A Jungian scholar, Mayes has produced the first  book-length studies in English on the pedagogical applications of Jungian and neo-Jungian psychology, which is based on the work of Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961). Jungian psychology is also called analytical psychology. Mayes' work, based in the humanities and depth psychology, is thought to offer an alternative to the social sciences paradigm that is generally used in educational research.
Mayes has developed what he has termed archetypal pedagogy. His work also aims at promoting what he calls archetypal reflectivity in teachers; this is a means of encouraging teachers to examine and work with psychodynamic issues, images, and assumptions as those factors affect their pedagogical practices. Archetypal reflectivity, which draws not only upon Jungian psychology but transpersonal psychology generally, offers an avenue for teachers to probe the spiritual dimensions of teaching and learning in non-dogmatic terms.
Two of Mayes' books, Inside Education: Depth Psychology in Teaching and Learning (2007) and The Archetypal Hero's Journey in Teaching and Learning: A Study in Jungian Pedagogy (2010), incorporate the psychoanalytic theories of Heinz Kohut (particularly Kohut's notion of the selfobject) and the object relations theory of Ronald Fairbairn and D.W. Winnicott. Some of Mayes' work in curriculum theory, especially Seven Curricular Landscapes: An Approach to the Holistic Curriculum (2003) and Understanding the Whole Student: Holistic Multicultural Education (2007), is concerned with holistic education. The latter text is one of the first to extend the holistic approach into the area of multicultural education. His most recent book, An Introduction to the Collected Works of C.G. Jung: Psyche as Spirit, appeared in 2016 through Rowman and Littlefield Press. Mayes has written on various topics in Jungian Sand Tray Therapy.
Mayes holds a doctorate in the cultural foundations of education from the University of Utah and a doctorate in psychology from Southern California University for Professional Studies.
- Clifford Mayes, An Introduction to the Collected Works of C.G. Jung: Psyche as Spirit. Rowman and Littlefield, in press, 2016.
- Clifford Mayes and Ellen Williams, Nurturing the Whole Student. Rowman & Littlefield: 2013.
- Clifford Mayes, The Archetypal Hero's Journey in Teaching and Learning: A Study in Jungian Pedagogy. Atwood Publishing: 2010
- Clifford Mayes, Inside Education: Depth Psychology in Teaching and Learning. Atwood Publishing: 2007
- Clifford Mayes, Ramona Maile Cutri, Clint Rogers, Fidel Montero, Understanding the Whole Student: Holistic Multicultural Education. Rowman & Littlefield, 2007 (2nd edition in press, Winter 2015)
- Clifford Mayes, Jung and Education: Elements of an Archetypal Pedagogy. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005
- Clifford Mayes, Teaching Mysteries: Foundations of Spiritual Pedagogy. University Press of America, 2004
- Clifford Mayes, Seven Curricular Landscapes: An Approach to the Holistic Curriculum. University Press of America, 2003
- Mayes, C. (2010). Five Dimensions of an Existentially Authentic Pedagogy. 23(1). Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice
- Mayes, C. (2009). The Psychoanalysts’ View of Teaching and Learning: 1922-2002. 41(4), 34-47. The Journal of Curriculum Studies
- Hippolyte-Wright, D., and Mayes, C. (2007). Archetype, gender and culture: A Maori Psychotherapist Reflects on Her Academic Career. In H. Vakalahi, S. Starks, and C. Hendricks (Eds.). Women of Color as Social Work Educators: strengths and survival. The Council on Social Work Education: Washington, D.C.
- Mayes, C., and Blackwell Mayes, P. (2006). Sandtray therapy with a 24-year-old woman in the residual phase of schizophrenia. The International Journal of Play Therapy, 15(1), 101-117
- Mayes, C., and Blackwell Mayes, P. (2005). Jung, Mormonism, and the Dialectics of Exaltation. Psychological Perspectives: A Semiannual Journal of Jungian Thought. C.G. Institute of Los Angeles, 48, 84-107
- Mayes, C. (2005). The teacher as shaman. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 37(3), 329-348
- Mayes, C. (2005). Teaching and time: Foundations of a temporal pedagogy. Teaching Education Quarterly, 32(2), 143-160
- Mayes, C. (2003). Alchemy and the Teacher. The Teacher Education Quarterly, 30(3), 81-98
- Mayes, C. (2002). The Teacher as an Archetype of Spirit. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 34(6), 699-718
- Mayes, C. (2001). A transpersonal developmental model for teacher reflectivity. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 33(4), 477-493
- Mayes, C. (2000). Three perspectives on recent research in conceptual change theory. The Researcher: The Journal of the Rocky Mountain Division of the American Educational Research Association, 15(1), 57-70
- Mayes, C. (1999). Reflecting on the Archetypes of Teaching. Teaching Education, 10(2), 3-16
- Mayes, C. (1998). The use of contemplative practices in teacher education. Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, 11(3), 17-31
- 1.^ Choice: Academic Libraries Reviews. March 2006.
- 2.^ Bullough, R. V., Jr. (2006). Developing Interdisciplinary Researchers: What Ever Happened to the Humanities in Education? Educational Researcher, 35(8), 3-10.
- 3.^ Thomson, R. (2006). A Review of Jung and Education: Elements of an Archetypal Pedagogy. Teachers College Record, 108(8), 1673-1675.