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(1991). Editorial. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(4):427-428.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(4):427-428


On 1 March 1991 the first C. G. Jung Memorial Lecture took place in London at the Royal Society of Medicine under the aegis of the four United Kingdom training groups for analytical psychology, popularly known as the ‘Umbrella Group’. It was followed by a one-day workshop.

We had invited Dr Joseph Henderson to give the lecture for this first memorial event. Dr Henderson is one of the few remaining analysts who knew Jung personally and had been in analysis with him. He did us the honour of accepting our invitation and came over to London all the way from San Francisco. Tom Kirsch, the President of the International Association of Analytical Psychology, was also present, which made this a truly international Jungian occasion. The discussions at the workshop on the following day were opened by Roderick Peters, and Dr Henderson took an active part in the proceedings.

Joe Henderson has been affectionately called the ‘Dean’ of American analytical psychology. The paper he gave us amply justifies that title. It showed all of us that here was a creative and adventurous thinker, with far-reaching interests, a tremendous range of scholarship, and who has, moreover, succeeded in extending the frontiers of analytical psychology and deepening its theoretical and clinical formulations. He does not, could not, and would not turn Jung into a static, lifeless, and worshipful relic to be kept under a glass bowl and admired but not touched. Instead, in this lecture he showed us how he has developed, added to, and ‘played’ with analytical theory, indefatigably exploring its use and its relevance to ever-widening contexts and fields of study.

He referred to and described some of his many searches, researches, guiding preoccupations, and tentative but new ideas and theses, such as the cultural unconscious, initiations, their rites and thresholds, transference, countertransference, symbols, art, and aesthetics. I think of some of these as probes that reveal something of the essence, texture, and wellspring of the person, Joe Henderson, whose intellectual capacities and achievements are matched by his warm, emotionally sensitive, liberal, and ever curious and observant character.


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