Seminars On Demand: Deep Psychology and Beyond...

Offered by Craig Chalquist, PhD
Author, Presenter, Depth Psychologist

From Biography to Personal Myth

Have you ever sensed a larger story waiting behind the bare facts of your life and origins? Can we learn from the myths of public figures like Freud, Jung, Newton, Steinbeck, Oprah Winfrey, and Princess Diana?

Personal myths pulsed at the very origins of the deep psychologies, from Freud’s declaration that “I am Oedipus” to Jung’s living and working within the story of Faust the alchemist. William James’s biographers refer to him as Promethean. Freud even referred to depth psychology as “our myth.” Through the work of Jung, Joseph Campbell, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, and other depth-oriented scholars we have learned to see in myth a vital source of communally storied wisdom. Myth deals imaginatively with basic questions of existence, such as: “What’s my deepest story? What is the truth of my tale?”

The material for this seminar has evolved out of a class in mythology taught at John F. Kennedy University. It is geared toward anyone interested in new tools for examining the metaphors and motifs of one’s biography. We will also use mythological and psychological ideas for exploring how intimately one’s “personal” story joins up with the storied cities and landscapes we inhabit.

Story, Image, and Psyche in Film

What would happen if we looked below the surface of various films to search for the myths of our time, their moving images a barometer of what surfaces from the changing currents of the collective psyche?

In this seminar we will analyze films with tools crafted throughout a century of deep psychology, psychotherapy, and dream interpretation. We will also look at mythic themes behind and below each film’s manifest content. Through the work of C. G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, and other depth-oriented scholars we have learned to see in myth a vital source of communally storied wisdom and perennial insight.

Film provides a particularly rich medium for psychological exploration because it images the myths of our time, providing a barometer of what moves within and surfaces from the currents of the collective psyche. It can also delineate where those currents line up with elements of our own psychological life.

Alchemy: Objects as Doorways

Alchemy is the ancient, worldwide application of chemical experimentation to the quest for healing, wisdom, and the redemption of the enspirited world. Some of the greatest minds in history, including Paracelsus, Thomas Aquinas, and Sir Isaac Newton, added to the alchemical treasure trove of lore finally deciphered by C.G. Jung into psychological terms and images. Alchemy provides a rich language for understanding in depth our inner connections to earthly life.

Understanding the basics of alchemy’s search for the Philosopher Stone through and beyond the Jungian basics invites us to reimagine our relationships with the animated everyday things around us.

Dreaming Within and Without

Learn but go well beyond ordinary interpretive techniques to bring the dream and its images and persons to life while tracing their outer-world echoes, connections, and counterparts. We may find that the dream is not in us so much as we are in it…

Material for this seminar derives from undergrad and graduate courses on dream theory and practice and from decades of work with dreams in and out of therapy. We will cover several key approaches to the dream and extend ourselves into ecological and "terrapsychological" modes of seeing how dreams can reconnect us to a world ensouled.

Psychotherapy Basics for Coaches and Counselors

Based on my former work as a therapist and the curriculums I use when I train therapists today. We will cover abnormal psychology and mental illness, client assessment and history-taking, theories of treatment, schools of therapy, common counseling dilemmas and situations, and work with individuals, couples, families, and groups. For those of you in coaching or holistic-style programs that don’t get much bread-and-butter therapy training, this seminar is for you.

Neglected Treasures in Norse and Celtic Myth

This is for people who want to look at the wisdom traditions and practices of the West instead of abandoning the Western heritage for the Far East. The Eastern traditions remain beautiful and important, but we too have our own (pre- and post-Christian) versions of karma, reincarnation, meditation, bushido (“the way of the warrior”), and other deep sources of esoteric knowledge. Our job will be to dig them up, dust them off, and try them out.

Ecotherapy: Healing with Earth in Mind

As the environmental news grows dire and anxiety rises, tools are available for discovering how an ailing world is asking us to respond on the level of mutual healing, deeper analysis, and finding our story in its own.

In this seminar you will learn techniques for managing emotional reactions (including guilt, anger, and overwhelm) to the current environmental crisis, receive updates on its latest developments around the world, find out what specialists on the relationship between psyche and nature can tell us about it, and try out various methods for detecting what the state of the world might be asking of us, even from within our symptoms, anxieties, and dreams.

Each of the above will be an eight-session circle that meets once a week for two hours. $60 contribution per meeting requested, location TBD. Contact Craig Chalquist with questions or to be added to the list. Mention your weekend availability.