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.

Spend the Day with Matisse, Bonnard and Vuillard

See their work, listen to their words, delight in their color, and  find how their art can enliven your life.  There will be time to explore how they do what they do and even try it.   With the exciting exhibition from the Scottish Museum at the de Young until May  31st and  a significant Bonnard show  coming next year, we have a chance to see examples of their best work, and so be sure to go on your own  before the seminar. 


Lunch is included.

Sat, 05/16/2015 - 9:30am - 4:30pm
Sue Renfrew's home in San Francisco
Sue Renfrew
$65.00, which includes $15.00 non-refundable registration fee.

Report from Berlin Papers Available

On February 28 Hal Childs, Faith Mason, and Harry Henderson presented their explorations of Wolfgang Giegerich's concept of "the psychological difference." The three leaders had attended the ISPDI Berlin conference in July 2014, which was devoted to this crucial topic.

The papers presented were:

Hal Childs: "The Psychological Difference: An Introduction."

Faith Mason: "The Psychological DIfference": So What? Why Bother?

Harry Henderson: "The Psychological Difference as Perspective and Tool"

Also, in the afternoon, Hal led the group in "an interactive process of guided psychological reflection on two texts taken as soul documents, one ancient and one modern." The two texts were the "empty jar" story from the Gospel of Thomas (Logia 97) and a statement by Web entrepreneur Mark Andreessen: "Software is eating the world."  We worked word by word to uncover how soul might be reflecting on itself in these texts.

We've attached the files for all three papers plus a more detailed report that Hal has offered to the ISPDI for publication in its newsletter. We understand that our papers may also be published there in the coming months.



Special March Issue of The Threshing Floor

 As it does each year, the Guild Board has overseen the preparation of a special March issue of The Threshing Floor. In addition to some reflections, it includes information about upcoming seminars and reports on activities of a number of Guild affiliates and friends. A print copy is going out via "snail mail" to everyone on the Guild's mailing list, but if you're not on that list or can't wait to read about what's going on with the Guild, you can download it directly from the attachment to this posting.


"Report from Berlin" DATE CHANGE

 Due to some last minute logistical problems, we have had to postpone the "Report from Berlin" event that had been scheduled for February 7, 2015. 

The new date will be February 28, 2015.

The time and place are the same. See the article here for more information and to register.


The Inevitable Gravity of Beautiful Trouble

Is it dangerous and foolhardy to offer a seminar on trouble? Should we beware of what will be stirred up? Who wakes up in the morning assuming trouble is something to look forward to?
We buy insurance; we make plans for disasters; we anticipate worst case scenarios; we learn to put on character armor as children to cope with troubling parents; we become vigilant for psychological trouble. The natural attitude is to keep trouble away.
Still, we must ask, What is the unknown presence that troubles us? What does trouble want? What does trouble need from us?
For Jesus the kingdom of God is trouble. For Jung the individuation impulse is trouble. Yet both these paths are a way to authenticity, to consciousness, to deep beauty.
Let him who seeks, not cease seeking until he finds, and when he finds, he will be troubled, and when he has been troubled, he will marvel and he will reign over the All.
Gospel of Thomas, logia 2
The shadow troubles our self-image, and the trickster troubles our best-laid plans. It is said the truth will set you free, but first it will trouble you profoundly. We sleep and our sleep is troubled by dreams. We have a choice: either to be victims of trouble, or to face the challenge of trouble. How might trouble lead us to Beauty and open us to truth?
In this seminar we will seek to face the inevitable gravity of trouble, to learn its inner necessity and to know its hidden secrets for making what is beautiful of soul manifest. The wisdom of Jesus, the Greek myth of Odysseus, the soul-centered psychology of Wolfgang Giegerich, and most especially our personal experience will guide our exploration.
The seminar process uses a modified Socratic method to guide group discussion. We honor the dignity of each individual to express their truth and move at their own pace. We utilize meditation, expressive arts, music, body movement and awareness, and silence to deepen our work.
Please include a letter stating why you wish to attend and any pertinent information about prior study and experience around spiritual issues.
This seminar meets the qualifications for 30 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Approved provider #PCE 1829. Please include an additional $15 for the CEU certificate.
Participants will:

  • Learn aspects of Jungian work on the psychological implications of life's troubles.
  • Explore the importance of accessing the unconscious in order to process the buried, complex feelings related to the inevitable suffering of daily life.
  • Explore and practice psychological thinking.
  • Use art expression, body awareness and imagination as ways to dialogue with energies present in the self and in the world.


Sat, 07/11/2015 - 11:00am - Sun, 07/19/2015 - 1:30pm
Four Springs, Middletown CA.
Hal Childs, PhD, MFT and Patricia Calcagno Stenger, MA, MFT
$1,485 seminar fee. An additional nonrefundable deposit of $50 is due with registration.
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