Course Descriptions: Ph.D. in Depth Psychology Emphasis in Psychotherapy


Course Descriptions

Theory and Traditions of Depth Psychology Courses

Psychotherapy Informed by The Humanities & Interdisciplinary Studies

Intergrated Praxis: Casework & Research

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Theory and Traditions of Depth Psychology Courses

The study of Depth Psychotherapy is anchored in a lineage of psychological theory that includes Freudian, Jungian and archetypal perspectives, and includes explorations at the frontiers of theoretical development in the field.


Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Depth Psychology
DPP 730........ 2 Units
Students explore the organizing perspectives and therapeutic approaches which have shaped contemporary Western psychology. The philosophical principles of psychological models from antiquity to the present era are examined, such as those associated with religious traditions, medicine, and the schools of psychoanalysis, behaviorism, existential, humanistic, post-modern, and multicultural and cross-cultural psychology. The course includes a discussion of the history and development of psychology as an intellectual and scientific discipline, and depth psychotherapy as a practice.

Jungian Psychotherapy I
DPP 761........ 2 Units
Classical Jungian concepts such as ego, persona, shadow, animus/anima, Self, complex, archetype, collective unconscious, transcendent function, and individuation are studied. In addition, the centrality of dreams, active imagination, typology, and transference/countertransference considerations are all reviewed in the context of the practice of psychotherapeutic practice. Further clinical application of Jungian thought is demonstrated through readings of primary texts and secondary source material as they elucidate Jung's original work. Particular attention is paid to how various forms of psychopathology can be viewed on multi-dimensional levels from the personal and cultural-historical, to the archetypal, mythic, and imaginal.

Jungian Psychotherapy II
DPP 861........ 2 Units
This course explores the phenomena of synchronicity and paranormal experience, which marked a new creative phase in Jung's later work that has far-reaching theoretical and psychotherapeutic implications. Synchronicity involved a redefinition of reality based on acausality, nonlocality, and the participation of consciousness and imagination, leading towards what Jung calls creatio continua, continuing creation. Students examine the implications of these shifts for clinical practice including the centrality of the dream, the power of anomalous experience during waking consciousness, and the religious function of the psyche.

Jungian Psychotherapy III
DPP 961........ 2 Units
In this course the later work of Jung is reviewed within the context of those post-Jungians who have focused on the application of these ideas to psychotherapy. Jung wrote extensively on the cultural/historical background to his psychology of the unconscious and its archetypal foundation in part because symbols and mythic images from cross-cultural sources (and their modern variants) appear in patient's dreams, fantasies, and symptoms. Knowledge of this background is useful in understanding, amplifying, and providing a foundation for such case material. Topics for this course may include Jung's studies of alchemy as applied to clinical practice by Edward Edinger and Marie Louise von Franz; the archetype of the feminine and its extensive amplification by von Franz, Mary Esther Harding, Marion Woodman, and others; the archetype of the shadow and its exploration by Adolph Guggenbuhl-Craig; current developments in neuro-anatomy that relate to core Jungian ideas such as archetypes and complexes, and other areas at the discretion of the instructor. Fairy tales, creation myths, the mystery traditions, or various mythologies (Greek, Egyptian, etc.), as they represent psychological processes, may also be addressed.

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy I
DPP 763........ 2 Units
With the publication of "Interpretation of Dreams" (1901) Freud set the foundation for psychoanalytic scholarship for the first one hundred years. This course provides an overview of the seminal, clinical insights harvested by Freud and his early followers, with specific attention paid to clinical technique in the psychoanalytic situation. Building on Freud's ideas, two major theoretical paradigms have emerged in the last century. Students engage the clinical ideas of Melanie Klein and Heinz Kohut and discuss how they both elaborate and depart from Freud's initial vision. The core concepts of technique studied include the transference/countertransference field, the therapeutic alliance, projective identification, the psychoanalytic frame, insight and interpretation, and termination.

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy II
DPP 863........ 2 Units
This course continues explorations of the work of Freud, Klein, Bion, and others and focuses primarily on current trends in psychoanalysis and in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Students look at approaches to specific problems and pathological structures and delineate the dynamics and treatments of various psychological symptoms including borderline and psychotic conditions.

Archetypal Psychotherapy
DPP 762........ 2 Units
Focusing primarily on the work of James Hillman, this course first examines his critique of clinical psychology and analytical practice and his call to enlarge the frame of practice to include the greater community and culture. Students learn the theoretical connections and differences between Archetypal Psychology and the works of other depth psychologists including Freud, Adler, and Jung. In addition there is particular focus on moving from theory to practice, specifically regarding the use of images to deepen one's work.

Depth Approaches to Psychopathology

DPP 760........ 2 Units
This course examines various psychoanalytic original formulations and continues with contemporary psychoanalytic and Jungian views. Students study the psychodynamic view of character formations and look at the major character disorders, neuroses, and psychotic states both from the point of view of their phenomenology and their unconscious underpinnings. In each case we describe the ways in which theorists of different schools have approached these disorders, and various psychotherapeutic approaches, especially noting Freudian, Kleinian, self-psychological, intersubjectivist, and Jungian attitudes to them.

Selected Topics in Theory and Practice
DPP 993........ 2 Units
These courses provide flexible opportunities to explore a variety of selected topics important to the practice of psychotherapy from a depth perspective. The content areas may highlight current trends in theory and practice, work with special populations, diversity, law and ethics, or interdisciplinary themes not already covered.

Interpersonal Neurobiology, Affective Neuroscience, and Depth Psychology
DPP 870........ 2 Units
Examining recent developments in affective neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology, this course will explore contemporary research across a group of disciplines that illustrate the principles of transformation common to living systems, including various hypotheses concerning the evolutionary role of ancient subcortical, emotional, bodily and imagistic processes. Developments in these areas constitute a paradigm shift in our thinking about the brain and mind. This course examines embodied models of mind/brain emphasizing intersubjectivity, nonlinearity, and self-organization, centering on the prototypic concept of regulation. Using our current neurobiological understandings of subjective states, consciousness, and the self, the course will describe contemporary issues within depth psychology such as embodiment, the nature of the self, and the radical interdependence of psyche, nature, and culture.

Psychology and the Poetic Imagination
DPP 896........ 2 Units
The philosophical underpinnings of the relationship between our internal muse, emotion, psychological states (including psychosis) and creativity will be examined, both didactically and experientially. Immersing ourselves in the interrelationship of the arts, psychology, and poetic imagination will provide a platform for expanding affect tolerance and a greater facility in the utilization of countertransference in the course of the therapeutic hour.

Psychotherapy Informed by The Humanities & Interdisciplinary Studies

Depth psychotherapy moves beyond a limited clinical paradigm to a broader frame that includes enriched connections to healing practices informed by literature, myth, spirituality, and a multitude of interdisciplinary studies.

Psyche in Nature
DPP 732........ 2 Units
The ethos of a psyche-centered psychotherapy is not merely a construct of interiority. It has important implications for how we situate our lives within the context of a field or system. If we depart from the fantasy of the autonomous ego and engage instead with the image of ego as a constellation within the psyche, our imagination about the nature of our individual relationship to the world also shifts. This course focuses on the ecological view of human interactions, including the particular interaction of psychotherapy. The metaphors of ecology offer valuable directions for understanding systemic perspectives on couples, family, group and organizational psychological practice as well as providing lenses through which to regard our relationships.

Psychotherapy and Culture I: Diverse Healing Traditions
DPP 830........ 2 Units
This course places the practice of psychotherapy in dialogue with diverse traditions of counseling and healing from one or more non-Western cultural settings. By examining our similarities and differences with other traditions students can begin to appreciate the deep common ground that unites all forms of work with the psyche. Students also begin to see the culture-specific attitudes about pathology and health that tend to become codified in clinical practice.

Psychotherapy and Culture II: Culturally-Based Symptoms
DPP 831........ 2 Units
Cultures and communities themselves may be symptomatic, and symptoms felt at the personal level are often culturally based. Alienation, poverty, oppression, violence, and trauma sometimes provide the context for psychological development that often become the focus of treatment as if it were intra-psychic in origin. This course examines the special nature of psychotherapy in the context of culturally-based stressors. It may include focus on issues related to work with patients from diverse backgrounds, problems of language, and the role of the therapist in cultural criticism and culture change. Various theorists who describe the relationship between culture and depth psychology will be discussed.

Literary Foundations for Depth Psychotherapy
DPP 835........ 2 Units
When Aristotle wrote of tragedy in his Poetics in the 5th century BCE, he observed that some cathartic or therapeutic cleansing occurred by means of poetry. His discovery has remained true of poetry's power to assist psyche's healing by acknowledging its shadowed contours. Classic narratives have contemporary relevance. Through revealing the movement of soul in its struggles to know itself and its relation to a larger world order, literature holds up a mirror to the personal and collective psyche.

Psyche and the Sacred
DPP 920........ 2 Units
The psyche's capacity and affinity for sacred experience, as expressed in religion, ritual, and encounters with the numinosum, continually remind us of the importance of a spiritual consideration in all psychological work. Jung once said that all psychological problems are essentially religious problems. If true, this idea becomes especially interesting to practitioners of depth psychotherapy in the ways it calls for a revision of our notions of self, suffering, pathology, and of approaches to treatment. This course explores ways that a depth psychotherapist might work with the religious function of the psyche.

Psychotherapy Informed by the Mythic Tradition
DPP 921........ 2 Units
Freud, Jung, and many of their critics and followers have consistently and directly recognized the natural connection between mythology and psychology. Mythology is often seen as a kind of psychology in its use of images, stories of struggle and transformation, and in the way it connects us across boundaries of culture, time, and space. Students examine this historical connection between mythology, psychology, and psychotherapy as well as the mythic base of psychology and the healing arts.

Imaginal Psychotherapy
DPP 962........ 2 Units
This course explores the traditions that comprise the field of Imaginal Psychology and elaborates the unique features of Imaginal Psychotherapy that flow from these traditions. Utilizing a phenomenological attitude, which is attentive to the process of psychotherapy and to the experience of being a psychotherapist doing psychotherapy, an imaginal approach is developed. Within this approach, issues such as transference, the unconscious, symptoms, and dreams are examined. Special attention is paid to the development of those imaginal capabilities which foster sensitivity to the symbolic depths and metaphorical richness of the patient’s and therapist’s ways of using language. Diversity and cultural considerations are discussed in these contexts.

This course has two further major intentions:

• To review and study the traditions that comprise the field known as Imaginal Psychology, and to honor your own experiences of the imaginal realm;

• To appreciate that imaginal psychotherapy begins with the vocational depths rather than technical dimensions of our work, and as such envisions the awakened heart as the organ of vision and imagination in a healing process that focuses on dreams, active imagination, feeling and intuition, as well as a recognition of the symbolic and mythic depths of the soul.

Intergrated Praxis: Casework & Research

There are two interwoven threads of praxis in this program. First, we engage in case presentation, group supervision, dreamwork, and consultation all aimed at deepening our therapeutic work with patients. Second, we step back from the focus on clinical practice and adopt the attitudes and methods of inquiry that enable us to propose and conduct research on the essential themes and experiences of doing psychotherapy from a depth perspective.

Thus, the courses on therapeutic practice are directly linked to the courses on research so that our research grows organically out of our therapeutic work and the work of our colleagues.

Practicum I: Working with Dreams
DPP 780........ 2 Units
Throughout time and across cultures, dreams have opened the door to the psyche, offering contact with the transcendent and nourishment for the soul. This class considers Jungian and post-Jungian approaches to the dream and explores their careful integration into psychotherapeutic work. The main focus of the class is on developing personal ability and style in relating to dreams. We invite a lived experience of dream consciousness to be present by sharing our own dreams and images throughout the class.

Introduction to Research: Overview of Qualitative Methods
DPP 782........ 2 Units
This course provides and in-depth study of major qualitative methodologies, including their theoretical basis as well as their practical and ethical implications. It shows how questions of methodology are organically related to the research topic and affect the organization and outcome of the work. The emphasis on data gathering and data analysis is intended to give students practical hands-on experience working with research data.

Foundations for Research in Depth Psychotherapy I
DPP 784........ 2 Units
This course invites students to contemplate how the fathomless psyche affects the process of research. Taking seriously the core philosophical assumption of depth psychology, the reality of the unconscious, introduces profound shifts in one's ontology, epistemology, and methodology. In light of this, what can researchers claim to know and how do they know it? This course introduces students to some of the key ideas that affect research including psyche, archetype, and image, explains Jung's technique of active imagination, and teaches close reading and textual analysis as part of a general introduction to the practice of hermeneutics.

Foundations for Research in Depth Psychotherapy II: Imaginal Perspectives
DPP 882........ 2 Units
In complex research the wounded researcher is called into his or her work through his or her complexes. In this regard, research is a vocation. A topic chooses a researcher as much as, and perhaps even more than, he or she chooses it. The primary task of doing research that keeps soul in mind is, therefore, to differentiate among the researcher's conscious intentions for the work, his or her complex projections onto the work, and the voices of the soul of the work. This work of differentiation takes place at different levels of the transference field between the researcher and the work. These dialogues are an alchemical, hermeneutic process and consideration is given to how this variation differs from more traditional conceptions of hermeneutics. It is a process that is applicable to all methods. Consideration is also given to how this process shapes psychological writing.

Dissertation Development I
DPP 832........ 2 Units
In this second year course, students begin to conceive of the dissertation by refining some of the ideas or topics of interest into research questions that might well become dissertation topics. In a combination of readings, lectures, and group discussions, students begin to imagine the shape, focus, and methodologies of their dissertations. Students become familiar with the dissertation process at Pacifica as described in the Dissertation Handbook. In addition, students begin to explore issues related to forming a Dissertation Committee. Some students may use this course to seek approval for the Concept Paper, which is the first formal step in the dissertation process.

Dissertation Development II, III, IV
DPP 932 A ,B, C,........ 2/3 Unit per quarter
These classes span the third year of coursework, slowly and organically guiding students toward the completion of an approved dissertation concept paper. Over the three quarters, each student sets individual learning goals that reflect their place in the research process. The instructor monitors and guides students' progress in meeting those goals so that, by the end of the Spring quarter, most or all students will emerge with an approved concept paper. The course answers any and all questions concerning dissertation writing at Pacifica, including how to refine a research question, select and review relevant literature, choose an appropriate research methodology, articulate a thoughtful approach to research ethics, and form a dissertation committee. Pass/No Pass

Oral Comprehensive Presentation
DPP 994........ 2 Units
A key aspect of the doctoral degree is that it moves us from the realm of student into the realm of professor. Whether or not we ultimately become teachers, we must still come to see ourselves as professors, giving back to the world a synthesis of what we have learned. In this course we develop effective teaching and presentation skills. Students present to colleagues and professors addressing all three of the program's educational domains—Theory and Traditions of Depth Psychotherapy; Psychotherapy Informed by the Humanities and Interdisciplinary Studies; and Integrated Praxis: Research and Casework. The course is conducted in a seminar format combining readings, lecture, and experiential elements. Listening and responding to one another is an important part of the process.

Practica II, IV, V, VII, VIII, and IX:
Face-to-Face Group Case Consultation

DPP 781 ,DPP 880, DPP 890, DPP 980, DPP 985, and DPP 990........ 2 Units each
The practica are conducted in groups of seven to ten students and involve case consultation supervised by faculty. The goals of these courses are to integrate theoretical learning with practical experience, and to demonstrate a variety of approaches to practice from a depth perspective. Students present a case for depth supervision at least once per quarter in the practica. In addition to case consultation, each quarterly practicum announces a particular theme that typically mirrors specific material in other coursework including topics such as race and cultural diversity in the practice of psychotherapy, depth approaches to assessment, and ethical problems in a Depth Psychotherapy Practice. During the clinical practica third-year students present a control paper, examining their clinical work with one client in depth.

Practica III A and VI A: Processes of Therapy and Supervision
DPP 783 and DPP 883........ 2 Units each
These two courses combine lecture and small group discussions that focus on various processes of depth psychotherapy. Topics may include working to build therapeutic relationship, resolving transference issues, and depth approaches to both case presentation and supervision. Techniques such as dreamwork, active imagination, psychodrama, and uses of other therapies such as body work, and pharmacological treatments are also topic considerations. The format of these courses often includes guest speakers and may combine all three years of students for presentations.

Practica III B: Scholarly Writing and Publication
DPP 785 and DPP 885........ 2 Units each
These two courses combine lecture and small group discussions that focus to introduce and augment students' research and writing skills with the aim of publishing their work. The intention is to use the student's clinical experience with patients as the starting point and ground for theoretical contributions to scholarship in psychology. What research questions that have personal, professional, and cultural relevance live in the clinician's practice itself? The courses help students develop ideas for short journal articles as well as imagine and formulate their dissertation topic. As a result, topics may include a review of research methods and approaches, essential research skills such as finding and reviewing key literature, and a discussion of dissertation writing at Pacifica.

Dissertation Writing
DPP 999........ 15 Units
Under the supervision of a Dissertation Committee, the student submits a proposal, conducts original research, writes, and defends the doctoral dissertation. This course traditionally follows the completion of all other coursework and successful completion of the comprehensive exams. However, students who demonstrate readiness may choose to apply for this course while enrolled in regular coursework. This option requires approval from the Chair of the program. Additional fees will be assessed for this course. Pass/No Pass