Welcome to a new year of programs!
Sep 6th, 2016 by ken

Well, it’s that time of year again. The programs have been planned, the brochures are being printed and mailed, and we’re looking forward to seeing you all again.

Download a PDF version of the brochure here.

Our first program is Friday, September 30, and the details can be found here.

America on the Couch 2016 Presidential Election Study Guide
Feb 25th, 2016 by ken

AmericaOnTheCouchPlease contact Ken Buch for more information about dates, places, and times.

From Pythia Peay, author of America on the Couch: Psychological Perspectives on American Politics and Culture and American Icarus: A Memoir of Father and Country (Lantern Books).

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am very pleased and excited to announce the upcoming March launch of my 2016 Presidential Election Study Guide. I don’t know about the rest of you, but as I watched the returns from the Iowa caucus, I could feel that strange mix of anxiety, fear, excitement, and hopeful anticipation that rises up in me during every Presidential election. For while we Americans may be divided by which party we belong to, or which candidate we support, we are all united in the myriad psychological responses—uncertainty over the fate of the country; helplessness against forces that loom larger than the individual voter; and overwhelmed by the relentless media coverage, and the knowledge required to sort through complex political issues—we all experience as we do our best to make our most informed choice for the next American president. And then there are the stresses that arise from the way politics can disrupt our relationships and even alienate us from close friends and family who don’t share our political views, party, or choice of candidate. Democracy asks a lot of us!

Because most of us are consumed by the day-to-day demands of life, some may even decide to disengage entirely from the whole messy, anxiety-inducing process. Flooded from within by our own intense emotional responses and unshakable convictions that defy reason or that swamp our conscious thinking, we may even decide to cut ourselves off from our own inner political selves and passion for civic engagement. As understandable as that is, it would be a great shame for citizens to disengage from the very election process that ensures the continuity of our American democracy, as flawed, messy, chaotic, imperfect, corruptible, and unpredictable as it is.

That is why I’m launching this Study Guide. Based on material drawn from my book, America on the Couch: Psychological Perspectives on American Politics and Culture, it is my hope that this collection of interviews with 37 clinical psychologists, political psychologists, psychoanalysts, and Jungian psychoanalysts offering their profound, learned, and unexpected insights—on violence, guns, mass shootings and Hiroshima; our crisis around alcohol and drug addiction and the need to understand the underlying cultural and unconscious forces at play; our beloved but rapidly deteriorating environment and the changes we face if we are to survive; the strengths and flaws of our capitalist economic system and our rampant consumerism; the dangerous but also the positive aspects of political polarization, and psychological perspectives on American presidents, and the presidency; and, last, the archetypes and myths underlying the democratic principles of individualism, independence, and freedom that define the American soul, as well as how these myths are evolving into the next century—may offer a more thoughtful, conscious way to navigate the months leading up to the election.

Because America on the Couch is such an “idea rich” book, the Study Guide also provides an ideal opportunity for people to join together in study groups in a way that can help them digest this sumptuous feast of perspectives, as well as providing them an intimate venue to experience the election, and to explore the enormous issues facing the American public as our historic experiment in democracy continues into the 21st century.

The Study Guide will launch on March 1st, when I will send out an email to those who have written to let me know they’d like to participate. It will begin with a selection from the introduction and the first half of Chapter One, “Violence in America,” along with questions that will generate discussion. April will focus on the second half of Chapter One; and then discussion questions for the following consecutive chapters will be sent out each month. The last Study Guide will be sent out in November, post-election, with special questions and selections so that group members can bring their process to closure.

Here is the schedule:
March 1: Introduction and the first half of Chapter One: Violence in America.
April 1: The second half of Violence in America
May 1: Chapter Two: Addicted America
June 1: Chapter Three: America’s Vanishing Environment
July 1: Chapter Four: A Poverty of Meaning: Capitalism and Consumerism
August 1: Summer break
September 1: Chapter Five: Politics, Presidents, Power and Polarization
October 1: Chapter Six: The Soul of America: These are the Times that Try Men’s Souls
November 1: Concluding Questions to help participants integrate their feelings and responses to the country’s choice of its next new President; what this significant shift will involve; saying goodbye to President Obama; and the inevitable feelings of victory for one side and loss for the other.

And here is a list, in alphabetical order, of the psychohistorians, psychologists, psychoanalysts, and Jungian analysts whose ideas we’ll be studying in America on the Couch, and who act as our guides on this Dante’s journey of exploration through the American psyche: Stephen Aizenstat, John Beebe, Bonnie Bright, Gary S. Bobroff, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Philip Cushman, Larry Decker, Raymond De Young, Edward Edinger, Michael Eigen, Stephen J. Foster, Charles Grob, Bud Harris PhD, A. Chris Heath, James Hillman, Judith V. Jordan, Donald Kalsched, Robert J. Langs, Linda Schierse Leonard, Harriet Lerner, Robert Jay Lifton, A. Thomas McLellan, Thomas Moore, Ginette Paris, Mary Pipher, Ernest Rossi, Andrew Samuels, Erel Shalit, June Singer, Thomas Singer, Lawrence H. Staples, Murray Stein, Charles B. Strozier, Paul Wachtel, Karen B. Walant, Marion Woodman, and Luigi Zoja.

As the Study Guide is based on America on the Couch, that book will be required reading; American Icarus: A Memoir of Father and Country is suggested, but not necessary. Please write to me directly at if you’d like to participate in this study guide and form a group, but can’t afford a copy of America on the Couch.

I look forward to your responses, and to reaching out and joining with those I know and those I don’t know, and to also participating with individuals and groups via email over the coming months!

With all my best regards,


“American Icarus” and “America on the Couch” with Pythia Peay
Dec 11th, 2015 by ken

Pythia PeayProspero’s & The KC Friends of Jung are excited to announce a reading and discussion by PYTHIA PEAY, Depth journalist on psychology, spirituality and the American psyche. Her work has appeared in: the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, Utne, KC Star, The Plain Dealer, New Woman and others. A native Kansas Citian, Peay will read from and discuss her two new books:

“AMERICAN ICARUS: A Memoir of Father and Country” (Lantern Books, 2015)

“AMERICA ON THE COUCH: Psychological Perspectives on American Politics and Culture” (Lantern Books, 2015) – a collection of 37 interviews with some of the world’s leading psychologists, including Robert Jay Lifton, Michael Eigen, Judith V. Jordan, and James Hillman.

Click here for all the details.

Peay’s talk will touch upon the iconic American life of her Greatest Generation father, Joe Carroll: a charismatic Irish charmer who overcame a childhood marked by poverty and a Dickensian twist-of-fate to fly the globe during World War II, and then for the Kansas City-based airline, TWA—while also raising four children with his Argentine-born wife, and farming 200 acres of farmland located in Oak Grove. But Joe was also an incurable alcoholic who struggled in the everyday world of family and intimate relationships. After his death, she set out on a quest to understand the sources of his suffering, interviewing family members, psychologists, and railroad, aviation and Air Force historians. She will read two Christmas-themed selections from this book.

Peay will also read several selections from her interviews with psychologists in America on the Couch that touch on current events, such as addiction, the environment, immigration, gun violence, and the soul of America.

Click here for all the details.

There will be limited copies of both books at the event for purchase so please consider purchasing copies and bringing them with you for Pythia to sign. Both books can be purchased on Amazon. Also, the publisher is offering a 15% discount if you purchase directly through them: you can call Lantern Books at 703.661.1594 to receive the discount.

49_Joe and the four Carroll kids on the lawn (1)


Carl Greer: “Change Your Story, Change Your Life”
Nov 5th, 2015 by ken

CarlGreer2-SMThis weekend we are pleased to host Carl Greer. His lecture and workshop revolve around his book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life.

Carl Greer is a practicing clinical psychologist, Jungian analyst, and shamanic practitioner. He received his PhD from Columbia University and was on their faculty teaching finance and management in their graduate school of business. He moved to Chicago to work for an oil company and, after focusing on business for many years, he earned a doctorate in clinical psychology, and then became a Jungian analyst.

The shamanic work he does is drawn from a blend of North American and South American indigenous trainings and is influenced by Jungian analytical psychology. He has trained with Peruvian shamans and through Dr. Alberto Villoldo’s Healing the Light Body School, where he has been on staff. He has worked with shamans in South America, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ethiopia, and Outer Mongolia. Carl Greer is involved in various businesses and charities, teaches at the Jung Institute in Chicago, is on the staff of the Lorene Replogle Counseling Center, and holds workshops on Jungian and shamanic topics.

I hope to see you there!

Jung in the Heartland Conference
Aug 20th, 2015 by ken

The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis will hold its fourth Jung in the Heartland Conference September 10-13, 2015, at King’s House Retreat Center in Belleville, IL.  The theme of the conference is “The Altar of the Earth.”

The keynote speaker will be Monika Wikman, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst from Santa Fe, NM, author of Pregnant Darkness.  Other speakers will be Belden Lane, Ph.D., St. Louis, MO, author and nature mystic, and Mary Ryan, MA, a counselor and teacher who uses film to illustrate her lectures.  Mary lives in Springfield, IL

This conference will include an art exhibition organized around the theme, “The Altar of the Earth.” In 2014 the St. Louis Society featured a writing contest on the topic of “Honoring the Altar of the Earth.”  The three top winners of the contest will present their essays at the Artists’ and Authors’ Reception, 7:00 pm, September 12, 2015.  The reception is open to the public for a nominal fee.  The Society has published a book of the finest contest entries and the book will be available at the conference.

For more information or to register for the conference or reception, visit or call (314) 533-6809.

An introduction to our April 24th program
Apr 13th, 2015 by ken

An introduction to our March 27th program
Mar 3rd, 2015 by ken

An introduction to our Feb 27th workshop
Feb 4th, 2015 by ken

Rick Childs and Papal Infallibility tonight
Oct 3rd, 2014 by ken

Don’t forget that we have Rick Childs speaking tonight at the Roeland Park Community Center. The title of his talk is “Papal Infallibility: the problem of irreconcilable religious certainties.” All the details along with a map showing the location are here.

Hope to see you tonight!

A visit to Jung’s home
Sep 15th, 2014 by ken

This Friday is our 2014/15 program year kick-off. We are very pleased to have Greg Rieke, FOJ president emeritus, sharing with us about his trip to Jung’s home in Kusnacht. You can read all the details here.

Please note that this event is at the Roeland Park Community Center. Here is a map to the location. There is plenty of off-street parking next to the building.

Also, there will be a social and fellowship time after Greg’s presentation. I hope you’ll stay and join us as we rekindle old friendships and start making new ones.

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