In Carpinteria, CA, just south of Santa Barbara, lies the absolutely wonderful myth and depth psychology think tank and graduate school--Pacifica Graduate Institute. For a long time, Pacifica rented space at one of my favorite retreat centers, La Casa de Maria in Montecito, and it was there I first heard about their programs. For the past several years they have had their own set of Spanish style buildings nestled in the hillside above the ocean. Pacifica currently offers an M.A./Ph.D. in Depth Psychology and in Mythological Studies, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology. A favorite psychotherapist friend of mine, who is also a wonderful poet who wrote monthly in one of my groups for years, got her M.A. in Counseling Psych there and was able to use her poetry as a springboard for her thesis. In addition to regular classes, Pacifica has a low residency program for those who aren’t nearby to attend regular classes.
It is also home of the Joseph Campbell and Marija Gimbutas Library, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the preservation of a unique collection of books, manuscripts, and memorabilia from esteemed cultural scholars of this century: mythologist Joseph Campbell, archaeologist and archaeomythologist Marija Gimbutas, psychologist James Hillman, and others.
The public programs at Pacifica are second-to-none and if you live in California, I highly recommend them. In fact, I hope to attend a conference celebrating Joseph Campbell's centennial birthday on April 16-18, 2004 in Santa Barbara, CA. Several years ago I had the privilege of attending a writer’s conference in Los Angeles hosted by Pacifica and it was then I realized the quality of its programs and offerings. Next time you are on the 101 Freeway in the Santa Barbara area, take a half hour break from the road and visit this magical place.