Course Descriptions


Courses in this domain ground students in the psychoanalytic, Jungian, and archetypal lineages of depth psychology. In addition, connections are made to the interdisciplinary field of somatic studies as we explore the ways that new developments in neuroscience challenge and affirm the understandings of somatic depth psychology.

Introduction to Depth Psychology DPS 730, 2 units

The term depth psychology evokes many associations and images yet is often difficult to define. In this course we formulate a definition of our field by investigating historical, cultural, and conceptual traditions that shape its identity. Topics include a history of soul, ancient approaches to healing and transformation, and encounters with the unconscious through dreams, literature, mythology, as well as a reflection on the ways that depth psychology has both emphasized and, at times, ignored the body in the course of its own theoretical development.

Embodied Depth Leadership and Community Building DPS 712, 2 units

This course explores group process and dynamics through a practice of engaged inquiry that develops awareness and skill in leadership and community building. Drawing on concepts from somatics, nonverbal communication, and depth psychology, students will learn strategies for understanding and transforming interpersonal and intergroup relations through embodied presence with Self and Other.

Neuroscience and Somatic Depth Psychology I DPS 720, 2 units

Students in this course develop a thorough understanding of the functional organization of the brain and how it relates to the evolution of human development. Students will familiarize themselves with the language of neuroscience in order to be able to read and interpret ongoing research in neurobiology, the neuroscience of affect and emotion, behavioral genetics, functional neuroanatomy, and developmental science. They will be introduced to the methodologies of neuroscience focusing on studies using fMRI and EEG equipment.

Neuroscience and Somatic Depth Psychology II DPS 721, 2 units

This course examines contemporary research across a group of disciplines that constitute a paradigm shift in thinking about the brain and mind. It illustrates the principles of transformation common to living systems, including various hypotheses concerning the evolutionary role of ancient subcortical, emotional, bodily and imagistic processes. Students explore embodied models of mind/brain emphasizing intersubjectivity, nonlinearity, and self-organization, centering on the prototypic concept of regulation. Using our current neurobiological understandings of subjective states, consciousness, and the self, the course will describe contemporary issues such as the nature of the self and the radical interdependence of psyche, nature, and culture.

Embodied Alchemy DPS 750, 2 units

Marie-Louise von Franz tells us that alchemy was born at the meeting place of the speculative mind of the west and the experimental techno magical practices of the east. This course revisits the work of alchemy in relation to somatic studies. Students will work the alchemical metaphor and its explicit and implicit connection to the body. Students will review terms and concepts that have a long history, appearing not only in the repertoire of symbols from alchemy, but also in the concepts and vocabulary of depth psychology, including “imagination,” ”transformation,” “symptom”, and “dream.”

Freud, Reich, and the Psychoanalytic Tradition DPS 760, 2 units

Students develop a working understanding of Freud’s model for body/mind dynamics and how it challenged the materialism and the body/mind split of his time. They will be introduced to the contributions to somatic theory and practice developed by Freud’s student Wilhelm Reich, including the concepts of character armor and orgone energy. They will also see how the psychoanalytic tradition is currently blended with studies in body movement and movement therapies.

Marion Woodman and the Jungian Tradition DPS 761, 2 units

The basic concepts of Jungian psychology such as persona, anima, animus, shadow, the ego-Self axis, and others are studied. Attention is brought to the historical, philosophical, psychological, and religious influences acting upon Jung’s psychology and, in particular, the scientific and philosophical milieu in which Jung developed his ideas about psyche and soma. The work of Jungian analyst Marion Woodman will be examined as one contribution to the integration of the body into Jungian thought. Students will develop a critical perspective on this material and explore the usefulness of Jung’s psychology for seeing more deeply into the issues of our time.

Archetypal Psychology DPS 762, 2 units

Archetypal psychology, as envisioned by James Hillman, moves beyond clinical inquiry and locates its identity within the Western imagination, finding affiliation with the arts, culture, and history of ideas. Its central aim is the appreciation and development of soul through the cultivation of the life of the imaginal. We investigate the history of this rich psychological perspective, focusing on ideas such as archetype, image, seeing-through, and the soul of the world, anima mundi, and explore how these ideas find a natural home when applied in somatic practice.

Body and Soul in the Expressive Arts DPS 753, 2 units

Drawing on intermodal expressive arts that highlight the mind-body connection, this course introduces strategies for incorporating movement, drama, and music into a variety of professional contexts. The course emphasizes an understanding of the interconnected elements of imagination in working with aesthetic response in relation to embodied experience.

Integrative Seminar I – IX DPS 791-799, 2/3 units each

Integrative Seminar offers students a structured and facilitated opportunity to integrate the program’s varied course material into a cohesive theoretical framework, and to practice applying their developing knowledge and skills to a range of professional issues and contexts. Embodied learning, critical thinking, divergent perspectives, and intergroup relations are key areas of focus. Pass/No Pass

Body, Soul, and Social Justice DPS 754, 2 units

Recognizing the embodied dimensions of oppression is key to transforming the soul damage it inflicts on all members of society, regardless of the privilege they hold. This course provides a conceptual framework, research evidence, and practical skills for working with power, privilege and difference in the context of personal and social change.

Introduction to Somatic Studies DPS 725, 2 Units

This foundational course provides students with an overview of the interdisciplinary field of somatic studies, and introduces them to the principles, concepts, and methods that underlie many established somatic modalities. Links are made to the research (in neuroscience and other fields) that supports a somatic perspective, while experiential components offer students the opportunity to begin to develop skills as a somatic depth practitioner.

Somatic Dreamwork DPS 770, 2 units

This course explains the central importance of imagery in Jungian and archetypal approaches to depth psychology. It introduces Jung’s technique of active imagination and its evolution in contemporary applications, teaching students different ways of working somatically with dream images. Students learn the impact of imagery on the creative process and its role in personal transformation.

Trauma and Resilience DPS 850, 2 units

This course reviews somatic approaches to post-traumatic stress, and explores trauma-related coping strategies from a holistic and integrative perspective. The course also focuses on the nature of the recovery process, including a review of approaches developed within diverse cultural systems and historical contexts.

Non-Western and Indigenous Practices DPS 952, 2 units

This course will focus on the theories and techniques of several different practices including shamanic practices from a variety of cultural contexts: curanderos, plant medicine healers, diviners, spirit healers, and others. As with similar reviews of Western traditions, students will also examine these practices for clear connections to, and enrichments for, depth somatic psychology.

Psyche, Soma, Cyborg DPS 950, 2 units

Stories from literature and from worldwide oral traditions abound with metaphorical and literal references to the symptomatic and wounded body as a rich context for suffering and remedy. As such, the body becomes a narrative in its own right. Students will examine various works of myth and literature and learn how to critically interpret them from the perspective of somatic depth psychology. In addition they will critically reflect on the cultural role of these works in forming ideas about the body.

Depth Psychology and the Sacred DPS 920, 2 units

When Jung said that all psychological problems are essentially religious problems, he was calling attention to the spiritual function of the psyche. In this course we examine the psyche’s capacity for sacred experience as it finds expression in religion, ritual, and encounters with the numinosum. Students will examine various approaches for responding to mourning, heartbreak, and the loss of meaning that comes from an impoverished sense of the sacred.

Ecopsychology: The Body on the Earth DPS 732, 2 units

The evolution of Homo sapiens, both body and mind, is inextricably connected to everything on earth. Carl Jung even suggested that the collective unconscious is patterned from the body’s contact with the seasonal rhythms, textures, sounds, and shapes of the natural world. Thus, to be a psychological being is to be an embodied being: to be firmly placed on terra firma, the ground from which all of us have emerged. Through lecture and experiential exercises, this course concentrates on the embodied psyche in nature as an important means for dissolving the artificial boundaries between body and earth.

Relational Embodiment DPS 851, 2 units

This course has an experiential component in which students develop a subjective awareness of the body and a capacity to monitor and interpret their own somatic responses to interpersonal situations. Students learn to listen with an awareness of fluctuations in somatic cues during the relational encounter, and explore concepts and skills related to nonverbal communication, intercorporeality, and somatic transference and counter-transference.

Proposal for Summer Fieldwork II DPS 899, 0 units

In this course, students develop and submit a fieldwork proposal for DPS 906 – Summer Fieldwork II. Pass/No Pass.

Foundations in Fieldwork DPS 900, 2 Units

This course lays the theoretical and practical foundation for somatic based depth psychological oriented fieldwork. Students are asked to deeply consider the reality of how cultural and ecological phenomena have impacted our psyches and symptoms and, in turn, how our bodies and minds effect and shape the world and communities we live in. Recognizing the interdependence of body and mind this fieldwork course invites us to engage with the soul of the world, the anima mundi, listening closely to its expressions and tending to its suffering. Pass/No Pass

Summer Fieldwork I DPS 905, 4 units

Beginning in the first year of summer fieldwork students will participate in a minimum of 70 hours of on-site fieldwork practice that will further their own learning goals and provide an opportunity to integrate the theories, ideas, and experiences within the Somatic Studies specialization. It is also expected that the student will devote a minimum of 130 hours of adjunctive hours to completing this four unit course. Pass/No Pass.

Presenting the Fieldwork Experience DPS 880, 2 units

Students orally present their summer fieldwork in somatic based depth psychological inquiry. Through reflection on the array of fieldwork, students work toward articulating the lived experience of psychesoma integration, paying particular attention to how a distinctively depth psychological approach to the mind-body split facilitates transformative awareness for both the fieldwork researcher and their chosen community. This course assists students to learn and practice scholarly approaches to oral presentations and helps them to reflect on how the fieldwork experience informs and enhances their vocational aspirations. Pass/No Pass

Summer Fieldwork II DPS 906, 4 units

Continuing into the second year of summer fieldwork students will participate in a minimum of 70 hours of on-site fieldwork that will further their own learning goals and provide an opportunity to integrate the theories, ideas, and experiences within the somatic program. It is also expected that the student will devote a minimum of 130 hours of adjunctive hours to completing this four unit course. Pass/No Pass

Embodied Depth Teaching and Learning DPS 910, 2 units

This course supports students to develop knowledge and skill in facilitating learning with others by introducing them to the foundations of embodied depth pedagogies. Students will apply the principles of depth psychology and somatic studies to their own professional contexts.

Human Sexuality DPS 925, 2 units

This human sexuality course will take a distinctively depth psychological approach by emphasizing the inextricable interconnections between psyche and soma, soul and body. This course will explore sexuality’s relation to pleasure, connection, generativity, and to transcendence, and look at the interconnectedness of sex, gender and sexual orientation. This human sexuality course brings in the perspectives of myth, anthropology, depth psychology, and cultural studies.

Frontiers of Somatic Depth Psychology (RETIRED) DPS 955, 2 units

Course content varies. A variety of theories and practices from diverse realms may be studied in service to extending the practical and theoretical boundaries of depth psychology and somatic studies.

Depth Transformative Practices DPS 997a, 2.5 units

Many traditions within depth psychology understand the process of personal transformation as inherently relational, typically held within the container of a therapeutic relationship with a professional counselor or psychotherapist. These traditions are dynamically linked to the transformative nature of the course material contained within this curriculum. In order to effectively support their transformative journey, students are expected to engage in a minimum of 25 hours of individual counseling or psychotherapy during their first year of coursework. Students must have an approved proposal for these depth transformative practice hours by the end of the fall quarter of the first year and submit documentation of 25 hours of completed therapy by the end of the first year. No incompletes. Pass/No Pass.

Depth Transformative Practices DPS 997b, 2.5 units

In the first year of coursework, students must complete a minimum of 25 hours of individual counseling or psychotherapy with a pre-approved practitioner. Once these 25 hours are complete, students may then accrue the remaining 25 hours of the required 50 hours total in an approved somatic or depth modality offered in a group or individual context. They may also elect to continue with individual counselling or psychotherapy if they wish. A list of pre-approved modalities is available through the DTP Coordinator, and additional modalities may be submitted for consideration. This course may be completed in the first, second or third year of coursework, but is required for the MA degree. Prerequisite DPS 997a, Pass/No Pass.


There are three primary goals of the research domain. First, students learn to read and critically evaluate current research literature in the areas of depth psychology and somatic studies. Second, students learn to use a variety of methodologies typically employed in such research. Third, students will acquire the necessary skills to engage in their own research and write for a scholarly and professional audience. Ultimately, this domain guides students to design, propose, and complete an original doctoral dissertation.

Research Methods I: Foundations for Research in Somatic Depth Psychology DPS 782, 2 units

This course provides an introduction to research methods in somatic studies and depth psychology. Topics include philosophical issues in research, ethical and legal concerns, and diversity and equity issues. An overview of both qualitative and quantitative research paradigms will be provided.

Research Methods II: Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods DPS 886, 2 units

This course provides an introduction to the design and methodology of quantitative research projects, including experimental, survey, and correlational research. The course will also introduce students to a range of methods within a qualitative paradigm, including grounded theory, narrative inquiry, case study, ethnography, and phenomenology. Emphasis will be on articulating the unique usefulness of these types of research and how they shape and inform the emerging field of somatic depth psychology.

Research Methods III: Somatic Depth Research Skills DPS 887, 2 units

Students will develop practical skills in the use of somatic depth methods to explore specific lines of scholarly inquiry. Students will learn how to develop a research question grounded in somatic and depth principles, how to conduct interviews and facilitate focus groups, and practice somatic depth strategies for transcribing, analyzing, and presenting data.

Scholarly Writing and Publication DPS 812, 2 units

Students will develop skills in scholarly research aimed at publication. They are guided in choosing a field, topic, and approach required to produce a publishable paper. This will include writing or revising a paper and exploring options for publishing both online and in print media. Pass/No Pass.

Dissertation Development A, B, C DPS 932A, 932B, 932C, 2/3 unit each

Students master the elements of a research concept paper and its relationship to the proposal and final draft of a dissertation. This sequence of courses will result in the writing of a complete and approved concept paper. No incompletes. Pass/No Pass.

Dissertation Writing DPS 980, 15 units

During this course, students assemble their dissertation committee, write the proposal, complete the dissertation process, and defend the dissertation in a public forum. This course may be taken concurrently with other courses. Additional fees are assessed for this course. Pass/No Pass Prerequisites: DPS 932 A, B, C.

Written Comprehensive Examination DPS 892, 0 units

Pass/No Pass.

Integration of Theory, Practice, and Teaching (Oral Comprehensive Examination) DPS 992, 2 units

Students develop and articulate individualized applications of somatic depth psychology and prepare and deliver a presentation to faculty and students which will serve as the oral comprehensive examination. Pass/No Pass