“Dr. Chalquist’s transformative ideas are nothing short of brilliant. His work and teachings are critical to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world. He has always had a profound impact on his students. I highly recommend his books and any opportunity to attend his workshops or classes.”
– Rebecca Elliott MA, Executive Coach and Consultant
Reenchantment of Psychology
What is there to hope for as everything melts and chaos spreads? Quite a lot, actually. Hope is often mistaken for denial or self-delusion, but at a deeper level, hope can found itself on inspiration and foster new visions of better futures, locally or globally. Join us to see images of hope at work and move forward together into the ways of practical dreaming.
11:00am – 12:00pm PST
Living Among Symbols:
The Inner Life of Current Events
What is the thread of meaning that can pull together what seem like chaotic random events? Where might we find it, and how might we add to its weave? What is the hidden order in what looks to be falling apart? What could it mean to live a symbolic life?
Healing and Nature
Perhaps you’ve heard news of studies linking nature reconnection to enhanced health and wellness: calmness, pleasant mood, stable blood pressure, mental clarity… Fortunately, you don’t have to journey far away to receive these beneficial effects. Find out how nature is everywhere, how simple methods can realign you with it, and how to give back to the world that holds and heals you.
Introduction to Terrapsychology: Everything Converses
Terrapsychology is an extension of psychology that studies how to deepen and reenchant our relations with the things around us. How do they show up not just as dead objects outside us, but as animate presences inside? The field includes studies, ideas, and practices for reimagining and restorying how deeply and intimately our psychological life is involved with our surroundings (human or other than human). Join us to learn how to tend how the world gets into the heart and how the heart reflects the world.
What’s In a Name (and a Place)?
We tend to think the names we receive are bestowed only by tradition, accident, or whim. But when we explore the roots of our names, we enter a realm of amazing connections and meanings, heralds of a deeper story awaiting discovery behind our biography. The same is true for the names of the places where we originate and live in; often, their stories are tangled with ours in interesting and magical ways.
11:00am – 12:00pm PST
Archetypal Family Systems
Families are complex beings held together through time by persistent threads of story, motif, and recurring image and theme. Learn how to detect these threads and make creative use of them in telling (and recreating) the story of You.
The World Shows Up In Your Dreams
Those of us who work a lot with dreams are used to seeing their characters and settings as aspects of ourselves: parts of the mind saying hello at night. But very often dreams reflect events at large in the world as well, even when their content does not feature recognizable news or collective happenings. Join us for examples of this and tools for discovering and working with the presence of what’s outside as it lands in your dreams.
You Have the Right to Be Enchanted
Enchantivism describes the many ways we make lasting change by telling reenchanting stories about our relations with ourselves, each other, or our ailing but still-beautiful planet. We then share our reflections and invite each other’s on the relevance of these stories, letting them impel creative and thoughtful responses to how things are. The stories can be narratives, displays of imagery, humor, even dance and ritual. Join us for a look at how enchantivism works and at the importance of moving in story from rupture to inspiration to action.
The Return of the Hermetic
The Hermetic tradition runs far back into Egyptian prehistory. Taking many forms, including the Way of Thoth (and later, Hermes), Gnosticism, alchemy, and depth psychology, this cross-cultural tradition concentrates on how going into the depths of consciousness and imagination opens out into a life of profound spiritual insight. Join us for a discussion of the various modes of Hermetism and its creative uses and offerings for today.
11:00am – 12:00pm PST
The Hidden Life of Things
Does it ever seem to you that some of your possessions show a malicious glee in getting lost? That devices malfunction at the worst possible times? Or, on the other hand, that being thoughtful with the objects in your life somehow seems to make them more cooperative? Join us for a look at the psychology of wayward things and hear some examples of how to get on better terms with them as necessary presences in your life.
Alchemical California and the Transgressive Aliveness of Place
Did you ever wonder why your personality is a better fit with some places to live or work in but not with others? Why you instinctively seek out one locale for quiet reflection and another for unchained creativity? Do some sites make you sleepy, and others make you want to dance? Using examples from ever-active California, we will inquire into what a “psychoanalysis of place” might be like.
Nature, Psyche, and Story
Encoded into traditional tales found around the world are examples of how to live in right relation to the natural world. These tales often include warnings about what can happen when we get out of ecological balance. Hear examples of such folklore, including myths (sacred tales), folktales, and fairytales usually dismissed as children’s stories but often containing crucially important gems of insight.
Systems and Complexity Theory offers powerful tools and maps for understanding the intricate systems in which we live and work, from dyads to families to neighborhoods, businesses, and entire nations. Learn how to work beyond stucknesses and repetitive interactions, how systems come to self-organize, and what emergent possibilities await as new relationships form around novel patterns. Besides, it’s a lot of fun to try out systems experiments on your family…
It’s All Storied
Learn how and why storytelling can provide more power, motive, and memory than most methods of instruction or persuasion. Why do stories stay with us so much longer than lectures? What are the implications for conflict resolution? Mentor and leader development? What is involved in how to craft a story well, how to create effective space for it, how to prepare and work with an audience? What can story tell us about the heights and depths of human nature?
Power of Folklore
Buried in myths, fairy tales, legends, and folk tales glitter pockets of wisdom and lessons learned over thousands of years of keen human observation from every culture on the planet. Find out how the images, plots, and motifs from folklore return to life every day in the news, at work, at school, in our relationships, and even in symptoms and dreams. How do we work with this dynamic? What do the old tales offer, and how do we learn to creatively elaborate them in ways that move them forward?
Power of Place
My doctoral work focused on how the places where we live and work operate powerfully on the psyche, with the contours of the land emerging in the contours of how we are with each other. The study of these subtle relationships is now known as terrapsychology. Here we see why we land in certain places, why some help our efforts while others hinder, and why we remain always in ongoing conversations with our surroundings.
A lot of research attests to significant boosts in health, happiness, and wellbeing when we get back in touch with the natural world. Did you know that soil bacteria can ease depression? That just an open window can speed recovery from surgery? Learn about how plants, animals, and landscapes act as our mentors and therapists, regrounding us in our minds and bodies as we recall our place as fellow creatures of the animate Earth.
Years of work as a counselor to men (and some women) arrested for crimes of violence and as an instructor to psychotherapists and advocates for victims gave me insight into the core forces of human destructiveness. Seeing possibilities for how to work with these forces increased my faith in human nature. What helps us move from anger and violence toward reconciliation and peace? How might aggression give way to assertion?
Is the image of Earthrise just a colorful photo, or might it signal a worldwide reorientation toward participatory, networked, inclusive ways of being? Was mythologist Joseph Campbell correct when he told Bill Moyers that Earthrise is a mythic image for our time? If so, where might this take us if we align ourselves with this vast planetary shift in collective consciousness?
In a letter to a colleague, C.G. Jung identified the story of Faust the alchemist as his “life myth.” But in Jung’s hands, the tragedy transmuted into a tale of wonder, discovery, and depth. What myths do we walk into or bring along with us? How might we find out, and what shadows and strengths come with the unfolding story? What can we learn from examining the myths of well-known people?
Tales of California
I spent eleven years studying the history, culture, and physical territory of the state of my birth, a journey of immersion into the myths and legends gathered throughout the Golden State. The very name “California” emerges from a work of fiction. What can the images and stories and facts of California tell us about the soul of this place? How might they change our perceptions of every place?