Alumni Spotlight: Craig Chalquist, PhD Depth Psychology 2003
PGIAA proudly features Alumni Profiles toward sharing stories of the Pacifica experience. Our initial offering (‡) derives from an online collection of stories — the now defunct depthstories.com as maintained by current Core Faculty Jennifer Selig, Ph.D. (Depth Psychology, 2004). We welcome these stories, and further stories from all of Pacifica’s degree programs.
‡ Craig Chalquist | Ph.D. (Depth Psychology, 2003)
Core Faculty, California Institute of Integral Studies
What is your current occupation?
I am a core faculty member in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and a former core (but still adjunct) faculty member in the Department of Consciousness & Transformative Studies (College of Graduate and Professional Studies) at John F. Kennedy University. I am also an academic adviser and adjunct faculty at Antioch University, Prescott College, and Pacifica Graduate Institute and the online General Psychology instructor for College of the Siskiyous.
Where do you live?
East Bay, California.
What brought you to Pacifica?
When I saw the school emblem and motto I knew I had to visit the place. Once I had I knew I had to go. After a year at Pacifica I knew that my original goal of learning to do psychotherapy from a depth perspective was no good for me anymore: I had lost all desire to work in or try to reform the psychology industry and was free to pursue other goals. I came across some Taoist writing around this time that felt affirming, something about one of the emperors of China going off to study on his own to be a better leader, but when he came back “he had lost his interest in the empire.”
How has your Pacifica degree served you professionally in your occupation or your vocation?
It has helped me get published and teach. My degree has served me very well, indeed.
How has your degree served you personally?
I look at the world and myself through the lens of the depth perspective that everything is alive, animated, and permeated by mythic structures. I live in a magical cosmos, one to which I feel I belong. And I regard Jung’s suggestion to dream the myth onward in modern dress to be a core task of Depth Psychology.
What was a particularly meaningful or memorable part of the Pacifica experience for you?
The proud look on Mary Watkins’ face when she handed me the flowers and called me “Doctor.” What a rite of passage. That was the summit of a miraculous four years — I did a year in Clinical before switching to Depth. I miss the comradeship of my cohort.
What is the title of your dissertation?
In the Shadow of Cross and Sword: Imagining a Psychoanalysis of Place.
Would you like to mention any other publications?
Terrapsychology: Re-engaging the Soul of Place (Spring Journal Books, 2007), Deep California: Images and Ironies of Cross and Sword along El Camino Real (iUniverse, 2008), Ecotherapy: Healing with Earth in Mind (Sierra Club Books, 2009), Storied Lives: Discovering and Deepening Your Personal Myth (World Soul Books, 2009), The Tears of Llorona: A Californian Odyssey of Place, Myth, and Homecoming (World Soul Books, 2009).
What are your areas of interest?
Pretty much everything related to adult education, psychology, depth, and the environment. Also California history, ecology, folklore, and geology.
I’ve been facilitating meetings with former depth psych students to discuss how to bring depth knowledge into the realm of career and actual work in the world. I plan to expand these salons to include students from a variety of consciousness-focused schools and programs, including Pacifica.