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Jun 15, 2019


Vlado Solc - Depth Psycological Dynamics of Dark Religion and Conspiracism

Vladislav (Vlado) Šolc – (pronounced Scholtz) M.S., LPC, CSAC, ICS is a Diplomate Jungian Analyst, psychotherapist, AODA counselor, supervisor, consultant, lecturer and writer with years of experience. Vlado resides and has clinical practice in White Fish Bay, Wisconsin. He received training from Charles University in Prague and C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. Vlado lives in constant awe about the miracle of existence. Vlado is particularly interested in phenomena of consciousness and its perils. He is an author of four depth psychology books: Psyche, Matrix, Reality; The Father Archetype; In the Name of God – Fanaticism from Perspective of Depth Psychology, and Dark Religion (with George Didier).

In this presentation we will explore the psychological phenomena and dynamics underlying conspiracy theories and Dark

Religion. How the Self—namely non-credible representations of numinous energies—influences the

way the ego holds on to non-credible beliefs including conspiracy theories. we will also look at the unconscious dynamics (excessive, unhealthy) that maintain the ego’s adherence to conspiracy theories and the mythological and clinical parallels of the phenomena.

Learning Objectives - Identify difference between spirituality and Dark religion; describe basic idea of numinosum in Jungian psychology; explore phenomena of possessions and identification; recognize basic characteristics of “Dark religion”; and understand where conspiracism and creed overlap.

Apr 27, 2019

Peter Demuth - Dark Adaptation: The Continuum of Evil and Good

Dr. Demuth is a Jungian Analyst and Licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Evanston, Illinois and is also an instructor at the CG Jung Institute of Chicago.


In this presentation, he will explore his concept of Dark Adaptation, characteristics of psychopathy, Jung's shadow, and the manifestation of these and other pertinent Jungian concepts via the literary characters of Dracula, the Werewolf, Frankenstein, and the Phantom of the Opera. Using these archetypal figures to illuminate and understand the actual behavior of real individuals along the continuum of good and evil, he will consider the following questions: How capable is an individual of self-determination? How much is behavior under the influence of unconscious elements?  

These explorations are solely in the service of generating greater understanding of ourselves.

Nov 17, 2018

Paul Smerz - Transforming Your Intimate Relationships From Functional to Spiritual

What makes a relationship a transformative one?  How do we go from having a conscious and functional relationship to one that is transformative? Relationships go through developmental stages, just like individuals do, in terms of their psychological and spiritual development. Transformative relationships evolve when both partners take responsibility for their own inner work and recognize the sacred nature of their connection. There exists within these relationships a shared acceptance that love has a spiritual quality and that being together has a transcendent purpose and serves our individuation. Relationship, in this day and age, is about the potential for developing our individuation. The  realization that our partner is not going to carry the burden of making us whole can be the beginning of our own spiritual development. This presentation will explore the relationships between aging and the development of a relatedness that is characterized less by struggle and more by compassion, acceptance and service.


   Dr. Paul Smerz is a clinical psychologist and diplomate Jungian analyst in private practice in Milwaukee, WI.  He and his wife Dr. Kelly Smerz, are co-directors of Medical Psychology Associates, a multi-specialty group of psychologists and psychotherapists. His teaching experience includes adjunct appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology, and the Jung Institute of Chicago. In addition to his analytic practice, Paul has taught courses in the Analyst Training Program, the Jungian Psychotherapy/Studies Program, and the Public program. He also serves on many of the Institute's committees, and currently serves on the Board of Directors and the Analyst training Program Committee.


   Most recently, Paul founded the Wisconsin Institute of  Marital Therapy and provides a depth approach to couples therapy, assisting couples in developing functional and transformative relationships.


   More information about Paul can be found on his websites:

Sep 22, 2018

Steve Martz - An Archetypal Life: Joan Baez, Musical Prophet

In our lives it is possible that numinous energy can enter unbidden. It is as if we are clobbered by something much larger than ourselves, which sometimes even seems to take over and direct the unfolding of our life.  Jung’s concept of archetypes – closely related to his central idea of individuation -- provides one way of conceptualizing and understanding this phenomenon.


In this workshop we will consider that phenomenon with particular attention to the life and work of Joan Baez, who performs in Chicago the evening of October 5 as part of her “Fare Thee Well” tour, the capstone of a 60-year career.  More than any other musician of her era(s), music and message have been inseparable for Baez.  


Beginning with her work in the Deep South with Martin Luther King, Baez has insisted on taking her music and 

a message of hope and non-violence into some of the darkest places of the world: Hanoi during the Christmas bombing of 1972, Sarajevo at the height of its violence, Chile after the military coup, Gdansk during the standoff between Lech Walesa and General Jaruzelski and Argentina with the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo.


The archetypal image that seems to have guided the life of Baez is that of musical prophecy.  We’ll examine its role in her life, consider its ancient lineage in the Hebrew prophets, and reflect upon its ongoing relevance.  Our foundational aim in understanding the role of this archetypal energy in her life will be clinical as we seek to deepen our ability to recognize the archetypal images that may be guiding our own lives and the lives of those with whom we work.  

Steve Martz is an analyst in private practice in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and is an Episcopal priest. He also was president of the Chicago Institute from 2015 to 2018.   You can learn more about him at his web site:

Jun 16, 2018

Sister Olga Wittekind and Claire Sherman - "The Shadow and Jung's Redbook- Guide to Our Transformation and Spiritual Growth"

In this presentation we will view some of Jung’s illustrations of the Shadow in his diary, The Red Book (1912-1914).  We will learn how Jung used active imagination in forming his theory of the shadow, both negative and golden.  This technique can help us work with our shadow figures. By reconciling opposites in us, we  can integrate aspects of ourselves and move through transformation toward individuation and wholeness.

The workshop will be helpful to counselors and spiritual directors as well as those who wish to deepen their understanding of Jungian psychology for personal and spiritual growth. 



Claire Sherman, PhD is a clinical psychologist trained in California.  She studied with Hal Stone who founded the Center for the Healing Arts in Los Angeles.  She enjoys giving presentations on Jungian psychology and currently is a psychotherapist in the Batesville/Oldenburg, IN area.


S. Olga Wittekind, Ph.D.  is a clinical psychologist trained at St. Louis University and is a Jungian Analyst, trained in Zurich and Chicago.  She is the Director of the Oldenburg Franciscan Retreat Center in Oldenburg, Indiana.   S. Olga Wittekind is a Franciscan Sister who has taught clinical psychology at Marian University, Indianapolis.  She enjoys combining psychology and spirituality, and gives workshops and retreats on these subjects.  She is a therapist and spiritual director.

Apr 14, 2018

Mara-Lea Rosenbarger - Creating Human Community: Thoughts on the Common Good and the "Principle of Evil"

The topic of our Sat., April 14th meeting speaks to what many of us long for in today's world: Creating human community. We may wonder about the forces at play that divide us, cause us to devalue the "other," and what, if anything, can be done to promote healing in our fragmented, polarized world which is gaining unsettling momentum. 


Jung and early pioneering analytical psychologists recognized that fairy tales (along with myths) were stories that developed around archetypal themes, portraying the unlearned behavior and wisdom of the human species. Fairy tales were recognized as being the purest and simplest expression of collective unconscious psychic processes. As such, they provide useful symbols with whose help unconscious contents can be brought to our awareness for understanding and integration. A close look at fairy tales provides us with a way of talking about the forces (both dark and light) in our lives that maybe inherently feared and thereby too often avoided in our collective and individual lives.


In a letter to Bill W. in 1961, concerning the problem of alcoholism, spirituality, and the early days of AA, C.G. Jung wrote: "I am strongly convinced that the evil principle prevailing in this world leads the unrecognized spiritual need into perdition if it is not counteracted either by real religious insight or by the protective wall of human community."


Recently the Pope was quoted in an opinion editorial (David Brooks, "How Would Jesus Drive," New York Times), as using the phrase, "artisans of the common good" to describe those who practice an everyday way of life that is guided by acts of kindness and consideration for others. While this may be seen as idiotic or naïve by those cynical and jaded, it could be argued that such "small acts" are in fact the heroic weaving of the wholeness of everyday life.


We will look at a few fairy tales from both east and west, as well as discuss examples from current culture, such as the most recent movie from Guillermo del Toro, "The Shape of Water," to observe how we can participate in creating "protective walls of community" and the possibility of "real religious insight." We can then perhaps have moments when we are able to disarm or depotentiate the evil or "dark principle" in ourselves, our communities, and this world.


Mara-Lea is a Zurich-trained Jungian analyst who has a Bloomington based private practice which includes a fairy tale study group. CIFOJ Board members have described her presentations as "relaxed and very engaging." And when it comes to fairy tales, Mara-Lea has been recognized as a "grand master" at guiding others through these archetypal domains. We hope you can come to hear this wonderful presentation on Creating Human Community.

Nov 11, 2017

Arlo Compaan, Ph.D. - Respecting Our Shame While Longing for Shamelessness

 Our upcoming speaker is Arlo Compaan, Ph.D. a Jungian analyst and licensed clinical psychologist in Illinois. He is a diplomate member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP), a member of the American Psychological Association, formerly both a fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and a clinical member and approved supervisor  in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. His Ph.D. is in pastoral psychology from the School of Theology at Claremont, CA. With the Chicago Jung Institute, he served as the Training Director for the Analyst Training Program, a co-director for the Jungian Psychotherapy Training Program, the treasurer of the Board, and a member of its Executive Committee. Arlo is the president and a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Analytical Psychology Foundation of Chicago. He is a training analyst at the Chicago Institute where he teaches and supervises training candidates. His research and theoretical interests are in attachment and affect regulation, particularly shame regulation. He has conducted workshops, taught courses, and presented papers in this area both nationally and internationally. Arlo maintains a clinical practice in Chicago (53 W. Jackson Blvd.) and Frankfort, IL (10217 Lincoln Hwy.).

Sep 16, 2017

Dennis Merritt, Ph.D. - A Jungian Ecopsychological Perspective On Our Relationship with Nature

The topic for our September 16th meeting is of immense importance. Dennis Merritt will be presenting "A Jungian Ecopsychological Perspective On Our Relationship with Nature".   There is an unsettling truth that poses a monumental threat to the integrity of our individual and collective psyches: Modern humans do not perceive themselves as being part of nature. The developing field of ecopsychology is a response to this troubling situation. It examines how our values, attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors affect the environment. Importantly, it  addresses our dysfunctional relationship with the environment and explores ways of deepening our connection to the earth.


We are very fortunate to have Dennis join us given his outstanding professional contributions and passion for the topic. Dennis has a PhD in entomology from UC-Berkeley and is a graduate of the Jung Institute in Zurich. He practices as a Jungian analyst and ecopsychologist in Madison and Milwaukee, WI and is a senior analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. He has authored four volumes of The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe - Jung, Hermes, and Ecopsychology. Copies of his books will be available at the meeting for purchase at a reduced price.


Jung coined the terms "new age" and "age of Aquarius" in 1940 to label the paradigm shift he said was necessary in the West. This includes a profound change in the human relationship with the environment. Jungian psychology can provide a mythic and archetypal analysis of the problems and a framework for addressing them. Dennis's presentation will explore Jung's critique of Christianity as well as alchemy, fairy tales, and legends as compensatory elements to Christianity. Each layer of the collective unconscious will be examined for its contribution to our dysfunctional relationship to nature and how it can be rectified from a Jungian perspective. This includes using dreams to help connect us to the environment, especially dreams of landscapes and animals. A case will be made for Hermes as the god of ecopsychology. These concepts, together with synchronicity, provide a bridge to Native American spirituality as a model for connecting to the land. How these approaches can move us towards a fundamentally different relationship with nature will be illustrated by briefly exploring their use in our educational system.

Jun 17, 2017

Bob Cunninham, Ph.D. - Fate, Will, and Destiny in the Life and Psychology of C.G. Jung

Apr 15, 2017

Bill Alexy, Ph.D. - "Jungian Analysis for Ordinary People"

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