Building an Undergraduate Psychoanalytic Studies Program

An Interview with Professor Marcia D-S. Dobson of Colorado College

In this interview, Professor Marcia D-S. Dobson discusses with the editor of Psyche on Campus some illuminating personal and professional details related to the creation of an undergraduate Minor in Psychoanalysis: Theories of the Unconscious at Colorado College in 2003.

PoC: Marcia, could you first tell us a bit about your background and what inspired you to create a program in Psychoanalytic Studies at Colorado College?

MD: Absolutely. It was after I’d received my second PhD in 1998—my thesis was called “Varieties of Transitional Experience in Psychoanalysis and Ancient Greek Thought”—that I started to feel a strong desire to initiate a psychoanalysis program at Colorado College. For one thing, I wanted to give to our students a taste of what I’d received as trainee at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, CA. I was accepted into this program as a scholar in Classics (the field of my first PhD) working in ancient Greek drama, religion, philosophy and, of course, the ancient Greek language itself.

PoC: That’s very Freudian, isn’t it? We know Freud himself was an avid student of antiquity and a compulsive collector of artifacts from the ancient world—not only from ancient Greece and Rome but also Etruria, Egypt, China, and India as well. But what prompted you to earn a second doctorate?

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