Course Descriptions: M.A./Ph.D. Program in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Jungian and Archetypal Studies
Traditions, Theories, and Trajectories
This portion of the curriculum grounds students in the trajectory of depth psychology from its ancient roots to its modern manifestations. Students learn about the psychoanalytic, Jungian, post-Jungian, archetypal, and developmental lineages of depth psychology, paying special attention to the cultural and historical contexts in which they arose. Commentaries and critiques of these fields are discussed, and controversies are explored in order for students to develop a critical and reflective eye about depth psychology, both its strengths and its limitations.
Introduction to Depth Psychology DJA 700, 3 unitsAlthough depth psychology formally began with the work of Freud, Adler, and Jung at the turn of the 20th century, it has multiple antecedents reaching far back into the history of human thought. This course serves as a general introduction to the background and fundamentals of depth psychology, helping to situate the field within an historical context and in relation to other areas of thought and the wider culture.
C. G. Jung in Context DJA 710, 3 unitsIn order to fully appreciate, understand, and critique Jungian psychology, it is necessary to understand the personal, social, cultural, religious, and historical context in which it arose. This necessarily entails studying the life and times of C.G. Jung himself, for as Jung knew, the psychology one professes can never be separated from the context and milieu of the psychologist.
Jungian Psychology: The Individuation Journey DJA 720, 3 unitsThe central process in Jungian psychology is the individuation process, which can be defined as the psyche’s journey toward wholeness, an embodiment of the archetype of the Self. In Jungian psychology, this is done in large part by balancing or uniting the opposites within the psyche, including the feminine and masculine principles, known as the anima and animus. This course explores the centrality of the individuation process to Jungian psychology, reviewing terms such as the ego-Self axis, the persona and the shadow, the transcendent function, and the personal and collective unconscious.
Archetypes: Universal Patterns of the Psyche DJA 800, 3 unitsConsidering first the place of archetypes in the history of the Western thought—especially Greek mythology, Platonism, and German Romanticism—this course then traces the evolution of Jung’s understanding of the concept, drawing especially on The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. Students will explore a number of the major archetypes identified by Jung—including the shadow, anima, animus, rebirth, the wise old man, the mother, the hero, the spirit, the child, the trickster, and the Self—examining the evidence he gave in support of them from psychopathology, myth, religion, philosophy, literature, art, and culture. The course will also address the main characteristics of archetypes, and the different ways they can be conceptualized and described.
Archetypal Psychology DJA 730, 3 unitsArchetypal psychology is one of the central strands of post-Jungian theory. As envisioned by its main proponent, James Hillman, it emphasizes the development of a mythic sensibility in confronting the complexity and multiplicity of psychological life. Students learn the history and central ideas of this psychology, and become conversant with its four basic moves: personifying, or imagining things; pathologizing, or falling apart; psychologizing, or seeing through; and dehumanizing, or soul-making.
The Psychoanalytic Tradition: The Ongoing Conversation DJA 740, 3 unitsThe first conversation between Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung lasted over 13 hours, and explored many places of convergence and divergence. In many ways, this conversation continues today, with places of convergence and divergence in post-Freudian and post-Jungian theory and practice. Students will study the psychodynamics of early development and psychopathology and examine the influence of the object-relations, self-psychology, and other modern psychoanalytic theories on contemporary Jungian theory and practice.
Post-Jungian Critiques and Perspectives DJA 770, 3 unitsDepth psychology after Jung both has and has not exploited his deep-rooted commitment to cultural criticism as expressed as early as 1933 in the English publication of Modern Man in Search of a Soul. This course explicitly takes up this dimension of Jung’s work as it engages a range of perspectives that extend the application of Jungian and/or archetypal psychology into various fields of inquiry, which may include cultural history and cultural criticism, technology, deconstructive postmodernism, queer theory, gender theory, ecocriticism, politics, film theory, mythological studies, and more. It draws on key contributions of a selection of prominent figures in depth psychology, such as James Hillman, Jacques Lacan, Wolfgang Giegerich, Andrew Samuels, Rafael Lopez-Pedraza, Peter Cushman, Patricia Berry, and Michael Fordham. The course invites students and scholars to explore together the leading edges of depth psychology, and, thus, the specific choice of topics may vary from year to year.
The Alchemy of Transformation DJA 865, 3 unitsWhen Jung realized that the arcane texts of alchemy symbolically portray the process of transformation inherent to individuation, he called it “a momentous discovery,” one that provided an historical precedent for his model of individuation and a framework within which to better understand his “confrontation with the unconscious.” This course explores Jung’s interpretation of alchemy through a detailed study of three volumes of his collected works: Psychology and Alchemy, Alchemical Studies, and Mysterium Coniunctionis.
Synchronicity and the New Sciences DJA 855, 3 unitsJung’s exploration of synchronicity or “meaningful coincidence” was of critical significance for him personally, preoccupying him throughout much of his life. Indeed, the concept of synchronicity is arguably among the most important and controversial theoretical contributions of his life’s work, with far-reaching implications not only for depth psychology, but for the basis of the modern Western worldview and our understanding of the nature of reality. In this course, students will examine the complex relationship between synchronicity and the so-called new sciences, including modern physics (relativity theory and quantum theory), systems theory, complexity and chaos theory, organicist biology, and the “new cosmology.”
Principles and Practices
These courses focus on the theories, concepts, and principles primarily arising from the Jungian and archetypal traditions which are most applicable to working with the individual and collective psyche today. Here the psyche is envisioned as having mythological, spiritual, political, archetypal, creative, mystical, erotic, and embodied dimensions. Students are exposed to practices of working with these multiple dimensions of psyche, such as dream-tending, active imagination, typology, authentic movement, art-making, and image work. Mentored by faculty and with the support of their peers, students are encouraged to adapt or refine these practices, or develop new practices most suited to their work in and with the world.
Mythopoetic Imagination: Viewing Film, Art, and Literature from a Jungian Perspective DJA 805, 3 unitsSymbols are one of the ways the unconscious speaks to us and through us, its visual language for conveying the deep mysteries of life. After exploring the psychological importance of symbols, we turn our focus to the manifestation of symbol-making in literature, film, and art. In addition, students will explore and amplify a symbol that speaks to their psyches through artistic creations of their own.
Complexes: Jung’s “Royal Road” to the Unconscious DJA 810, 3 unitsIn his seminal essay “A Review of the Complex Theory,” Jung calls complexes the via regia, or royal road, to the personal and collective unconscious. The course explores complexes on multiple levels—personal, familial, group, workplace, cultural, and political—looking at their phenomenology, their autonomy, and their biology. Jung’s and Freud’s relationship and subsequent separation will be viewed in light of the complexes that gripped the men, leading to a discussion of the relationship between the psychological theories we may develop or be drawn to and our personal complexes. Andrew Samuel’s concept of the political psyche will be discussed, and the theory of cultural complexes laid out by Thomas Singer and Samuel Kimbles will be applied to a particular cultural or organizational group of interest to the student, and assessed for its efficacy in depotentiating the complex.
Depth Psychology and the Mythic Tradition DJA 815, 3 unitsJames Hillman wrote,” Psychology shows myths in modern dress and myths show our depth psychology in ancient dress.” Understanding the connection between mythology and psychology, Jung argued that it is important to our psychological health to know the myth we are living. The course will focus on archetypal motifs in fairy tales and myths as they appear in our personal and collective psychological lives. Students will study Jungian and post-Jungian mythological theory and interpretation; in addition, they will choose one author who has successfully brought the mythological psyche before the public eye, such as Joseph Campbell, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Marion Woodman, Robert Bly, etc., critically reviewing his or her contribution.
Imaginal Ways of Knowing: Active Imagination, The Red Book, and Psychic Creativity DJA 820, 3 unitsActive imagination is the name given to the technique Jung pioneered for working with unconscious material in the psyche, often through working with an image or through dialogue with an inner figure. The Red Book contains 16 years of Jung’s active imagination within its covers, and thus is the text par excellence for exploring this powerful technique and its relationship to psychic creativity and consciousness.
Dreamwork: Tending the Living Images DJA 825, 3 unitsEver since Freud released The Interpretation of Dreams in 1900, these mysterious nocturnal visitors have been of seminal importance to the field of depth psychology. In this course, students learn historical and cultural approaches to dreams, and practice a variety of dreamwork methods including working with dreams in groups, drawing upon Freudian, Jungian, post-Jungian, and archetypal theories.
Psychological Types DJA 835, 3 unitsJung is probably best known in mainstream culture for his theory of psychological types, the basis for the Myers-Briggs Type IndicatorTM which is now known and used throughout the world. Students learn about Jung’s theory, including the rational and irrational functions, the eight basic types of people, and the importance of developing the inferior function. Various typological assessment tools are introduced, and discussions center around their reliability and validity, ethical use, and their contemporary and cross-cultural applicability. Attention will be paid to primary applications of typology, such as increasing self-awareness, decreasing stress by living “in type,” increased understanding of and appreciation of others, type development over the lifespan, and fostering tolerance in groups and organizations.
Psyche and Eros: The Psychology and Mythology of Relationships DJA 840, 3 unitsRomantic relationships are often laden with psychological expectations of mythic proportions. This course examines key relationship fairy tales and myths, including the myth of Psyche and Eros, as it mines the treasures of depth psychological thinking about love, desire, sexuality, and marriage. Concepts such as libido, anima and animus, projection, transference, and the influence of typology on relationships will be discussed.
Somatic Studies: The Psyche-Soma Connection DJA 845, 3 unitsJung wrote, “The spirit is the life of the body seen from within, and the body the outward manifestation of the life of the spirit—the two really being one.” This course explores this interrelationship between psyche and soma. Topics may include the body as shadow in depth psychology; the body as a site of trauma, healing, and contact with the divine; bodywork practices like dance, authentic movement, yoga, and breathwork; non-Western and indigenous healing traditions; the relationship of the body with the collective unconscious, including concepts like cellular memory, morphic fields, and archetypes as bodily-based inherited images; an exploration of various depth psychologists who have championed the importance of the psyche-soma connection; or the current interest in the intersection of neuroscience and psychology.
Depth Psychology and the Sacred: Approaching the Numinous DJA 850, 3 unitsThis course begins by contrasting Freud’s and Jung’s views of the psychology of religion. Though Freud was dismissive of religion, Jung explored it extensively from the beginning to the end of his life, arguing unequivocally for its psychological importance, going so far as to declare that all psychological problems are essentially spiritual problems which can be cured through an encounter with the numinosum, or god-image. This course focuses on the spiritual function of the psyche though key Jungian and post-Jungian works, exploring the variety of ways people approach and experience the divine.
Ecopsychology: The Psyche in Nature DJA 860, 3 unitsAs Jung saw it, “Natural life is the nourishing soil of the soul.” In this course, students will explore archetypal and mythological motifs that emerge from the ensouled world, including differing natural landscapes and the animal world. The importance of place to the psyche will provide rich discussion material, including an observation of the natural world as it appears in our dreamscapes. Means of (re)connecting psyche and nature will be discussed, including traditional and contemporary wilderness rites of passage and nature-based healing practices from indigenous cultures. This course also includes an experiential engagement with nature.
Research and Reflection
The curriculum incorporates a number of courses specifically designed to cultivate essential skills in deep reflection, critical thinking, and research that prepare students for dissertation writing and their future vocations.