An author and journalist on psychology, spirituality and the American Psyche, Peay’s work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Utne Magazine, Washingtonian, Religion News Service, The Washington Post, La Repubblica, and elsewhere. She is the author of American Icarus: A Memoir of Father and Country, the iconic American story of her father, Joe Carroll: The larger-than-life but troubled, alcoholic TWA airman and Missouri farmer she’d adored as a girl but had fled as an adult, his dramatic last days and redemptive death through the intervention of a quirky Hospice team, and her discovery of the larger American myths and narratives that shaped his life.
She is also the author of America on the Couch: Psychological Perspectives on American Politics and Culture, a collection of thirty-seven interviews with some of the world’s leading psychologists and psychoanalysts, including James Hillman, Robert Jay Lifton, and Judith V. Jordan, on such issues as violence, addiction, capitalism and consumerism, and more. She writes the America on the Couch blog for Psychology Today and The Huffington Post and has received awards for her work from The American Association of University Women and Women in the Media.
I have learned that in addition to the spirit of this time there is still another spirit at work, namely that which rules the depths of everything contemporary. Carl Jung, The Red Book
As a depth journalist, my work is to cover – or “uncover” — the psychological, spiritual, historical and archetypal dimensions underlying surface events. What drives me as a writer is the search for the inner story concealed within outer facts, whether current events such as political polarization and the environmental crisis, or more personal topics such as family and creativity. I believe that finding the hidden themes operating in the background of our everyday lives helps to deepen our understanding of the complex issues we struggle with in the modern world, while connecting us to those larger forces shaping our individual lives. It’s what keeps me writing and researching and, I hope, will keep readers reading.