The beginning of Jungian psychology in Los Angeles came from the deep passion of its founders who dedicated their lives to teach the work of C.G. Jung to those who were not able to go to Zurich and work with Jung himself. Even more than that, they wanted to spread Jung’s ideas to others so that he could become known and his work could find the audience it deserved. To this end they began first a club, then a society for the new analysts the founders were training, and finally the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles.
This all began in the 40s through the efforts of James and Hilde Kirsch, and Max Zeller—all refuges from Nazi Germany James Kirsch had been instrumental in helping the London Analytical Club get started. In time, he and Hilde Kirsch and Max Zeller began the Analytical Psychology Club (APC) of Los Angeles. In the beginning, the club served as a source of lectures and education about Jung’s work during a time when there was very little written or said about Analytical Psychology. The APC continues to this day and shares the building called the C.G. Jung Institute.
The founders, James and Hilde Kirsch, Max Zeller and Kieffer Frantz along with I. Jay Dunn, Kate Marcus, Malcolm Dana, Margaret McClean and Alice Jacobson, purchased a building; in it they created the first analytical psychology clinic in the United States, known now as the Kieffer E. Frantz Clinic. The building has housed all of the subsequent creations of the Institute, which include the Hilde Kirsch Children’s Center; the Max and Lore Zeller Library and Bookstore; the Institute’s journal, Psychological Perspectives, created by William O. Walcott; Suzanne and George Wagner’s “Matter of Heart” and the Remembering Jung film project as well as the film archive that grew from that film; and finally, the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS). All of this came from this small band of individuals, each dedicated to the understanding of the Psyche.
Today the founders of this professional group would be amazed at the number of analysts in training, clinic patients, and workshops and lectures that emanate from this small building and the spirit of those involved. Their passion for the knowledge of the human soul continues to this day.
Jungian psychology has found a place in today’s culture in pop music, theater, film and television, poetry and literature. What Jung visualized in the 20s and 30s, has come to pass and his utterance about the world hanging by a slender thread has, alas, also come true.
Today, the C.G. Jung Institute stands as a rich resource for those who are seeking analysis, education and community.