What is the difference between the Somatic Psychology Doctoral Emphasis in the Integral and Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) doctoral program and the Somatic Psychology Masters’ Degree?

The Somatic Psychology emphasis within the ITP PhD is a research-oriented program designed for professionals who want to advance their education and contribute to development of somatic psychology and somatics. It is designed for scholars and practitioners who have long-established practices in a transformative body practice, and who want to develop new kinds of knowledge that emerge from these practices. The curriculum will provide education in psychology from the perspective of the lived body, a deepening into the study and practice of somatic and embodied practices, and research and scholarship skills necessary for contributing to the development of somatic approaches to psychology. The Somatic Psychology emphasis does not lead to clinical licensure, but does accept applicants who have clinical licensure. 

By contrast, the Somatic Psychology MACP is a Masters’ degree specifically designed to lead to clinical licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and that meets the California Board of Behavioral Sciences requirements for that purpose. The Somatic Psychology MACP, while not research oriented, and not a doctoral level degree, provides an excellent opportunity for students who want to bring embodied approaches into the practice of psychotherapy. Students wishing to pursue licensure should consider the Somatic Psychology MACP rather than the Somatic Psychology Doctoral Emphasis. 

Do I need to have a psychology MA to apply to the Somatic Psychology Doctoral Emphasis?

No, although it is anticipated that many applicants will come from social sciences and humanities backgrounds with some coursework in psychology.

Does the Somatic Psychology Doctoral Emphasis prepare students to become licensed therapists?

No, the this program does not prepare students for licensure as psychological counselors, psychotherapists, or clinical psychologists. However, the degree is designed to serve students who have earned MAs in counseling or psychotherapy.

For what kind of career does the Somatic Psychology Doctoral Emphasis prepare me?

It is expected that many of the graduates from the Somatic Psychology Doctoral Emphasis degree program will continue working in their established fields as psychotherapists, movement therapists, somatic coaches or educators, consultants, personal development trainers, or individuals who advance somatic psychology perspectives in public or professional training contexts. The course of study provides enhanced expertise and credentials for licensed clinical practitioners, and skills training for those wanting to do pioneering research in the somatic psychology field. It also provides valuable credentials for individuals wanting to educate the public in the use and value of mind-body practices, apply somatic practices in athletic training, and contribute to whole person approaches to personal development. It is anticipated that graduates from this program will participate in scientific research into somatic models and practices, and contribute to the scholarly literature of somatic psychology.

Does the Somatic Psychology Doctoral Emphasis have an online option?

Yes, the Somatic Psychology Doctoral Emphasis is an online PhD degree program, with two residential seminars per year, each lasting about a week.

Can I attend part-time?

Yes, the program is designed as a part-time program. However, to qualify for financial aid, you must take 6 units per semester.

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