In 1944, a small group of European analysts founded the Analytical Psychology Club of Los Angeles (APC). These analysts had worked with C.G. Jung in Zurich and brought to the club their unique backgrounds and experiences as well as a direct personal link to Jung. The charter meeting was held on May 21, 1944 at the home of Mr. Sherry Peticolas. In attendance were charter members Dr. James Kirsch, Hilde Kirsch, Max Zeller, Dr. Fritz Kunkel and Sherry Peticolas. In June of that year the first annual business meeting convened at the Kirsches’ home. A number of people in sympathy with the aims of the club whose psychological interests and development qualified them to take an active part in the organization had been invited. The constitution and bylaws were finalized and adopted and officers were nominated and elected. Dr. James Kirsch was the first Club president and Dr. Fritz Kunkel the first chair of the program committee.
Subsequent meetings continued to be held at the home of the Kirsches; and, with the number of participants growing, eventually attendance had to be limited to thirty people. Carl Gustav Jung, Marie Louise von Franz, Barbara Hannah, Rivkah Scharf (Kluger), and C.A. Meier were all made honorary members of the club. In order to invite speakers from Zurich, a fund of $1,000 was started. It was an exciting time as club members were host to many of the authors we read about today. They were presenting new ideas and theories as Jung was developing them. All the honorary members except for Dr. Jung came to Los Angeles to present for the club. Later speakers included Gerhard Adler, Michael Fordham, Esther Harding and Laurens van der Post.
At the same time, members of the board were receiving manuscripts of Jung’s work in mimeographed form and sharing them with the members. Dr. James Kirsch, for example, personally translated Answer to Job, which he then mimeographed and shared with those who attended his seminar. At the time Jung’s great work was available only in German and Dr. Kirsch wanted it to be read. No doubt many club members attended his seminar, and the Club board also had copies.
Club members included analysts and analysands, as had been true in Zurich; but after some time the decision was made that within the club the clinicians should have a “professional group” that met separately to discuss matters related to their clinical work. Because they wanted to establish a training institute, this professional group then went on to found the Jung Society, a group that was separate from the club and eventually became the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles.
Once the separation had taken place, the two groups needed to confer about the club’s presentation of public programs. After a period of negotiations they reached an agreement that the club would continue to offer its own public programs each season and the announcement of both groups’ programs would be in the same brochure. It was also agreed that the extensive APC library would be combined with that of the Institute to form what we now know as the Max and Lore Zeller Library. The APC has continued to make yearly monetary contributions to support the library in its outreach.
The early days of the APC and the formation of the C.G. Jung Institute were beautifully documented in a film made to commemorate the club’s fiftieth anniversary in 1994; the film is available in the Max and Lore Zeller Library.
THE APC TODAY
On May 21, 2009, the Analytical Psychology Club celebrated its 65th anniversary. The APC’s purpose, from its inception through the present day, has been to promote wider knowledge of Jung’s work and Jungian concepts amongst its members and to a larger audience.
Members include analysts and analysands. The APC continues to present public lectures in the spring, summer and fall seasons featuring Jungian analysts, candidates in the training program, APC members and others with knowledge of and experience with Jungian concepts. These public programs are held in the James Kirsch Lecture Room at the C.G. Jung Institute and are announced in the Institute brochure.
The club offers members the opportunity to participate in discussion groups on films and books, poetry readings, creative/artistic work, and teachings by analysts and candidates from the training program. Most recently the club was invited to the home of one of the analysts for an interactive dialog on the topic of alchemy, the host’s personal passion of almost twenty years. A second meeting will be scheduled in the near future.
Members and guests also gather for social events to celebrate the winter holidays and Valentine’s Day. Each gathering includes a special program for the occasion. The club celebrates C.G. Jung’s birthday in July with a guest speaker and special program. While he was alive, the club would yearly send Dr. Jung birthday greetings, to which he would respond with thanks and gratitude.
At the suggestion of Dr. Jay Dunn, the first bulletin was published in 1953, several years after the APC was founded. A bulletin continues to be published bimonthly and mailed to members. The bulletin features announcements of the club’s public programs and other events of interest, as well as reviews of lectures, book reviews, poetry, and other Jungian-related articles by club members and guests.
Membership in the APC is open to individuals who have completed 150 hours of analysis with a certified Jungian analyst and obtained a letter of recommendation from the analyst. These membership criteria, originating with the Zurich group founded in 1916 and set forth by Jung, had been adopted by other APC groups as well. Membership information can be requested by email from Nancy Forbes @ email@example.com.
In the early years of the club, Dr. Kirsch urged the members “not to keep away from the burning social questions of today;” that is what the club continues to strive toward in its public presentations as well as in its gatherings for members. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Correspondence can be sent to:
c/o C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles
10349 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064