Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology with Emphasis in Depth Psychology


The Psy.D. Program's mission is to prepare clinical (and health service) psychologists to apply foundational as well as depth psychological knowledge and functional skills within diverse inter-professional practice settings.


What is the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology?

Oksana Yakushko, Program Chair, explains how Pacifica's Clinical Psychology programs educate students' minds, hearts, and souls.

The Psy.D. degree program embraces a practitioner-scholar model where the emphasis is on the practical application of theoretical material to specific settings in which psychologists work. Those with Psy.D. degrees most often work in community-based agency settings, in private practice, in integrative health care settings, organizational settings, health service, and as faculty in professional psychology programs. A Psy.D. education stresses self-reflective practice along with interpersonal skills and the capacity to engage with others in interprofessional frameworks. Clinical skills, projective and objective assessment, and treatment are the main application areas in addition to theory and research. Both foundational and functional knowledge are focused on. At Pacifica Graduate Institute, in addition to providing the broad and general educational context that is required in the field of psychology, depth psychology is honored for its long life of clinical effectiveness, its relational focus, and its value on expanded understandings of developmental complexity, self-organization, and individual and collective consciousness.


What is Depth Psychology?

Jonathan Shedler, Ph.D., explains the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapy, at Pacifica.

Depth psychological approaches are among the oldest forms of psychotherapy in the world and there is a current resurgence of interest in and validation for depth psychology, particularly in the context of interpersonal neurobiology, with practioner/researchers such as Allan Schore, Ph.D. and others making contributions. Clinical psychologists, such as Jonathan Shedler, Ph.D., are now also bringing research, that validates depth psychological approaches, to light. For example see Dr. Shedler's article on The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (in PDF).


The Psy.D. Program Distinct Training

Although the program is relatively new, it is rooted in the clinical psychology program offered by Pacifica since the late 1980s. Thus, the program bridges the rich history of teaching depth psychology with the contemporary world of clinical psychology. This practical integration emphasizes depth psychological perspectives within current areas of psychological studies such as: relational approaches and attachment; evidence-based practices; integrative assessment; interpersonal neurobiology and biopsychosocial approaches to integrative health care; self-reflective practices; community-based practice approaches; and mental health public policy

The curriculum reflects a commitment to bringing compassionate and socially responsible scholarship and values to the important questions posed by applied clinical psychology, including emphases on the unconscious determinants of behavior. The program offers courses that provide foundational knowledge in psychology as well as those that focus on depth psychological treatments, community mental health, diversity, and indigenous perspectives in psychology. Mindfulness and Imaginal, somatic, ecological and contemplative considerations of psychological work are included in the program as well.



  • Prepare to practice in a variety of community and health service settings with a solid foundation in the skills of clinical psychology, grounded in the principles of depth psychology.
  • Integrate broad, general knowledge of clinical psychology, including core clinical skill sets, with personal experience of the unconscious and relational factors that motivate individual and collective behavior.
  • Explore depth psychological perspectives such as: relational approaches and attachment; evidence-based practices, including brief psychodynamic approaches; integrative assessment; interpersonal neurobiology and biopsychosocial approaches to integrative health care; community based practice approaches; and public policy related to mental health.

"When I was a student and later a tenure-track faculty at a large state university, I thought that my inner life and my professional life had to be divided. When I found Pacifica and our program, I was delighted to work in a place where we can openly integrate depth psychological principles in all aspects of our lives and work. It is this integration that I believe inspires us to be a community of students, faculty, and staff that share a commitment to tending the Soul in and of the World." -Oksana Yakushko, Program Chair


Featured Blog Posts and Multi-Media


For information regarding Pacifica's Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, please contact Alex Clarke, Admissions Advisor, at 805.879.7306 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

See Academic Program Information. 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.

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