The Education of the Soul at Pacifica

Posted by Angela Borda on Jul 9, 2020 2:35:00 PM

by James Hillman, Ph.D.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of Pacifica Graduate Institute, James Hillman, Ph.D. gave a talk about the ways that Pacifica serves, promotes, and sparks the development of the education of the soul. What follows is a transcription of his talk.

Read More

Posted in: James Hillman

Alumni Reflections: Heeding the Collective Wake-up Call to the Power of the Psyche

Posted by Angela Borda on Jul 7, 2020 12:12:00 PM

By Nadia Thalji, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute

In these moments of challenges, I find comfort in recalling the holding space that Pacifica provided, and continues to provide, through lasting friendships and companionship. I recall the life-changing encounters with my fellow classmates, and the precious sharing and witnessing of each other’s unfolding. 

The exposure to new concepts, teachings, and discussions. The generous exchanges with professors, mentors, and librarians. The smiling cooks who prepared delicious meals to soothe our mind and bodies after intense classes. The birds and trees that brought beauty, balance, and proportion every day.

Read More

Posted in: Alumni, clinical psychology

Clinical Psychology at Pacifica: Who and Why?

Posted by Angela Borda on Jul 2, 2020 11:54:00 AM

by Dr. Oksana Yakushko, Chair of Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program

Pacifica’s Clinical Ph.D. program prepares individuals to engage in varied roles available to psychologists, including in varied clinical practice settings, academia, business consulting, non-profit work, writing, and engaging in innovative work in the world.

I'd like to introduce one of our alumni, Dr. Bryan McNutt, who was recently published “Principles for Addressing Implicit Organizational Trauma” in The Journal of Employee Assistance

Read More

Posted in: Alumni, clinical psychology

For the Sake of Tending Soul in and of the World

Posted by Angela Borda on Jun 30, 2020 2:29:00 PM

by Peter M. Rojcewicz, Ph.D., Provost, Pacifica Graduate Institute


Animae mundi colendae gratia—for the sake of tending soul in and of the world—the motto of Pacifica Graduate Institute took root in the 1970s from the impetus to serve those who needed counseling outreach in response to the Vietnam war. Joseph Campbell and James Hillman, pioneers in the field of depth psychology, visited Pacifica during its genesis and offered guidance to the school’s founders. The work of Marion Woodman was also influential in creating a respected and accredited graduate school firmly rooted in the traditions of depth psychology. Pacifica has grown to encompass two beautiful campuses with nine graduate degree tracks, and over 3,500 active alumni in the world. And we are still innovating new ways for depth psychology to address the concerns of the world we live in.

The breadth and depth of Pacifica’s academic resources dovetail with our mission. Joseph Campbell’s 3,000-book library was donated to Pacifica by his widow, Jean Erdman, who entrusted Pacifica with carrying Campbell’s work into the future. OPUS Archives and Research Center houses the collection here, as well as other rare and significant collections in the fields of mythology, archetypal psychology, and world culture. Among the exceptional holdings of OPUS are the collections of Marija Gimbutas, James Hillman, and Marion Woodman. As part of Pacifica, you are not just engaging with depth psychology in an intellectual sense, but in the tangible legacy of some of the most influential scholars in the field.

Read More

Posted in: Ladera Lane Campus, Lambert Road Campus

Honoring Pacifica’s Elders: Stephen Aizenstat Reflects on Joseph Campbell, Marion Woodman, and James Hillman

Posted by Angela Borda on Jun 25, 2020 12:38:00 PM

An Interview of Stephen Aizenstat by Angela Borda, Part II of II

Read More

Posted in: Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, Stephen Aizenstat

Honoring Pacifica’s Elders: Stephen Aizenstat Reflects on Joseph Campbell, Marion Woodman, and James Hillman

Posted by Angela Borda on Jun 23, 2020 2:45:00 PM

An Interview of Stephen Aizenstat by Angela Borda, Part I of II

Stephen Aizenstat, speaking at the Barrett Center, Pacifica

Read More

Posted in: Joseph Campbell, Marion Woodman, Stephen Aizenstat

Faculty Spotlight: How I Came to Clinical Psychology at Pacifica

Posted by Angela Borda on Jun 18, 2020 1:00:00 PM

by Dr. Oksana Yakushko, Chair of Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program

It has been my privilege to serve as a Chair of Clinical Psychology department and its Ph.D. program over the past eight years. I came to Pacifica over 10 years ago, leaving behind a tenure track job at an APA-approved doctoral program in psychology. Although I was productive and encouraged in my research on immigration, qualitative research, gender studies, and career development, I also felt progressively pushed toward a vision of psychology that was all about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). At that time, the funding streams were diverted to STEM topics alone, and I found myself facing the vision of psychology work that felt stripped of humanity, complexity, depth, and relationships.

Read More

An Invitation to Explore Clinical Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute

Posted by Angela Borda on Jun 16, 2020 4:17:00 PM

by Dr. Oksana Yakushko, Ph.D., Chair of Clinical Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute


The Clinical Psychology program at Pacifica began in the context of offering depth psychological education (Jungian, post-Jungian, psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, humanistic-existential) to applicants across the country and the world.  Individuals entering our degree program sought to learn about working with and studying human experiences in an educational setting grounded in depth theories and human science traditions. Pacifica’s Clinical Ph.D. program remains a beacon of such educational offerings because dominant psychological perspectives have become even more distant, often inimical, to depth psychological standpoints.

Read More

Posted in: clinical psychology, Dr. Oksana Yakushko, Ph.D.

Pacifica Graduate Institute: Statement on Addressing Systemic Racism

Posted by Guest on Jun 3, 2020 5:47:56 PM

At Pacifica Graduate Institute, we are deeply distressed and aggrieved by the senseless, ongoing violence directed at black members of our communities. We grieve Mr. George Floyd’s death as the latest hate-motivated tragedy in a society riven by dehumanization and lack of empathy for fellow citizens based on mindless racist projections. This deep stain on the American soul has a long and dreadful history, and despite great efforts to educate, reform, retrain, add body cameras to police attire, there has not been effective, lasting change in overall behavior by police departments throughout the country. The legacy of systemic racial oppression continues to shape how we perceive ourselves and one another, and must actively be countered if its virulence is to be checked, and its lethal effects transformed. The results of this oppression include the differential health care being offered during the COVID-19 pandemic, in which African Americans and other people of color are suffering mortality at a much higher rate than white populations, especially those with better access to health facilities and PPEs.

Read More

Posted in: Current Affairs, Pacifica News, Pacifica Graduate Institute

Pacifica’s Vision: Psyche in the 21st Century

Posted by Guest on May 29, 2020 5:16:17 PM

by Joseph Cambray, PhD, Pacifica Graduate Institute President

Pacifica Graduate Institute has been the premier academic institution devoted to depth psychology from its inception about 50 years ago. Our overarching vision integrates multiple, diverse perspectives on the human psyche—the totality of our being, including conscious and unconscious mental life as well as how we are embedded and engaged in our environments, cultural and natural; traditional referred to as the soul. We offer a wide range of transformative programs designed to enrich soul-centered knowledge (taking psychology as the logos of the psyche) through experience and disciplined practice. Though our various programs have differing emphases, we draw upon many shared foundations, including but not limited to psychological processes based on the notion of an “unconscious” component to our mental life; psychotherapeutic, environmental, and social justice best practices, in conjunction with mythological, archetypal, and cultural studies, drawing upon the humanities as well as the sciences and the arts. While other select academic programs scattered around the world include depth psychology as a part of coursework, none are so profoundly rooted in this discipline. This is part of what makes Pacifica unique, as do our extraordinary faculty and staff, and the unique settings of our two campuses.

Read More

Posted in: Current Affairs, Pacifica News, Pacifica Graduate Institute