Alumni Spotlight: Matthew Green, PhD Depth Psychology 2007
PGIAA proudly features Alumni Profiles toward sharing stories of the Pacifica experience. Our initial offering (‡) derives from an online collection of stories — the now defunct depthstories.com as maintained by current Core Faculty Jennifer Selig, Ph.D. (Depth Psychology, 2004). We welcome these stories, and further stories from all of Pacifica’s degree programs.
‡ Matthew Green | Ph.D. (Depth Psychology, 2007)
Director of Workforce Economic Development and Community Programs, Cuesta Community College
Where do you live?
San Luis Obispo, California.
What brought you to Pacifica?
I had recently returned to California after working in study abroad for 15 years, primarily in Toulouse, France. I was drawn to Pacifica hoping to find a context as stimulating as the world of travel and study abroad. While teaching in France, I discovered a perspective on experience and learning that I eventually recognized in writings by Thomas Moore and James Hillman. I came to Pacifica haunted by the need to look at the realm of study abroad and education more generally through the lens of Depth Psychology.
How has your Pacifica degree served you professionally in your occupation or your vocation?
I started at Pacifica the month after beginning as coordinator of a program for at-risk teen males. What I learned from my studies — the perspective of listening to and giving voice to soul — immediately informed my approach to working with youth and my vision for youth and community development. I currently oversee programs at the community college for special populations, including at-risk and foster youth, low-income students and older adults. I strive to find ways to bring a depth psychological perspective to these programs, as challenging as that proves to be much of the time. In Fall 2008 I began teaching a course on depth psychology and modern culture, which has sparked the re-emergence of the Central Coast Jung Society.
How has your degree served you personally?
The primary gift I take from Pacifica is the inclination and capacity to “see through” — to use the notion articulated by Hillman — the events and ideas in my life and in the world around me to their imaginative and archetypal underpinnings. My experience has also influenced the songs that I co-write and produce with my brother Richard Green.
What was a particularly meaningful or memorable part of the Pacifica experience for you?
Especially meaningful in my Pacifica experience were interactions with professors and classmates, reading Hillman’s Re-Visioning Psychology, and the adventure of writing the dissertation.
What is the title of your dissertation?
Poetic Awareness: Education and Soul in Education.
Would you like to mention any other publications?
“Poetic Awareness: Imagining and the Experience of Soul,” a chapter in the book Reimagining Education: Essays on Reviving the Soul of Learning edited by Dennis Slattery and Jennifer Selig. Co-produced two CDs by Richard Green — Better Days (2009) and Trampoline Man (2002).
What are your areas of interest?
Archetypal Psychology, the poetics of place, education, music.