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CLUB HISTORY

TONI WOLFF 1888-1953

Toni Wolff was president of the Psychology Club Zurich from 1928 to 1945. When C.A. Meier succeeded her as president, she continued to work as the Club's actuary for another seven years. In 1952 she was appointed "Honorary President" of the Club. Toni Wolff was, beside Emma Jung, C.G. Jung's closest companion, and for many years his collaborator. In his introduction to her book "Studies on Jungian Psychology", which was published after her death, he honoured her with the following tribute:

[Toni Wolff] was my friend and collaborator for more than twenty years, until her untimely death in 1953, at the age of sixty-five. She took an active part in all phases of the development of analytical psychology, and to her we owe the expression “complex psychology” as a designation for this field of research. Her collaboration was not confined to working out practical methods of analysis and to the task of theoretical formulation, both of which have found visible expression in the published material. She also helped me to carry out, over a period of forty years, a “silent experiment” in group psychology, an experiment which constitutes the life of the Psychology Club Zurich.

This small group of thirty to seventy members was founded in 1916, and it owes its existence to the realization that analytical treatment (including the “psychoanalytic” method) is a dialectical process between two individuals, and therefore gives results which are necessarily onesided from the collective and social point of view.

Thanks to her high natural intelligence and quite exceptional psychological insight, the author was one of the first to recognize the extraordinary importance of this psychotherapeutic problem, and devoted herself to it with particular zeal. For many years she was president of the Club and so had a unique opportunity to collect observations on group psychology.

Her study of the difficulties that arise in a group provided [her] with a mass of empirical material of which she made valuable use. 

(C.G. Jung, Collected Works vol. 10 / Extract from: Introduction to Toni Wolff’s “Studies in Jungian Psychology”/ § 887 ff.)

 

Paul Basilius BARTH 1881-1955: «Toni Wolff»

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