Degree Requirements: Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices


Requirements for Graduation

  1. Students must complete a total of 74 quarter units to fulfill the degree requirement for graduation. A minimum grade of “C” is required in each completed course. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained.
  2. Students must comply with attendance requirements as stated in the Student Handbook.
  3. Students must successfully pass a comprehensive written examination at the end of the second year of coursework.
  4. Students must successfully present a Control Paper describing their therapeutic or depth-oriented practice work with a particular client, family, or select group to two faculty members during the third year of practice consultation courses.
  5. Students must successfully complete a comprehensive oral presentation at the end of two and a half years of coursework.
  6. Students must write, submit, and defend an original dissertation accepted by the faculty.
  7. Students are required to take part in 50 hours of depth-oriented therapy, counseling, analysis, or an engaged self-reflective process with a provider in their field while enrolled. This is required for graduation and strongly recommended to support the student in their educational experience in the program.

Practicum requirements

There is no minimum number of required hours of practice, but students must be actively engaged in the practice of therapy, counseling, or work in their healing-oriented or wellness profession with clients while enrolled in coursework. This assures that all students will be able to participate fully in the sequence of practicum courses. Pacifica does not provide the supervision of practice hours that may be required for licensure or any similar purpose. Students must provide for their own insurance coverage for professional liability.

Notice regarding internship and licensure

The Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices is designed specifically for those who, before enrolling, already are licensed or have sufficient academic and other credentials to pursue their chosen professional practice in compliance with applicable regulations. The degree provides in-depth education in the theory and practice of therapy and related research practices. Although some students may wish to pursue licensure after earning the doctorate, this curriculum does not contain any license-specific coursework and should not be considered as helpful in that regard. Furthermore, although students will engage in some form of therapeutic practice while in this specialization, and may consult with faculty about their practice, Pacifica does not authorize, monitor, or supervise that practice for licensure purposes, nor do we arrange or administratively support traineeships, pre- or post-doctoral internships, or other licensing practice requirements.

Comprehensive examinations

The comprehensive examination consists of a written portion taken at the end of the second year and an oral portion taken at the end of the third year. The written exam is divided into three sections corresponding to the three study tracks of the specialization: Theory and Traditions of Depth Therapy; Therapy, Counseling, and Healing Practices Informed by the Humanities, Arts, and Sciences; and Integrated Praxis: Research and Casework. It is designed to assess knowledge gained in the first two years of coursework and serves as a qualifying exam for students before continuing into the third year of study. The third year oral examination consists of the student’s formal oral presentation addressing the ways the program has informed their work and their proposed dissertation topic.

Control Paper

During the third year case presentation series, each student presents a control paper that demonstrates his or her client work and the ability to synthesize a variety of appropriate therapeutic perspectives while maintaining his or her own unique style of practice.

Doctoral Dissertation

The dissertation process involves the completion of all coursework in research methodologies, dissertation development, and dissertation writing. Requirements and procedures for enrolling in dissertation writing are detailed in the Dissertation Handbook. The Dissertation Committee is composed of a Chair, a Reader, and an External Reader. Each committee member must possess an earned doctorate based in part on a dissertation unless the Research Coordinator for the specialization waives this requirement.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are required to hold a master’s degree from a regionally-accredited or state-approved institution of higher education. Applicants are also expected to have a strong foundation in the field of psychology and a demonstrated interest and aptitude for the study of depth psychology. In addition to master's-level education and professional development, this doctoral specialization requires candidates to have work experience with clients in a distinct healing-oriented or therapeutic profession. In certain instances, a bachelor’s degree coupled with both substantial master’s level education/training/scholarship and significant hours of therapeutic work experience may be considered in lieu of a master’s degree. The program is ideal for diverse practitioners (licensed, pre-licensed, or license-exempt) in the following professions (partial list): Psychotherapists, Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers, Professional Counselors, Health and Medical Professionals (Nursing professionals, Physicians, Allied Health Providers), Jungian Analysts, Psychoanalysts, Specialized Addiction and Treatment Counselors, Expressive Arts Therapists, Spiritual and Pastoral Counselors, Health and Wellness Practitioners with Advanced Training, and Other Qualified Consultants and Counselors. Applicants must either be practicing or have a plan in place to start practicing once they have enrolled in the program.

Because the program maintains a strong emphasis on learning through client presentations and practice supervision groups, we seek candidates who are psychologically-minded and show evidence of the emotional resilience necessary to work in the transference/counter-transference field. Prior commitment to personal growth and development as a client or patient working with a therapeutic professional is an important factor in the consideration of the application.

In addition to having advanced skills in writing and scholarship, successful candidates will hold some familiarity with, and aptitude for, the perspectives of depth psychology, and demonstrate a commitment to practice and research in a therapeutic and healing-oriented profession.

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