PhD in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices
Classes begin mid-September
An innovative doctoral specialization that re-imagines approaches to therapeutic practice, enhances and supports the individuation work of students, and integrates the essential perspectives of depth psychology and applied healing traditions.
About Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices
This doctoral specialization cultivates an integrative approach to professional development in the art and science of therapeutic practice. Working with leading faculty, Pacifica students engage in a journey of personalized education that fosters advanced therapeutic skills and practices, and which supports them in making important and original scholarly contributions to their fields.
For established and emerging practitioners, we invite you to join a diverse group of academic and practice-oriented professionals who are called to deepen their therapeutic work through an integrative study of healing based on the visionary aspects of depth psychology. Become a part of a learning community focused on exploring the critical connections between psychology, spirituality, and healing.
We welcome students with a deep personal calling to their therapeutic work, individuals with profound curiosity about themselves and the world, and lifelong learners devoted to a transformative engagement with the numinous, the psyche, and the natural world.
In three-day residential learning retreats surrounded by the natural landscape of Pacifica’s Lambert campus, students and faculty work together to integrate essential healing traditions and contemporary research—drawing from indigenous and ancient practices, multicultural and contemporary perspectives, and emerging science on human experience and consciousness.
For Diverse Practitioners
The Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices requires master’s-level education and training in a distinct healing-oriented profession. The program is ideal for diverse practitioners in the following professions, including (partial list):
- Psychotherapists and Psychologists
- Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers, and Professional Counselors (licensed or pre-licensed)
- Health and Medical Professionals (Nursing, Physicians, Allied Health Providers)
- Jungian Analysts and Psychoanalysts
- Specialized Addiction and Treatment Counselors
- Expressive Arts Therapists
- Spiritual and Pastoral Counselors
- Health and Wellness Practitioners with Advanced Training
- Other Qualified Consultants and Counselors
Students develop important mentoring relationships with Pacifica’s unique faculty of clinicians and scholars that include: Jungian analysts, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, psychodynamic therapists, systems therapists, archetypal psychologists, spiritual counselors, health and medical professionals, and advanced scholars in research, mythology, and the humanities.
This academic specialization includes two and a half years of coursework, followed by writing an original dissertation emanating from the student’s own selected area of research interest. Students in this program:
- Join an advanced doctoral cohort of diverse professionals collaborating and deepening their work with clients and themselves.
- Explore the growing field of depth psychological research and develop perspectives that help address the critical needs of our world.
- Develop a greater capacity to work symbolically with images, dreams, symptoms, complexes, and synchronicity.
- Work towards becoming advanced practitioners, academic educators, supervisors, or scholarly researchers in the field.
- Examine the critical underpinnings of therapeutic processes and the broad range of theoretical approaches to mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
- Build mentoring relationships with distinguished faculty and experts devoted to supporting students in deepening their practice and their individuation journey.
- Study the works of leading scholars who have bridged psychological, cultural, mythological, historical, and social traditions to advance broader understandings of human experience.
- Develop advanced skills in important practice areas, such as somatic healing, sexuality, dream work, and spirituality.
- Investigate the important connections between the health of an individual or group and the health of their environment and culture through courses that consider ecology, collective trauma, social justice, and cross-cultural dynamics.
When students begin their studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute, they join a cohort of fellow practitioners who are enrolling in the same degree program. The majority of students remain with the same cohort throughout their academic journey. A very real sense of community is established as students collaborate within their cohorts and share the learning experiences that are part of graduate-level work at Pacifica. Close personal and professional bonds are formed, often lasting long after studies are completed and extending into graduates’ professional careers.
Depth Psychology with Specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices classes take place during three-day sessions (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) approximately once each month during the fall, winter, and spring quarters. Summer quarter coursework is offered online, along with ongoing practice supervision.
The Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices includes 2.5 years of course work and the successful completion of an original dissertation.
The program will also feature a series of special seminars and lectures on a range of important practice areas, such as: Addictions, Dream Tending, Family Systems Theories, Organizational and Group Dynamics, Jung and Shamanism, Expressive and Therapeutic Arts, Healing Mythologies, Shadow and Power in the Healing Professions, Joseph Campbell and Mythic Journeys Through the Underworld, Evolution of Jungian Analysis, James Hillman’s Cultural Critique of Psychology, Chinese Healing Arts, Inner Life and Trauma, Jung’s Red Book, Indigenous Healing Traditions, Treating the Soul in the Health and Medical Professions, Yoga Therapy, Therapeutic Vocations and Careers, and other current issues and movements influencing the healing professions.
22 Total units for first year | 24.5 Total units for second year | 12.50 Total units for third year Total program units: 74 Units (59 Units in coursework, 15 Units in dissertation)
Requirements for Graduation
- Students must complete a total of 74 quarter units to fulfill the degree requirement for graduation. A minimum grade of “C” is required in each completed course. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained.
- Students must comply with attendance requirements as stated in the Student Handbook.
- Students must successfully pass a comprehensive written examination at the end of the second year of coursework.
- Students must successfully present a Control Paper describing their therapeutic or depth-oriented practice work with a particular client, family, or select group to two faculty members during the third year of practice consultation courses.
- Students must successfully complete a comprehensive oral presentation at the end of two and a half years of coursework.
- Students must write, submit, and defend an original dissertation accepted by the faculty.
- Students are required to take part in 50 hours of depth-oriented therapy, counseling, analysis, or an engaged self-reflective process with a provider in their field while enrolled. This is required for graduation and strongly recommended to support students in their educational experience in the program.
There is no minimum number of required hours of practice, but students must be actively engaged in the practice of therapy, counseling, or work in their healing-oriented or wellness profession with clients while enrolled in coursework. This assures that all students will be able to participate fully in the sequence of practicum courses. Pacifica does not provide the supervision of practice hours that may be required for licensure or any similar purpose. Students must provide for their own insurance coverage for professional liability.
Notice Regarding Internship and Licensure
The Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices is designed specifically for those who, before enrolling, already are licensed or have sufficient academic and other credentials to pursue their chosen professional practice in compliance with applicable regulations. The degree provides in-depth education in the theory and practice of therapy and related research practices. Although some students may wish to pursue licensure after earning the doctorate, this curriculum does not contain any license-specific coursework and should not be considered as helpful in that regard. Furthermore, although students will engage in some form of therapeutic practice while in this specialization, and may consult with faculty about their practice, Pacifica does not authorize, monitor, or supervise that practice for licensure purposes, nor do we arrange or administratively support traineeships, pre- or post-doctoral internships, or other licensing practice requirements.
The comprehensive examination consists of a written portion taken at the end of the second year and an oral portion taken at the end of the third year. The written exam is divided into three sections corresponding to the three study tracks of the specialization: Theory and Traditions of Depth Therapy; Therapy, Counseling, and Healing Practices Informed by the Humanities, Arts, and Sciences; and Integrated Praxis: Research and Casework. It is designed to assess knowledge gained in the first two years of coursework and serves as a qualifying exam for students before continuing into the third year of study. The third year oral examination consists of the student’s formal oral presentation addressing the ways the program has informed their work and their proposed dissertation topic.
During the third year case presentation series, each student presents a control paper that demonstrates his or her client work and the ability to synthesize a variety of appropriate therapeutic perspectives while maintaining his or her own unique style of practice.
The dissertation process involves the completion of all coursework in research methodologies, dissertation development, and dissertation writing. Requirements and procedures for enrolling in dissertation writing are detailed in the Dissertation Handbook. The Dissertation Committee is composed of a Chair, a Reader, and an External Reader. Each committee member must possess an earned doctorate based in part on a dissertation unless the Research Coordinator for the specialization waives this requirement. Pacifica does not provide the supervision of practice hours that may be required for licensure or any similar purpose. Students must provide for their own insurance coverage for professional liability. This curriculum does not contain any license-specific coursework and should not be considered as helpful in that regard. Also, although students will engage in some form of therapeutic practice while in this specialization, and may consult with faculty about their practice, Pacifica does not authorize, monitor, or supervise that practice for licensure purposes, nor do we arrange or administratively support traineeships, pre- or post-doctoral internships, or other licensing practice requirements. The curriculum may vary depending upon changing academic needs. Selected courses may have online components. The required two-year dissertation period, following coursework, focuses on scholarly research and writing.
- Applicants are also expected to have a strong foundation in the field of psychology and a demonstrated interest and aptitude for the study of depth psychology.
- In addition to master’s-level education and professional development, this doctoral specialization requires candidates to have work experience with clients in a distinct healing-oriented or therapeutic profession. In certain instances, a bachelor’s degree coupled with both substantial master’s level education/training/scholarship and significant hours of therapeutic work experience may be considered in lieu of a master’s degree.
- The program is ideal for diverse practitioners (licensed, pre-licensed, or license-exempt) in the following professions (partial list): Psychotherapists, Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers, Professional Counselors, Health and Medical Professionals (Nursing professionals, Physicians, Allied Health Providers), Jungian Analysts, Psychoanalysts, Specialized Addiction and Treatment Counselors, Expressive Arts Therapists, Spiritual and Pastoral Counselors, Health and Wellness Practitioners with Advanced Training, and Other Qualified Consultants and Counselors.
- Applicants must either be practicing or have a plan in place to start practicing once they have enrolled in the program
- Because the program maintains a strong emphasis on learning through client presentations and practice supervision groups, we seek candidates who are psychologically-minded and show evidence of the emotional resilience necessary to work in the transference/counter-transference field.
- Prior commitment to personal growth and development as a client or patient working with a therapeutic professional is an important factor in the consideration of the application.
- In addition to having advanced skills in writing and scholarship, successful candidates will hold some familiarity with, and aptitude for, the perspectives of depth psychology, and demonstrate a commitment to practice and research in a therapeutic and healing-oriented profession.
- Application Requirements:
- Personal Statement (3-5 pages)
- 8-10 page Academic Writing Sample
- 3 letters with recommendation form
- Official transcripts – must have a bachelor’s/master’s degree from a regionally accredited or state–approved institution of higher education
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Last updated September 5, 2017