Layers of Relationship: The Jung/Kirsch Correspondence



James Kirsch was one of the first generation analysts who had his primary analysis with Jung. As a young man in his 20s he began a psychoanalysis which did not satisfy him and so he entered a Jungian analysis in Berlin. In 1928 he wrote to Jung asking if he could begin analysis with him, and in 1929 James Kirsch spent two months in Zürich in analysis with both Jung and Toni Wolff. This began a multiple level relationship which spanned four decades and great distances. There are approximately 150 back and forth letters in this correspondence with Jung.

 The contents of the letters cover important subjects such as the relationship between Jews and Christians, Nazi-ism, anti-Semitism, clinical issues in psychotherapy, synchronicity, organizational issues in building up Jungian organizations, and difficult personalities. James Kirsch was a founding member of Jungian professional groups in Berlin, Tel Aviv, London, and Los Angeles.

The CG Jung Institute of San Francisco presents Layers of Relationship. Join us for this 4 hour Webinar recorded from the San Francisco Jung Institute.  Thomas Kirsch, son of James Kirsch, presents this provocative look at his father’s relationship with Jung. Controversies including questions of anti-Semitism as well as boundary violations will be explored in detail.


Dr. Thomas Kirsch was born in London, England to two first generation Jungian analysts who had their primary analyses with Jung and Toni Wolff.  In 1940 his family moved to Los Angeles where Tom grew up.  Tom graduated from Reed College, B.A. 1957, Yale Medical School, MD 1961, and psychiatry training at Stanford University, 1962-1965. From 1965 through 1967 he was a full time consultant to the National Institute of Mental Health. He is a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco and has been practicing as a  Jungian Analyst in Palo Alto, California since 1968.

 For 25 years he was on the Clinical Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine.  He has been a member of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis since 1975, a member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology since 1968 and a member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco since 1968.

He is past president of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco 1976-1978,  and past president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology, 1989-1995. He was deeply involved in opening the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to analytical psychology. He has lectured worldwide on the history of analytical psychology, the therapeutic process, dreams, and Jungian identity in the Depth Psychology world.  His publications include numerous articles and book chapters.  He is the primary author of The Jungians, a history of the Jungian movement, editor of numerous Jungian publications, and the organizer of the Jung/James Kirsch Correspondence, edited by Ann C Lammers.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain Jung’s views of the interpersonal dynamics of the analytical relationship
  2. Discuss Jung’s views of his supposed anti-Semitism in 1934
  3. Describe how Jung viewed boundary violations as a supervisor.


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