Student Services Overview

DATE: Saturday, June 7, 2014
TIME: 12:45 p.m
PLACE: Lecture Hall, Lambert Road campus
CANDIDATE: Edward Smith Santana
DISSERTATION TITLE: "Jung and Sex: Re-Visioning the Treatment of Sexual Issues in Psychotherapy Through an Exploration and Analysis of Jung’s Writings on Sexual Phenomena"
CHAIR: Dr. Lionel Corbett
READER: Dr. Patricia Katsky

Santana, E. (2014). Jung and Sex: Re-Visioning the Treatment of Sexual Issues in Psychotherapy Through an Exploration and Analysis of Jung’s Writings on Sexual Phenomena (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2014)


This study explores C. G. Jung’s theoretical and clinical approach to sexual phenomena as a potential means for re-visioning and improving mainstream treatments of sexual issues in psychotherapy. The research is intended to provide greater knowledge and awareness of Jung’s work in this area and contribute a depth psychological perspective to the current treatment of sexual issues. Jung’s writings and statements on sexual phenomena were analyzed using a qualitative hermeneutic methodology. The research brings attention to a large body of Jung’s work on human sexuality, ranging from pioneering thoughts on sexual expressions of the soul, to contradictory statements on sexual phenomena. These writings comprise many important and complex perspectives on the sexual instinct and the diverse sexual expressions of the psyche.

Jung is not widely known for his views on sexuality or generally associated with the treatment of sexual issues. The research, however, finds Jung made extensive contributions to human sexuality and suggests reclaiming this knowledge might help address substantial problems in the treatment paradigm of sexual psychopathology.

This study also examines contemporary challenges in the treatment of sexual issues, including the growing movement toward diagnostic labeling, brief or symptom-focused therapies, and pharmaceutical interventions. Many in the field of sex therapy have serious concerns about the limited success and effectiveness of current approaches. These apprehensions are leading to calls for greater collaboration with diverse theoretical perspectives. The research identifies how Jung’s interpretations of sexual phenomena could address concerns expressed by sex therapy practitioners and wider problems of pathologizing sexual human nature that result in untold violence and oppression around the world.

The findings and conclusions of the research suggest how Jungian and depth psychological perspectives could address gaps in sex therapy and respond to calls from sex therapists for greater collaboration. Depth psychologists have the opportunity to contribute an essential understanding of sexual phenomena and reclaim aspects of Jung’s original and important contributions. The research also identifies the need for further elucidation of Jungian and depth psychological approaches to sexual issues.

Keywords: C. G. Jung, sex therapy, Jungian analysis, psychotherapy, sexual psychopathology, depth psychology, sexual disorders, sexual dysfunctions, sexuality.


Please note: All oral defense attendees must shuttle to the Lambert Road campus from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria. Classes will be in session and parking on campus is not available.