• 81 years old
  • Born on June 14, 1936 in London, United Kingdom.
  • Passed away on October 22, 2017 .

We created this website to capture memories of Tom. So many of you have already sent us personal notes. We would like to share them so that all of you can see them. 

Thank you for the outpouring of love and affection for Tom. 

With love, 
Jean, David and Susannah

Posted by Jean Kirsch on June 14, 2019
Today, Tom would have been 83 years old. He always loved his birthdays, always remembering that on his 7th birthday party, as a newly arrived immigrant in Los Angeles, his mother had placed a tiny American flag at each place. Thereafter, he believed that the flags that were set out annually in his neighborhood were all placed there in honor of his birthday! Such was the fine self esteem and wide ambitions of this kind and playful man.
We love you, Tom and miss you each day.
Posted by Alan Elms on December 4, 2017
I knew Tom through the Bay Area Psychobiography Group. He was one of the few Jungians in the group. When I learned that, I expected to find him hostile or at least argumentative toward me, since my own perspective was mainly Freudian. But he was quite open to discussion of our different theoretical approaches and happy to talk with me whenever we met. Though I have been unable to come to Psychobiography Group meetings for the past year, I had been looking forward to talking with him again, and I am saddened that that will no longer be possible.
Posted by Patricia Michan on November 28, 2017
I shall always remember Thomas Kirsch with great respect, admiration, and affection. My dear Tom was an unremitting support over the years of 1991 to 1999, first in my ongoing labors to become accredited as an individual IAAP certified Jungian analyst despite the fact that there was no Jungian analytic training in Mexico, and later on in ongoing supervision and consultation. He was also an invaluable guide, companion, and bridge in the creation and development of the Centro Mexicano C. G. Jung in Mexico City and its Training Program in Jungian-Oriented Psychotherapy. For years, he was both seminal to the creation and participant to the implementation of the Program at the Centro, where he was a founding member of the Academic Committee. To me, Tom’s participation and dedication to Jungian work in Mexico has the quality of the fulfillment of a mandate. For years, he continued to be seminal in the development of Jungian psychology in Mexico. To date, growing out of these efforts there are now sixteen certified Jungian analysts in Mexico. I shall always remember him with deep gratitude.

Jean, David, and Susannah, thanks deeply for sharing this invaluable wealth of memories.
Posted by Angiola Iapoce on November 16, 2017
The Publishing House Fattore Umano Edizioni , which I am the President of, is very proud to have translated in Italian the most important book of Thomas Kirsch "The Jungians".Fortunately, the colleague Franco Castellana, one of the Editor of the book and in contact with Thomas, sent him a copy of the book, just few months ago and Kirsch was very touched and grateful. I feel myself closer to Kirsch because I had his book in my hands for some years. Thank you, Thomas, for your kind presence in my life. Rest in peace
Posted by Bonnie Payne on November 15, 2017
Tom was a kind and unstinting teacher, a wise mentor and a warm friend. I am deeply grateful that I have had the opportunity to know him in so many ways and to benefit from his generous nature and his deep understanding of the psyche. He is missed.
Bonnie Payne
San Francisco
Posted by Mary Coombs on November 13, 2017
Fly free dear Tom,
like a white bird into the eternal light
of life, afterlife, and before life,
in which we are all together......

I hear your Mozart Fantasia in D-minor..
a piece you loved, and played ...

Much gratitude to Jean and Tom's family for posting this golden
web page with images of Tom, and messages from people he loves, of happiness, and beauty... enabling us all to dream on.......
Posted by Erel Shalit on November 11, 2017
Tom was to me a major torchbearer of the Jungian tradition. During the last several years, when we had the chance to meet, I felt we had a sense of brotherhood-like communion, as for instance when he expressed that were his parents to have remained in Mandatory Palestine, “I could have been a Sabra. Hebrew would be my mother tongue.” His wonderful spirit of life, even in times of illness, is a light to be carried.
Posted by Angela Graf-Nold on November 8, 2017
I am always thankful for Tom's open heart and open mind.
Posted by Ann Lammers on November 7, 2017
Tom used to swim every day, when he could, as a meditation. Sometime in 2004, when he was thinking about what it meant to him that the letters between Jung and his father had surfaced, he came to the decision -- while swimming -- that he should ask me to edit the correspondence. In the years that followed, we worked intensively, side by side, struggling faithfully with the work. It was sometimes hard for Tom to be around my research, because it meant he was exposed to ghosts from his father's life. We talked and listened to each other over those years, and our professional collaboration became a deepening friendship, which was precious and healing. I will never forget what a staunch friend you were, Tom. (It hurts to use the past tense for you.) Memories fill my heart. Thank you. And deepest thanks and love to Jean.
Posted by Pere Segura on November 6, 2017
We send our memory and gratitude to Tom Kirsch. With him began Analytical Psychology in our country, (Chicago Congress). We have always thanked his testimony and his care for the History of Analytical Psychology. His teachings have been present at the Master's Degree organized by the C.G.Jung-Barcelona Institute.
Pere Segura and colleagues from the Institute

Enviem el nostre record i gratitud per Tom Kirsch. Amb ell va començar la Psicologia Analítica al nostre país, en el Congrés de Chicago. Sempre hem agraït el seu testimoni i la seva cura per la Història de la Psicologia Analítica. Els seus ensenyaments han estat presents en el Màster Universitat organitzat per l'Institut C.G.Jung-Barcelona.
Pere Segura i col·legues de l'Institut.
Posted by Marcel Gaumond on November 6, 2017
I remember during a sabbatical year that I spent in San Francisco (1983-1984) teasing Tom for the fact that he had chosen a license plate with the letters IAAP for his car . But beyond teasing, I perceived her deep and lasting commitment to the Jungian community. I have always felt, during the few contacts I had with him, genuine kindness and sincere respect for the various points of view of colleagues, including mine. I can hardly think he's out of this world anymore and I take my hat off him. Have a good trip to the « Other World », Tom!

Marcel / APJQ
Posted by Robert Bosnak on November 6, 2017
I met Tom at the Jerusalem IAAP conference in 1983. I had met his father before at Eranos so even though he was a decade older than me I felt of the same generation. He was young and dynamic and affected by being in Jerusalem, as was I. He radiated innate modesty which served him well as the ambassador of our movement to the world. Each time we met only briefly, but the warmth of his presence will always be with me. The world will miss you, Tom Kirsch. May you kind spirit linger forever in our hearts.
Posted by Priscilla Rodgers on November 6, 2017
I'll miss Tom greatly, though I didn't know him well. He was such a warm individual, and I remember meeting him here in NY at a gathering, and letting him know quietly that my mother had been in analysis with his father. He was delightful and engaging about this and all things. Not only were we in the family of analysts together, but it seemed that we had some other deep sort of more literal familial connection as well. My best wishes towards his family at this time.
Posted by LeeAnn Pickrell on November 6, 2017
Dear Jean, I just found out about Tom's passing. My heart is with you and your family. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to edit the articles he wrote for Jung Journal and especially that I was able to work with him on his Selected Works last year. He was so generous and kind and had such wonderful stories to share, and I will miss working with him. All my best, LeeAnn
Posted by Bill Taylor on November 5, 2017
The Indispensable Man

Dear Tom:

Christine graciously loaned me the DVD of your interview with Murray Stein and it was wonderful! I can't tell you how much Emily and I got out of it! 

I noted your mentioning to Murray Stein that you were not a "intellectual" as others were. It brought to mind the term applied to Washington - The Indispensable Man. Washington was also feeling inferior to some of the other revolutionaries around him, e.g. Jefferson and Madison, who were intellectiuals and writers. But the Revolution would never have been successful without his leadership.  Perhaps a similar thing could be said about you. It seems to me that you were indispensable to the Jungian movement.

I will forever remember your role in my life. I shan't try to describe that here! I remember the first thing I said to you, and your response, and the dream with the little man in blue that I had that night.

You were my therapist and second parent for 34 years. Goodbye and Godspeed whereever you are!


Posted by PATRIZIA MICHELIS on November 4, 2017
I was greatly saddened to hear the news of Thomas Kirsch's passing.

I am honored to have had the opportunity to know him and to listen to his sharp thoughts, which Tom used to convey with intense emotional empathy.

We are all poorer than before. However, the gift of his presence still remains in the memory of those who have known him, heard his speeches, read his books, and who will remember him to the Jungian community that will come.

A dear and affectionate thought for Jean and the family, to whom I extend my condolences.
Patrizia Michelis (AIPA)
Posted by Dyane Sherwood on November 3, 2017
I knew Tom was coming close to the end, but I decided that I would call him anyway to see if he might still be able to talk about the Crews book on Freud. If he'd been able, I knew he would have read it followed by conversations with friends from around the world. I always enjoyed his perspective, which was open, curious, and informed by his own lived history and his extensive reading in the field.

Jean picked up and told me that Tom had passed away early in the morning.

Not being able to have that seemingly unimportant conversation has affected me deeply, a small thing that connects me to the memory of a man who was a large presence in the Jungian community and a friend and mentor in my own life from the years I joined his consultation group in Palo Alto through my analytic training and years as an analyst in the Bay Area. He was generous with me in sharing the landscape of the field, introducing me to people of interest, and when I asked for it, giving me excellent personal and professional advice.

Tom had many gifts and important positions, yet he was never arrogant. He appreciated people from all walks of life and from many cultures and even hostile viewpoints. I used to kid him that he was only three degrees of separation from anyone in the world: he helped to connect so many people with one another. His friends included medical and psychoanalytic colleagues (both Freudian and Jungian), authors, artists, and musicians, and people from many walks of life. He went frequently to concerts and listened to music in his home.

Tom was a very loyal friend, especially to a group of male physicians who became Jungian analysts around the same time he did. This group dominated the Jung Institute for many decades. Tom was also deeply attached and loyal to his wife Jean, their daughter Susannah, and his son David--not just in feeling but in time spent together at home, traveling, attending concerts and ball games. He really thought about them, worried about them, and mainly took joy in them.

It is going to take some time for me to absorb that Tom will no longer tell a story about someone he met just by accident who turned out to be...
or pass along a bit of news about a small drama in the analytic world or recommend a new recording--or just be there to greet me, open to engaging about whatever might be going on at the moment!

Fare Well, Tom!
Posted by Gershon Weltman on November 3, 2017
Tom and I were at Fairfax High School together in Los Angeles in 1952 and 1953. We were members of the same high school fraternity – the Lochinvars – and lived only a few blocks from each other. We became close friends and acquainted with each other’s family: his father and mother Jungian psychoanalysts, and my father a costumer at 20th Century Fox Studios, which came in handy when Tom once needed to attend a formal affair – my father fitted him with a movie star’s tuxedo. In high school Tom was an outstanding combination of academics, athletics and school service; but most impressive was that he was on a clear path to life, while most of the rest of us were just starting our random walk. We disconnected for over 60 years, seeing each other occasionally at school reunions, but nothing more until we were fortuitously reconnected by a mutual friend, also a Jungian psychoanalyst, Judith Hecker. We found that we had made different journeys but had arrived at similar destinations in terms of interests, affinities and outlooks. He and Jean and my wife Tova and I spent some wonderful times together at operas, at restaurants, and revisiting the old neighborhood, which gave Tom pleasure and which Jean and Tova tolerated. Tom’s early promise had of course matured into great wisdom and knowledge, but his ready smile and good humor, now in the face of adversity, had not changed. I learned much from him about courage and grace under pressure, even up to a month or so ago, when I saw him last, and he was confined to bed and awaiting what he saw as inevitable. What a person, what a friend, what a loss. 
Gershon Weltman
Posted by Gilda Frantz on November 2, 2017
I met Tom when he was 12 years old. He was a darling young boy and very dear. I had just married Kieffer Frantz and we were at the his parents house to have dinner. He was a likable child and I liked him right away. His likability never changed and the deep conversations we had through email when he was gravely ill made me love him.
Posted by Harriet Friedman on November 2, 2017
I first met Tom at the Kirsch's home in Los Angeles when he was a teenager. Later on we met again and have had a most precious friendship for all these years. I knew him to be a warm and good friend, and also a mentor who guided me along my professional path. These opportunities have opened up my professional life more than I could ever imagine and will always be grateful for his loving generosity. I will miss him so much, and send my heartfelt condolences to his beautiful and most loving family.
Posted by Bruce Parent on November 1, 2017
Dear Jean and Family. Thank you for your invitation to add this small memory of Tom to these many lovely stories of affection and remembrance. I enclose my condolences to you and all who loved him along with my fondness for Tom.
It was a pleasure, an honor and a treat to meet and work with Tom on the ARAS National Board. I first met Tom as one half of the "Tom's": the renowned tag team from CA and I have very much enjoyed working with both for these past many years. And now I will miss Tom.
His joy, feistiness and humor, his sense of history, and his warmth and
fierce devotion to ARAS and Jung were a treat to be around. I will miss him at the Annual meetings; and feel we have lost a great and committed advocate for ARAS and for the Symbolic value and depth of images. I know that you all knew and loved and worked and enjoyed sparring with Tom for far longer than I so just send my thoughts and care for you as well.
Posted by Susannah Kirsch on October 31, 2017
It is wonderful to see all of your notes. Since his passing, I've made a list of all the updates and tidbits I would share with him on one of my regular visits to Palo Alto... how beautiful Hilde's concert was, the important conversations I've had with Jean, David or others, the outpouring of love from the neighbors and old friends... I'll continue to add to the list... In his last year, but in particular in his final months, he engaged with the world through our stories. I miss you, Dad.
Posted by Maryann Barone-Chapman on October 31, 2017
Thank you for your warm open generosity from afar.
Posted by Murray Stein on October 30, 2017
Tom was a towering figure in the Jungian world and a dear and loyal friend to me and to many. His warm smile will remain in our memories. His influence on my life was transformational. I hold him in mind steadily with love and gratitude.
Posted by HK IAP on October 30, 2017
Dr. Tom Kirsch was one of a few Jungian scholars who visited the developing group of Hong Kong in 2008 and later again in 2010. We were inspired by his personal knowledge on Carl Jung since he was one of those who had known Carl Jung in person. He was remembered as a gentle mentor always with his encouraging smile and generous guidance. He will be missed by all of us who know him personally.

                Hong Kong Institute of Analytical Psychology
Posted by Mable LAM on October 30, 2017
Tom was a scholar with a big heart and a warming smile. He was a trickster, humble and human. He loved sport with all cheering energy. He was a fighter of illness without a defeated spirit. He was visionary, bringing Jungian Studies from the West to the East, then the East rejoiced with the West at San Francisco. He was a walking history with storytelling like movie. When I said goodbye to him at the door of the Jungian Institute at the summer workshops to go back home, I told him he has a GREAT part living in me, so touched to grow forever! A blessed man who had lived fully! Great job MAN, I am thankful and proud of you!
Posted by Steve Zemmelman on October 29, 2017
It was my great honor to have had Tom as a teacher, mentor, colleague, and, most of all, dear friend. We had the good fortune of sharing many conversations over the years. I will particularly remember how, in the weeks prior to his passing, we were able to talk in a particularly open-hearted way about healing and about dying. He wanted to live as long as he could yet he accepted his fate with great consciousness, made peace with his situation and healed some of the old wounds in the process. Tom was, if nothing else, a very generous and thoughtful man. He loved his wife, his family, Jungian psychology, and the San Francisco Giants. He had to wrestle throughout his life with the shadow of his parents but he did so with love and integrity. With his passing, we have lost a major player in the Jungian world who was a real mensch and a true scholar. I will miss Tom a great deal and will always remember him with love and admiration.
Posted by Susan Kepner on October 29, 2017
Tom is unforgettable. The kind smile, the warm and attentive gaze that also bespoke a formidable mind, his appreciation of his own gifts, and his generosity in celebrating the gifts of others, all of these qualities come to mind when I remember Tom. To be in his company was always a genuine pleassure.
Posted by INES DE LA OSSA IZQUIERDO on October 28, 2017
'm deeply grateful with Tom, above all for being the warm, wise and human person who was, for his immense contribution in the creation and maintenance of The International Analytical Psychology Student Program, of which I benefit since my training as an analyst would not have been the same if I had not had the opportunity to have part of it in the CG Jung Institute of San Francisco. The memory of each session of consultation with Tom to which I went every Monday taking the train from San Francisco to Palo Alto is forever in my heart. My sincere condolences to Jean, his family and the jungian community.
Posted by Marjorie Nathanson on October 28, 2017
Tom was such a wonderful combination of opposites He had such an open and warm heart and yet could help think through hard issues He really helped me on the Executive Committee of the IAAP His large International presence was invaluable to our Institute as well as the many offices and Committees he served on at our Institute It was also fun to hear him and my husband share Reed stories He was a wonderful storyteller and I will really miss seeing his warm smile. My heartfelt condolences to Jean, David and Susannah and their children.
Posted by Ramsay Breslin on October 28, 2017
What a light was Tom! I will miss his calm, kind, steady gaze, his palpable amusement with all things human, his relaxed demeanor and open-hearted warmth. Especially loved the synergy he created at our psychobiography meetings between his childhood memories and the part they played in the history of Jungian psychoanalysis. His father had been there, and he had been there, as a boy. But also as a highly attuned fly on the wall. My favorite Tom evening was when he presented on his dreams, written down almost daily over a lifetime. I couldn’t even imagine that level of dedication. And the dreams themselves were wild. He clearly loved recounting them, and we were spellbound, honestly. I was in awe of the creativity of his unconscious.
Posted by Jacqueline Zeller Levine on October 27, 2017
I knew Tom, literally from the time I was born more than 7decades ago. The Kirsches and the Zellers vacationed together, celebrated Passover’s together and often other events. Tom was always present, always intense and funny and bright. He and my brother Dan both went to Reed College. Tom was a model for us to follow. Through the years we drifted, and then became close again. When I too became a Jungian, we shared another bond besides our parents. My feelings run so deeply - a piece of my life, my history, our history, has been cut with Tom’s passing. I mourn him deeply and send love to all his family.
Posted by Claire Allphin on October 27, 2017
Tom was a warm and kind man who taught about dreams when I was a new candidate. He spoke of his vulnerability when trying to figure out dreams and made it more comfortable for me not to "know" the meaning until the meanings might or might not come to me or to the patient. This was the very humble side of him, that made it easy to be with him. May he rest in peace after all the courageous years of his holding on and being present for others.
Posted by Suzy Spradlin on October 27, 2017
Tom always led with a smile and a gentle demeanor. However privileged he had been, he never carried his persona as if he was special, even though he actually was quite special. He modeled for all of us how to embrace our ordinariness. He will be greatly missed!

Suzy Spradlin, San Francisco
Posted by Susan Rowland on October 26, 2017
It was always inspiring and enlivening to meet Tom as a man who gave so much and who knew himself so well. My life was made merry and bright by meeting him and his remarkable family. I only hope the pain of losing him is mitigated by the love that surrounded him.
Posted by David BUTLER on October 25, 2017
Tom Kirsch was considered the patron of AJB-Associação Junguiana do Brazil. During his reign as President of IAAP he and his wife Jean came to Brazil to meet with us..a group requesting entrance into the IAAP. We had great meetings with much warmth and rich exchanges. I for one learned that his wife Jean was from my little home town of Ashtabula, Ohio and the same high school!!...and here we were meeting for the first time in São Paulo...where I have resided for the last 47 years. This little fact added a touch of intimacy and awe which marked our relationship. He went on to be very supportive of the entrance of AJB into IAAP and of Analytical Psychology in Brazil..as a whole. We owe much to this great person. He is dearly missed in Brazil.

David Butler
AJB/IAAP-São Paulo
Posted by Rubens Bragarnich on October 24, 2017
I’m felling a deep sorrow with the Tom’ death. He was a very important researcher and the very important historyan of the spread of the jungian moviment on the world. He helped us to developed the Jungian Brazilian Association (AJB) at its beginnings.
My sincere condolences. Rubens Bragarnich, AJB/IAAP

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