Guild for Psychological Studies


For over fifty years, the Guild for Psychological Studies has conducted seminars that bring together the depth psychology of Carl Jung, the Records of the Life of Jesus (Synoptic Gospels), the Hebrew Scriptures, and material drawn from myth, poetry, world religions, and the evolving images of modern culture and science. Using a process based on Socratic inquiry and dialog, seminar participants carefully attend to images and feelings, discover connections between the personal and collective psyche, and often find a new commitment to the deep and unfolding truth that has been called the Self or Soul.

You are invited to use the menus on the left to explore the seminars we offer, read about upcoming events, learn more about the people of the Guild, view a growing collection of resources, and find out how you can participate in or contribute to the Guild's work. You can use the Guild Information and Contacts link or links throughout many other pages to ask questions about the Guild in general or any particular seminar. Don't forget to browse the boxes on the right side of the home page to see the latest forum and blog posts as well as recent Guild news.

In the September 2015 Threshing Floor ...

Hal Childs continues his series of articles on the changing meaning of and relationship to the Records study. Readers, particularly those who have worked with the Records and continue to reflect on their experience, are welcomed to send their responses to


"Facing the Impossible with Abraham and Odysseus": Presentation by Hal Childs at the Analytical Psychology Club of San Francisco

 Hal Childs presents to the APC of SF on September 13. You are invited ($5 for guests).



Analytical Psychology Club of San Francisco

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes”
                           •      C. G. Jung


September Meeting – September 13, 2015 from 2-5 PM

  An Experiential Workshop with Hal Childs

At the APC-SF Library
2411 Octavia Street #1
San Francisco, CA 94109
(Located near the south corner of Broadway and Octavia)


       Facing the Impossible with Abraham and Odysseus

What is the meaning of the Impossible throughout our life journey?

Perhaps even beginning one’s journey of individuation was impossible; or beginning analysis was impossible, or a recurring problem is impossible. What does the Impossible have to teach us if we face it openly, and admit it is “impossible?”

God promised Abraham countless offspring, but then denied fertility to him and Sarah for their entire lives until they were too old to conceive. Then when they did finally have a son, God told Abraham to kill his son. What could be the meaning of the Impossible in this mythological situation? Why is it God who promises and denies at the same time?

Odysseus longed to go home after the ten-year Trojan War. But the god of the sea, Poseidon, hated Odysseus and thwarted his journey, while Athena protected and aided him. It took Odysseus ten years of facing impossible odds to get home. Why might the journey Home be the most impossible journey of all?

 Jung tells us that, “In myths and fairytales, as in dreams, the soul speaks about itself....” Why does soul create the Impossible for us? What is soul’s purpose when we are confronted with the Impossible?

We will explore the problem of the Impossible in these myths as well as our own lives through a process of group discussion. I will not lecture, but guide a process of reflection using questions that encourage each of us to find our own answers. If you wish to record your own responses during the guided group discussion bring your journal. There will also be some simple writing exercises.


Hal Childs, PhD, MFT has been a leader and trainer with the Guild for
Psychological Studies for over thirty-five years. He leads experiential seminars on the east and west coasts throughout the year that support the process of individuation ( Hal has a private psychotherapy practice in San Francisco ( His PhD, from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, explores the relationship between New Testament Interpretation and C. G. Jung’s depth psychology. He is the author of The Myth of the Historical Jesus and the Evolution of Consciousness, and several book chapters related to depth psychology and biblical studies.                


We know parking is difficult at the APC Library.  If you are interested, we will have a shuttle from the Union Street Garage at 2001 Union Street between Buchanan and Webster.  Please RSVP to Jana Hutcheson at 415 999-3426 or email at and plan to be at the garage by1:30PM

We hope to see you soon!

The APC Board

In the August Threshing Floor: The Records, Pluto, and Other Reflections

 I hope our readers are having a good summer! Thought and reflection continue, as Hal Childs offers part 2 of his exploration of the shifting meaning of the Records study. Susan Hartz reflects on the importance of her experience with the Guild, and Harry Henderson offers a reflection on Pluto, that often imagined and recently explored almost-planet.


"What are the Records?" in the July Threshing Floor

The July Threshing Floor continues the discussion of the evolving Guild Records work with Part I of " What are the Records?" by Hal Childs. There are also other reflections and a notice for the upcoming Guild Board election and the summer seminar "The Inevitable Gravity of Beautiful Trouble."



Dialog Continues in the June 2015 Threshing Floor

We continue to receive thoughtful comments and questions about the value of Records study and the role of the Records in the current Guild--and more broadly, the Guild's possibilities for the future. The Board has also tried to elaborate on its earlier statement and explain how the current structure of the Guild has evolved, and the relationship between the Board and the initiatives and projects undertaken by leaders. We continue to invite your comments and questions.


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