Curriculum Summary: Ph.D. in Depth Psychology Emphasis in Psychotherapy


The ever deeper descent into the unconscious suddenly becomes illumination from above. C.G. Jung, vol. 16, p. 281

Depth Psychotherapy (DPP) seeks to develop the full range of each student's natural therapeutic ability through a rich curriculum integrating Jungian, post-Jungian, and archetypal psychology with the best of contemporary psychoanalytic theory, including recent developments in relational and somatic approaches. Students develop greater awareness of the presence of the Self in the therapeutic situation, acquiring an increased ability to work with dreams and other manifestations of the unconscious appearing clinically and in their own lives, as we believe that the ability to be an excellent depth psychotherapist grows most profoundly out of the therapist's own psychological work. DPP develops therapists who are sensitive to the mythopoetic levels of the psyche, and who are aware of the subtleties of the complex interpersonal and relational dynamics that occur in psychotherapeutic work. In order to appreciate the intellectual lineage of depth psychotherapy, students are grounded in the historical, philosophical, and spiritual traditions from which our discipline arose, through thoughtful and provocative courses that explore the wisdom found in western and indigenous healing traditions and probe the importance of ecological approaches to psychological healing. Here are some of the ways we seek to achieve these goals.

The program begins with introductory courses in Jungian, archetypal, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy co-taught by psychoanalytic and Jungian analysts, initial research classes, clinical practica, and courses that introduce the relevance of mythology, literature, and sacred traditions for psychotherapeutic practice. As students progress through the curriculum, these themes are repeated with increasing levels of sophistication and depth. DPP's clinical practica are case consultation courses taught in small groups by experienced, analytically-oriented clinicians. Students learn to integrate differing clinical approaches and to develop a style of practice that is most in keeping with their temperament and personal psychodynamics. The program's carefully designed research courses prepare students to write a dissertation, a creative process grounded in a lived, psychological engagement that often expands beyond the walls of the clinical setting to thoughtfully inquire into social, cultural, political, economic, and ecological issues. DPP courses prepare students to become psychotherapists and educators in the original and broad sense of this word: to lead others into a more deeply caring relationship with anima mundi.

Our model of pedagogy stresses mentorship, and we pay careful attention to the individuation process of each student. We are committed to fostering an atmosphere of collegiality, openness to the psyche, and mutual respect, stressing the importance of diversity and taking into account the initiatory aspects of graduate study. We utilize a cohort system designed to develop safety so that psychological material can be deeply experienced and explored. Through this transformational educational process, each student integrates the learning of the program into a personal synthesis that is honed through inner reflection and in dialog with faculty and fellow students. Faculty members are always available for consultation by phone, by email, or in person.

Classes are taught by our core faculty, Lionel Corbett, Elizabeth Nelson, and Allen Bishop, and by many distinguished supporting Pacifica faculty, including Christine Downing, Robert Romanyshyn, Ginette Paris, Veronica Goodchild, Tom Elsner, Dennis Slattery, Avedis Panajian, and Allen Koehn, as well as by prominent scholars such as Jungian analysts Jim Hollis, Joan Chodorow, Joe Cambray, and Beverly Zabriskie. Summer guest speakers have included Alan Schore, Robert Stolorow, and Rick Tarnas.

Students completing this program will find their clinical practice and their own personal growth deepened and energized. Graduates are often drawn to work as clinical supervisors and to teach in college and university settings, opportunities that complement their commitment to personal individuation and psychotherapeutic work.