Ph.D. and Psy.D. Clinical Psychology Programs

The Clinical Psychology programs not only prepare graduates for licensure, but seek to educate their minds, hearts, and souls so they can respond in a creative, healing capacity to the needs of individuals in our complex society.

Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Clinical Psychology Programs have been designed to engage students’ intellectual and relational capacities in addition to inviting them toward a radically transformative relationship with themselves and the world. The programs offer training within both the human sciences and natural sciences paradigms, including broad and general foundational courses in psychology as well as courses that draw on areas outside of psychology such as humanities, philosophy, anthropology, physics (complexity theory), cultural studies, and the arts.

The programs’ foundational courses provide training in areas of psychology required for licensure as a clinical (health service) psychologist, including social, affective, cognitive and biological bases of behavior as well as assessment, ethics, and research. These courses are taught by faculty who actively bridge and critique both prevailing as well as depth psychological approaches in their scholarship and practice. Students also gain direct experience in advanced clinical and research training specific to depth psychological traditions. Depth psychology is found in multiple cultural contexts and perspectives, and often includes the systematic explorations of S. Freud, C.G. Jung, and those who followed their exploration into the significance of the unconscious and relational phenomena in human experience. The programs’ depth orientation is infused throughout the curriculum and includes a focus on recent scholars of relational psychoanalysis, archetypal psychology, phenomenology, social constructivism, post-colonial and feminist approaches, as well as other recent developments related to psychoanalytic and Jungian practices.

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

Students are prepared for professional practice by extensive clinical training that is enhanced by scholarship and enriched by the analytical and interpretative skills developed through engagement with research. In this scholar-practitioner program, the education integrates theory, research and clinical practice within depth psychological traditions. The program’s commitment to human science psychology (as an alternative to conventional psychology’s experimental, natural science approach) emphasizes meaning as the fundamental component of psychological life. Understanding human meaning, the goal of the descriptive and interpretative (hermeneutic) methods utilized within a qualitative research orientation, is reflected in grasping how things matter for people within their life situations. Further, in acknowledgement of the worldly (not merely subjective), cultural-historical character of meaning, human science psychology is deliberately affiliated with humanities. Accordingly, the curriculum is infused with the study of mythology, the arts, history, religion, and philosophy.

Aligned with Pacifica’s forty-year history, the Ph.D. program is devoted to the traditions of depth psychology within a human science model. Beginning with Freud and Jung, depth psychologies are distinguished by their recognition of a latent or unconscious dimension of psychological life. This unconscious element, or depth in human experience, is understood as essential to the transformative character of the therapeutic relationship. The program is inspired by psychoanalytic, Jungian, and existential-phenomenological perspectives in their historical and contemporary formulations, including relational, archetypal, and hermeneutic psychologies. Significant attention is given to dialogue with related disciplines such as multiculturalism, postmodernism, feminist theory, gender studies, indigenous psychology, complexity theory, post colonialism, ecological studies, Eastern thought and contemplative practices/traditions.

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

Following a practitioner-scholar model of training, this program represents Pacifica’s commitment to grounding the principles of depth psychology in clinical practice within community settings. The Psy.D.Program’s mission is to prepare clinical (health service) psychologists to apply foundational as well as depth psychological knowledge and skills within diverse inter-professional practice settings. It is designed to produce clinical psychologists who areskilled in a broad range of clinical work, including psychotherapy, assessment, supervision, and consultation, as well as integrative approaches to health, informed and enriched by depth psychological perspectives. Pacifica trains students to achieve a successful integration of broad and general knowledge in clinical psychology, including core clinical skills, with personal experience of the unconscious and relational factors, which motivate individual and collective behavior.

Although the program is relatively new, it is rooted in the in 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; 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 psycho logy, 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.


We can't change anything until we get some fresh ideas, until we begin to see things differently. - James Hillman

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