Stephen Parker, PhD

Jung, Art, and Healing

I have been struggling with this never-ending wound for more than a year, and still it haunts me by the hour.

A heart attack is also a deeply isolating event. Others act as if their lives will go on forever, but how can I participate in this charade, knowing deeply and irrevocably that any moment could be my last one? I identify much more with people who have terminal illness than with those who are caught up in the illusions and routines of everyday life.

In hopes of reducing this isolation and finding a way through this purgatory, I thought I would try to post a daily blog about the experience.

I am fascinated and struck by the story of Chiron, that mythical Centaur who had a permanent wound in his knee that would not heal. In Puget’s painting, Achilles is being dragged by his rationality, his head, and it looks like there isn’t much he can do about it.

Not particularly wanting to be hunted, I have to somehow find out just where this heart attack is leading me.

With these words written in his blog, Dr. Parker begins an exploration – in words and paintings – of the dreams and meanings around his 2005 soul-changing heart attack.

In The New School conversation with Michael Lerner February 19, Dr. Parker talks about this journey and presents the opening of his show at Commonweal Gallery. His talk was followed by a gallery reception.

Art, Jung, and Healing


Stephen Parker, PhD

Stephen is has lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, since 1980, consulting in many of the Alaskan communities as a psychologist and as an expert witness in all of the superior courts of Alaska. In 2005, he experienced a severe heart attack, changing the focus of his life. He now works extensively with people with chronic illness and life-threatening conditions. Stephen is a graduate of Stanford University and the California School of Professional Psychology – San Diego.