Depth Psychology / Community & Eco-Psychologies


Building the City -- John August Swanson

Building the City — John August Swanson


In 1996 I began to direct the development of community and ecological fieldwork and research in the M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. The challenges included helping non-clinical students learn what in depth psychology could be useful in community, cultural, and ecological work, and to begin to widen the curriculum so that depth psychologically minded students could begin to learn from community, cultural, and deep ecology workers the kinds of approaches that are helpful in their grassroots and policy work. Out of this still ongoing work, students have apprenticed themselves to hundreds of community groups, as well as convened their own communities and initiatives. 

Students and fieldwork faculty immerse themselves in particular issues through participatory and dialogical fieldwork. Together we have worked to discern what depth psychologically oriented community, cultural, and ecopsychological fieldwork are. 

We are committed to participatory action research. To learn more about this, see Chapters 13 and 14 (“Critical Participatory Action Research” and “Placing Dialogical Ethics at the Center of Psychological Research”) in Watkins & Shulman’s Toward Psychologies of Liberation, and the section on research ethics in the Handbook right below.

Pacifica Graduate Institute — 2020-2021 Community and Ecological Fieldwork and Research Handbook (PDF)


Watkins, M. (2000). “Depth psychology and the liberation of being.” In R. Brooke (Ed.), Pathways into the Jungian World: Phenomenology and Analytical Psychology. London: Routledge.


Watkins, M. (2004). Liberating soul sparks: Psyche, classroom, and community. In A. Dalke & B. Dixson (Eds), Minding the light: A collection of Quaker pedagogies edition (pp. 23-42). New York, NY: Peter Lang.


Watkins, M. (2008). ” ‘Breaking the vessels’ :  Archetypal psychology and the restoration of community, ecology, and culture.” In S. Marlan (ed), Archetypal psychologies: Reflections in honor of James Hillman edition (pp. 414-437). New Orleans, LA: Spring Books and Journals.


Watkins, M. (2009). Creating restorative ecopsychological practices. In L. Buzzell and C. Chalquist (Eds), Ecotherapy: Healing with nature in mind (pp. 219-236). San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books.


Watkins, M. & Ciofalo, N. (2011). Creating and sharing critical community psychology curriculum for the 21st century. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 2(2), 9-18.


Watkins, M. (2022). Seeing from “the South”: Using Liberation Psychology to Re-Orient the Vision, Theory, and Practice of Depth Psychology. In Stefano Carpani (Ed.), Anthology of contemporary theoretical classics in analytical psychology: The new ancestors. Taylor & Francis.


Ciofalo, N. and Watkins, M. (2023). Towards an Emergent Conceptualization of Decolonial Praxis and Competencies in Community Psychology. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 14(1), 1-19.