#229 – A Jungian View of The Unlived Life with Jerry Ruhl PhD

photo of Jerry Ruhl, Ph.D.


Jerry M. Ruhl, Ph.D., is a Jungian therapist and the executive director of the Houston Jung Center. With Robert Johnson, Jerry is the co-author of three books on psychology and spirituality, including Living Your Unlived Life: Coping with Unrealized Dreams and Fulfilling Your Purpose in the Second Half of Life.

A therapist, national speaker, and internationally known author living in Houston, Texas, Jerry was a journalist in the first half of his life, and he managed communications for two major corporations. At mid-life he realized he had climbed up the corporate ladder but it was leaning against the wrong wall. He began studying the works of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung and observed first hand spiritual practices in Japan, Bali, Thailand, Nepal, and India. Jerry and Robert Johnson met at a Jungian conference in 1987, and a lasting friendship and professional collaboration began.

Dr. Ruhl earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, where he developed a new holistic model for coping with life changing accidents and illness. During a visit to San Diego, Jerry suggested that Robert’s remarkable life would make a fascinating book. They inquired of the I Ching if this would be a fortuitous venture, and an affirmative response led to a series of conversations stretching out for nearly a year. Jerry and Robert discussed life, death, reincarnation, loneliness, and many other topics. They shared dreams, practiced active imagination together, and worked through a life review that culminated in the book Balancing Heaven and Earth. They have sustained a collaborative writing partnership since that time, culminating in their most recent book: Living Your Unlived Life. Robert and Jerry also have a website and blog at http://jerryruhl.com/ .

A Psychology Podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.



  1. Russ
    Posted February 1, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Great interview, Dr. Dave. I particularly enjoyed the discussion about our “one-sided,” either/or, black or white culture that leaves us no room or flexibility to move within our lives and our selves. So true.

    Another excellent author associated with the Jung Center of Houston is Dr. James Hollis. His book “Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life” was outstanding I thought.

    Russ Cobb

  2. Posted February 1, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this suggestion, Russ. Actually, I contacted Dr. Hollis to possibly comment on Jung’s Red Book but he wrote that he is absolutely jammed up with commitments for the next several months.

  3. Posted February 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink


    He looks like an interesting guest, indeed. Thanks for this suggestion!

  4. Tony
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Dear Dave,

    Thanks for the interview – particularly liked the Castor and Pollux image for the human and divine sides of us. I’d like to look into that further. Have just started reading Johnson’s ‘Inner Work’ as part of my own training…

    You mention after the interview that Jerry Ruhl wanted us to know that there are lectures for free on http://www.junghouston.org. I looked at the site and couldnt find any mention of this although there are CDs of courses for sale. Just thought you should know.

    Thanks again, Tony

  5. pj
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Tony, please see http://www.junghouston.org/audio/default.htm

    Dave, good show. more on jung and the neurosciences, please.

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