Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

The Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology offers a three-year course of advanced study grounded in the depth psychological scholarly and clinical traditions. The depth psychological orientation is emphasized in both didactic and practical aspects of training. Research and depth psychological scholarship are integral within the curriculum, and seek to prepare students for career opportunities such as teaching, writing and publishing and other academic pursuits. A sequence of clinical courses and training requirements also allow students to prepare for clinical practice grounded in a depth psychological perspective.
Pacifica's Ph.D. clinical education draws upon traditions within psychology that seek to attend to soulful, whole person approaches. In addition, we emphasize contemporary psychological perspectives that focus on context, culture, and multiplicity of meanings. Therefore, our program immerses students in broad and general education in psychology while also helping students build a specialty in depth psychological scholarship and practice. The Ph.D. curriculum provides graduates with the coursework and training necessary to sit for licensure as a Clinical Psychologist in California as well as many other states.

Among the key features of the Ph.D. degree program are:

·        Our education is rooted in both the classical and emerging depth psychology scholarship in addition to being guided by the Humanities (e.g., myth, literature, and religious studies).

·        The program embraces a Human Science model of research that relies on phenomenological, interpretive, and constructivist approaches in contrast to a Natural Science orientation (i.e., quantitative framework).

·        We offer courses on Jungian scholarship and practice, which emphasize both the classical analytical traditions (e.g., C.G. Jung, M.-L. von Franz) as well as contemporary archetypal and imaginal (e.g., J. Hillman, M. Woodman, R. Romanyshyn) approaches to psychology and psychotherapy. This coursework also includes emphases on the symbolic and mythic significance of the soul as well as the sacred dimensions of the psyche.

·         Psychoanalytic coursework includes a focus on theory and practice that stresses the centrality of early experience and transference/counter-transference phenomena as well as contemporary relational, inter-subjective, and brief psychodynamic traditions.

·         The phenomenological focus of the program integrates social and critical psychology to reflect a deep appreciation of the cultural and historical character of psychological experience within both clinical practice and research.

·         We teach a distinct depth psychological approach to research, which utilizes a hermeneutic interpretive standpoint. Specifically, we offer training on the alchemical hermeneutic approach that specifically aims to take into account the unconscious dimensions of research.

·         We embrace the multicultural and critical perspectives, and offer training in depth psychological approaches to understanding gender, sexuality, indigenous psychologies as well as somatic, and Eastern perspectives.

·         Advanced practicum seminars are conducted as case colloquia that engage both psychoanalytic, phenomenological, and Jungian/Archetypal/Imaginal approaches to clinical practice.

Throughout the coursework and clinical training, the faculty invites students to consider their time at Pacifica as a path of rigorous scholarly work that actively includes their own psychological development. We also provide opportunities for students to grow through mentoring, advising, connections with their cohort and with wider Pacifica community. We recognize both the archetypal and practical sides of training toward a responsible and ethical engagement with needs of individuals and communities

Please contact Diane Huerta, Admissions Consultant and Former Pacifica Admissions Director, at 805.969.3626, ext. 306 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more about the program.

Pacifica Graduate Institute's Psy.D. and Ph.D. programs are accredited by the Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC) and the Department of Education to offer financial aid. Pacifica's doctoral programs in Clinical Psychology are not accredited by the American Psychological Association.