In Alumni in Action

Meet William James Jones, Ph.D., 

Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology (2016)

Once an actor on a Saturday morning sitcom, William left the entertainment industry in order to fulfill his call to help individuals and couples struggling with mental health issues. 

Dr. Jones received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Biola University and a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. Then, like so many of us, William happened across Pacifica Graduate Institute.

“It all began with a random conversation I had with a Pacifica alumnus that set my new journey into motion,” Dr. Jones says. “At the time, I was a graduate assistant at another university and was assisting a professor . . . . a graduate of Pacifica’s Ph.D. program in Depth psychology.” Curious about Pacifica, William inquired about the professor’s experience there, then attended a one-day Introduction to Pacifica. And that was it; he “immediately felt a tug in my soul that simply meant; I was home.”

During his time as a student, William thrived, winning the American Psychological Association’s Division 39 Multicultural Scholar Award and serving as President of the Psi Chi International Honor Society at Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology from 2010-2011. 

After completing his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, Dr. Jones spent four years training in psychoanalytic ally-oriented therapy at Rose City Counseling Center, a 1 year Postdoctoral Fellowship at Occidental College, and a concluded a 2 year post-doctoral internship at the intersubjective-psychoanalytically oriented La Vie Psychology Group.

Dr. Jones published work in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology on the topic of self-actualization among African American men and co-presented his original research, based on his dissertation (see abstract below) at the Sixth Annual Conference for the Society of Humanistic Psychology. 

From 2018-2020, Dr. Jones has served as adjunct professor at Pepperdine University, Azusa Pacific University, Antioch University, and Pacifica Graduate Institute. Dr. Jones is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), the APA Division of Psychoanalysis, and the San Gabriel Valley Psychological Association. Dr. Jones recently served on the Board of Directors for Rose City Center, Pasadena and is the founder and C.E.O. of The Jones Psychology Group, Inc, a private practice specializing in integrative depth psychology. Integrative depth psychology and psychotherapy, according to Dr. Jones’s vision, bestows deference to the depth of one’s psyche while tending to the soul of human authenticity and self-actualization.

We salute Dr. Jones and thank him for his service to our Pacifica community through acting on the board of PGIAA and attending and assisting at so many of our events.  


“The Lives of Douglass, Du Bois, and Washington: Self-Actualization Among African American Males,” published November 8, 2017 in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, by William James Jones, based on dissertation. 

Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Booker T. Washington are pioneering examples of African American leaders who realized the fullness of their potentialities despite profound obstacles toward growth. It was through their abilities to respond to the shared needs of the African American community that they culturally epitomized the spirit of what Abraham Maslow defined as self-actualization. The researcher utilized text-based data to examine the process of development among the three historic figures as they relate to Maslow’s theory of self-actualization. The researcher analyzed published autobiographical books, essays, and speeches authored by each of the three men while integrating the cultural and historical context of their lived experiences through the humanistic and positive psychological lens of Maslow’s theory of self-actualization. Through a qualitative autobiographical analysis of the three men, the researcher discovered 15 common attributes in their process of self-actualization. Low self-esteem, depression, and learned helplessness are negatively affecting many aspects of the African American community; therefore, community leaders, mental health practitioners, and other advocates for underserved communities of color have an opportunity to provide enhanced training and treatment to help slow the tide of unrealized potential within key sectors of the African American community.

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