a rich context for suffering and remedy. As such, the body becomes a narrative in its own right. Students will examine various works of myth and literature and learn how to critically interpret them from the perspective of somatic depth psychology. In addition, they will critically reflect on the cultural role of these works in forming ideas about the body. The intention of this course is to develop an aesthetic approach that will reconnect the mythopoetic imagination with the art of healing.

Depth Psychology and the Sacred 
DPS 920, 2 units
When Jung said that all psychological problems are essentially religious problems, he was calling attention to the spiritual function of the psyche. In this course we examine the psyche's capacity for sacred experience as it finds expression in religion, ritual, and encounters with the numinosum. Students will examine non-medical approaches for managing pain and symptoms due to mourning, heartbreak, and the loss of meaning in life that comes from an impoverished sense of the sacred.

Ecopsychology: The Body on the Earth
DPS 732, 2 units
The evolution of homo sapiens, both body and mind, is inextricably connected to everything on earth. Carl Jung even suggested that the collective unconscious is patterned from the body's contact with the seasonal rhythms, textures, sounds, and shapes of the natural world. Thus, to be a psychological being is to be an embodied being: to be firmly placed on terra firma, the ground from which all of us have emerged. Through lecture and experiential exercises, this course concentrates on the embodied psyche in nature as an important means for dissolving the artificial boundaries between body and earth.

Transference in Somatic Practice 
DPS 851, 2 units
This course has an experiential component in which students develop a subjective awareness of the body and a capacity to constantly monitor and interpret their own somatic responses to clinical situations. Students learn to listen with an awareness of fluctuations in somatic cues during the narrative meaning-making process. Therapeutic skills and dynamics such as transference and counter-transference, diagnosis, interpretation, intervention, timing, and others are reimagined from an embodied perspective.  Pass/No Pass.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine I, II 
DPS 740, 840, 2/3 unit each
Western medicine has developed alongside many other systems of thought and many types of therapies that have been shown to be effective as either complementary or alternative approaches to healing and wellness. Some of these approaches, such as hypnosis, art therapy, aromatherapy, bioenergetics, biofeedback, music therapy, dance therapy, breath work, ayurveda, meditation, yoga, naturopathic medicine, and many others, have begun to be shown as efficacious even when standard medical practice has exhausted its options. This sequence of short courses is available for engaging with practitioners in such diverse healing traditions. Pass/No Pass.

Foundations in Fieldwork
DPS 900, 2 Units
This course lays the theoretical and practical foundation for somatic-based, depth psychological-oriented fieldwork and research. Students are asked to deeply consider the reality of how cultural and ecological phenomena have impacted our psyches and symptoms and, in turn, how our bodies and minds affect and shape the world and communities we live in. Recognizing the interdependence of body and mind, this fieldwork course invites students to engage with the soul of the world, the anima mundi, listening closely to its expressions and tending to its suffering. Pass/No Pass

Summer Fieldwork I
DPS 905, 4 units
Beginning in the first year of summer fieldwork, students will participate in a minimum of 70 hours of on-site fieldwork or therapeutic practice that will further their own learning goals and provide an opportunity to integrate the theories, ideas, and experiences within the somatic program. It is also expected that the student will devote a minimum of 130 hours of adjunctive hours to completing this four-unit course. Fieldwork will involve entering into a particular community setting with the intention of studying some aspect of community experience that relates to the learning goals of this program. Practice will involve actually practicing therapeutically with clients or patients in a mode in which the student is qualified. Pass/No Pass Prerequisite DPS 900

Presenting the Fieldwork Experience
DPS 880, 2 units
Students orally present their summer fieldwork in somatic-based, depth psychological inquiry. Through reflection on the array of fieldwork, students work toward articulating the lived experience of psyche-soma integration, paying particular attention to how a distinctively depth psychological approach to the mind-body split facilitates transformative awareness and healing for both the fieldwork researcher and the participants. This course assists students to learn and practice scholarly approaches to oral presentations and helps them to reflect on how the fieldwork experience informs and enhances their vocational aspirations. Pass/No Pass

Summer Fieldwork II
DPS 906, 4 units 
Continuing into the second year of summer fieldwork, students will participate in a minimum of 70 hours of on-site fieldwork or therapeutic practice that will further their own learning goals and provide an opportunity to integrate the theories, ideas, and experiences within the somatic program. It is also expected that the student will devote a minimum of 130 hours of adjunctive hours to completing this four-unit course. Fieldwork will involve entering into a particular community setting with the intention of studying some aspect of community experience that relates to the learning goals of this program. Practice will involve actually practicing therapeutically with clients or patients in a mode in which the student is qualified. Pass/No Pass Prerequisite DPS 900

Human Sexuality
DPS 925, 2 units
This Human Sexuality course takes a distinctively depth psychological approach by emphasizing the inextricable interconnections between psyche and soma, soul and body. This course will explore sexuality's relation to pleasure, connection, generativity, and transcendence, while looking at the interconnectedness of sex, gender and sexual orientation from multiple perspectives, such as myth, anthropology, depth psychology, and cultural studies.

Depth Transformative Practices
DPS 997, 5 units
Various schools of depth psychology have created therapeutic contexts for personal transformation and/or healing. These practices are dynamically linked to transformative rituals and rites across cultures and through time. The provision of a witness, a guide, or teacher has been seen as essential to the containing vessel for such transformative experiences. During the first two years of the program, students are expected to engage in a minimum of 50 hours of depth transformative practice within a relational context. Latitude is given to students to choose the form of this practice in accordance with their needs and interests. Examples of such practice may include, but are not limited to, body work, breath work, individual depth psychotherapy, group dialogue work, facilitated vision questing, rites of passage, meditation, artistic engagement, or other psycho-spiritual practices. Students are required to submit a proposal in advance of beginning and a log recording the hours they complete. Pass/No Pass.

There are three primary goals of the research domain. First, students learn to read and critically evaluate current research literature in the areas of depth psychology, somatic studies, and neuroscience. Second, students learn to use a variety of quantitative, qualitative, and hybrid methodologies typically employed in such research. Third, students will acquire the necessary skills in order to engage in their own research and write for a scholarly and professional audience. Ultimately, this domain guides students to design, propose, and complete an original doctoral dissertation.

Foundations for Research in Somatic Psychology
DPS 782, 2 units
Students read and interpret current research in somatic psychology, neuroscience, and related research in depth psychology. This serves the need for literacy in the field as well as the development of a resource guide for the student's ongoing research. Examples of theoretical, qualitative, and quantitative research will be addressed.

Quantitative Research Methods 
DPS 883, 2 units
This course provides an introduction to the design and methodology of quantitative research projects and clinical studies. The emphasis will be on the role of this type of research in the emerging field of somatic based depth psychology and its relationship to research in neuroscience that is increasingly important in studying the efficacy of various approaches to treatment.

Qualitative Research Methods
DPS 884, 2 units
Students learn how to integrate significant shifts in ontology, epistemology, and methodology required by depth psychological research. They develop literacy and capability in the use of various qualitative methods and approaches including hermeneutics, case study, ethnography, and phenomenology.

Scholarly Writing and Publication
DPS 812, 2 units
Students will develop skills in scholarly research aimed at publication. They are guided in choosing a field, topic, and approach required to produce a publishable paper. This will include writing or revising a paper and exploring options for publishing both online and in print media. Pass/No Pass.

Dissertation Development II A, B, C
DPS 932A, 932B, 932C, 2/3 unit each
Students master the elements of a research concept paper and its relationship to the proposal and final draft of a dissertation. This sequence of courses will result in the writing of a complete and approved concept paper. Pass/No Pass.

Dissertation Writing
DPS 980, 15 units
During this course, students assemble their dissertation committee, write the proposal, complete the dissertation process, and defend the dissertation in a public forum. This course may be taken concurrently with other courses. Additional fees are assessed for this course. Pass/No Pass Prerequisites: DPS 932 A, B, C.

Written Comprehensive Examination
DPS 892, 0 units
Pass/No Pass.

Integration of Theory, Practice, and Teaching
(Oral Comprehensive Examination)
DPS 992, 2 units
Students develop and articulate individualized approaches to a practice of Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Somatic Studies, and prepare and deliver a presentation to faculty and students which will serve as the oral comprehensive examination. Pass/No Pass

249 Lambert Road, Carpinteria, California, 93013 | Telephone: 805.969.3626