Recent Posts

Mental Health Awareness Month: Embracing Depth Psychology for Mental Well-being

Posted by Guest on May 18, 2023 12:18:29 PM

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and promoting the importance of mental health care. At Pacifica Graduate Institute, we recognize the significance of mental health and believe in the power of depth psychology to address and enhance mental well-being. Our unique approach and emphasis on depth psychology contribute to a holistic understanding of mental health and provide transformative tools for personal growth and healing.

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Posted in: depth psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Mental Health

The Light Within

Posted by Guest on May 18, 2023 11:27:20 AM

I do not intend to, nor can I, speak of Judaism or Jewishness for all Jews; rather, here I intend to share my perspective as a Jewish person. In its history spanning millennia, Jews from all over the world have forged their own understandings.

Growing up, Judaism to me came to mean valuing knowledge and healthy debate, as well as working towards a more perfect world through fighting for greater justice, not just for Jewish people, but all people. Being young and only having limited wisdom, I had a sense that things were improving in the world for Jews. Surely only a few more decades, and antisemitism would be at all-time lows. How could antisemitism roar onward, at least in the United States, with atrocities against Jews taught about in routine fashion in school? In retrospect, this perspective was the result of great naiveté and the fortune and privilege to grow up in an area where I felt reasonably safe as a Jewish person.

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, clinical psychology, depth psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute

Honoring César Chávez Day

Posted by Guest on Mar 31, 2023 12:43:27 PM

César Chávez Day is a day to honor the legacy of one of the most important civil rights leaders in American history. Chávez was a labor leader and activist who fought for the rights of farm workers in California and across the United States. He founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) union and led efforts in support of better wages, working conditions, and protections for agricultural workers.

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Posted in: Pacifica News, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Message from the President

Black History & Women's History Months Reminds Us That Beauty Follows Burden

Posted by Guest on Mar 15, 2023 12:38:35 PM

Women Dancing

By Dr. Leonie H. Mattison, Ed.D. 


Black History and Women's History Months are always an inspirational time throughout the country, as we celebrate the many ways Black Americans and women have helped shape our national story and fueled U.S. innovation. These months are opportunities to unite and honor those who fought and continue to fight for our freedom, equality, empowerment, and human rights. To recognize those who opened doors, stepped out on faith, took the elevator up, and sent it back down to bring us up. Yet, these months are at a precarious time for the Black and women communities.  

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Posted in: Pacifica News, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Message from the President

Pacifica Graduate Institute Celebrates Black History

Posted by Guest on Feb 24, 2023 12:14:40 PM

In celebration of the historical achievements of Black/African Americans for our country and specifically for our community, Pacifica Graduate Institute and its Alumni Association hosted a landmark celebration on Friday, February 17 at their Lambert Road Campus.

In keeping with this year’s national theme, Black Resistance, as chosen by The Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the Institute emphasized the message with a directive to: “Honor the Past, Embrace the Present, Celebrate the Future.”

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Posted in: Pacifica News, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Message from the President

Black History Month - Influential Black Psychologists & Educators in History

Posted by Guest on Feb 23, 2023 4:29:36 PM

Dear Pacifica Community,

As we continue our celebration of Black History Month, we wish to pay tribute to a few of the many influential, historical black psychologists and educators who made significant contributions to their fields and to advancements in civil rights and social justice.

  • Drs. Kenneth B. Clark and Mamie Phipps Clark were a husband-wife team whose landmark research on internalized racism, famously known as the “Doll Study,” was instrumental in the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Course case that declared segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional.  The first African Americans to earn their PhD’s in Psychology from Colombia, they then opened their own agency in 1946, the Northside Center for Child Development, the first full-time center offering psychological and casework services to families in Harlem.  Dr. Clark was also the first African American tenured professor at the City College of New York and the first African American president of the APA.
  • Dr. Francis Cecil Sumner, known as the “Father of Black Psychology,” was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Psychology (1920) and helped in the founding of the psychology department at Howard University, an HBCU.  A pioneer in the field of race psychology, notably in themes of variations in mental health and the judicial system, Dr. Sumner also had a significant influence in his advocacy for African-American education.
  • If Dr. Sumner is termed the “Father of Black Psychology,” Dr. Joseph White is known as the “Godfather of Black Psychology.”  An advocate for the creation of “Black Psychology,” Dr. White worked to expose the explicit whiteness in the field and fought to found the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) in 1968 within the APA.
  • Dr. Inez Beverly Prosser was the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in Psychology in 1933.  While her life was tragically cut short a year later, the legacy of her pioneering endeavor and passion for education live on. Prior to getting her PhD, she spent years teaching, researching, and mentoring young people.  Her doctoral dissertation research focused on the study of the psychological effects of segregation on Black students.
  • Dr. Robert Williams’ development of the Black Intelligence Test of Cultural Homogeneity, an intelligence test geared towards black speech and experiences, was groundbreaking work to demonstrate the inherent racial bias and unfair discrimination in education and standardized testing.  Dr. Williams also helped in the founding of ABPsi, coined the term “Ebonics” referring to African American Vernacular English, and was the first Black psychologist at a hospital in the state of Arkansas. 
  • Dr. Margaret Lawrence was the United States’ first African America female psychoanalyst, as well as the first Black female physician certified by the Board of Pediatrics.  Overcoming childhood tragedies and racist-driven roadblocks throughout her education, she was driven to becoming a healer.  Initially drawn to medicine, she began her career as a pediatrician and then pursued child psychiatry  She dedicated her life to the underserved and children’s mental health with her therapy focusing on play and artwork.  Her pioneering programs and methods in child psychotherapy in schools, day care centers, and clinics are still used today.  One organization that Dr. Lawrence was associated with was the Harlem Family Institute, where Pacifica Faculty, Dr. Fanny Brewster, was also connected with several years.

We encourage you to read more on the lives and work of these and many others who worked to advance Black psychology and education.  Please also find additional related resources in our Graduate Research Library’s DIVERSITY LIBRARY GUIDE.


Dr. Lee                                    Dr. Fanny Brewster

President & CEO                    Core Faculty & Chair of Diversity & Inclusion Council


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Posted in: Pacifica News, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Message from the President

Black History Month Community Member Spotlight: Fanny Brewster

Posted by Guest on Feb 17, 2023 11:16:19 AM

As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, we honor those within our community for their contributions and achievements to Pacifica, local communities, and their field.  We are pleased to share more today about core faculty member, Dr. Fanny Brewster.

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Posted in: Pacifica News, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Message from the President

Black History Month

Posted by Guest on Feb 4, 2023 9:00:00 AM

Dear Pacifica Community,

The beginning of February marks the start of Black History Month, a time to celebrate Black Excellence, a term used to describe the individual contributions, perseverance, achievements, and successes of the Black community. The 2023 theme for Black History Month, set by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), is Black Resistance.

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Posted in: Pacifica News, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Message from the President

Pacifica Proudly Announces Dr. Leonie Mattison as President and CEO of Pacifica Graduate Institute

Posted by Guest on Sep 14, 2022 3:14:28 PM

Dear Members of the Pacifica Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Presidential/CEO Search Committee, we are proud to announce Dr. Leonie Mattison as the incoming President and CEO of Pacifica Graduate Institute.

This is certainly a spirited time in our Institute’s history, and we are confident that the foundation laid by this extensive process—involving input and deliberation from a wide range of constituents and stakeholders, including those of our campus community—allowed us to choose the best leader for Pacifica at this time and our future.

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Reimagine Your Calling: Psyche for the 21st Century

Posted by Guest on Aug 23, 2022 12:21:07 PM

The margins of consciousness have shifted. The original conception of “the unconscious” as a meaningful and influential force needs reformulation. Ideas associated with depth psychology have been increasingly adopted into the mainstream of modern culture, such as the ubiquitous influence of unconscious processes on behavior or archetypal elements operating in society. But if depth psychology is to retain relevancy, it needs to be contemporized and revitalized—What might that mean? And how might we go about it?

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Posted in: graduate school, Education, depth psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute