Adolf Guggenbühl : In Memoriam

Adolf Guggenbühl (1923-2008)

In Memoriam

Adolf GuggenbühlAdolf Guggenbühl was born in Zürich on May 25, 1923, the oldest son of Adolf Guggenbühl and Helene Guggenbühl-Huber. His father was a journalist and a writer, the publisher and editor of the Schweizer Spiegel, a monthly magazine that played an important roll in the fight against National Socialism. His mother came from a longstanding Zürich family in Maienfeld. During the pregnancy with Adolf she was studying medicine. Later she worked as an editor at the Schweizer Spiegel publishing company.

Adolf Guggenbühl spent his early childhood in Brookline, Mass. where his younger brother, Allen Guggenbühl, was born. Later and back in Switzerland, his sister Elizabeth came into the world.

Adolf lived at first in the Seefeld area of Zürich, near his grandparents. His grandfather Guggenbühl-Leuthold was a builder.

Adolf GuggenbühlAlready prior to Adolf’s entry into school the family moved to Eierbrecht, Witikon, in what was in that time a modern house in the Bauhaus style. His parents lived there for the remainder of their lives. To his parent’s house, which was strongly marked by the profession of his parents, came writers like Kurt Guggenheim and Friederich Glauser and personalities like the physicist Wolfgang Pauli and the philosopher Hartmann. He told us that Glauser had told him especially fanciful bedtime stories.

Adolf Guggenbühl’s childhood was not easy for him. He spent the greatest part of it far away from home in children’s homes and sanatoriums. At home he was cared for by not always much loved housemaids since his parents were both busy with their professions. At six-and-a-half he was sent to Fidaz because of swollen glands, and then following short stays at home there followed Davos, Turbach, Zuoz and Schiers. Except for Turbach, he found the stays in these children’s homes and sanatoriums very unpleasant. He would often pass summers in Eierbrecht, and these times he enjoyed. He founded an Indian tribe there and later an association for the liberation of North America from the white man. After Christmas of his first year at the Gymnasium, he was sent for treatment to Graubunden because he was thought to have tuberculosis. Later he landed in Davos in a school that was dominated by National Socialists. The time there was horrible, and he suffered from the Nazi slogans of the Nazi-friendly teachers at the school. Later he came to Troggen where he was allowed to study for the Matura under special conditions due to his illness. At the beginning of his studies it was discovered that there had been a misdiagnosis of TB. After his tonsils were removed, his health improved.

In 1942 Adolf Guggenbühl began to study theology. He dedicated himself to four semester of theological studies and wanted to become a pastor. He then discontinued his theological studies and studied history in Basel instead. There he founded the association for the protection of Jewish students. He got sick again and came to Leysin. There he discovered Freud and Jung. He decided then to study medicine. According to him, he wanted to learn a solid trade.

His brother Allen committed suicide at this time. Allen had always suffered from life and had tried several times before to take his life. Allen was full of energy and adventuresome, but Adolf sensed that he had little joy in life and tried to provide support for him. It is probable that he suffered deeply because he could not prevent the suicide. Allen threw himself under a subway train in New York.

In 1949 Adolf Guggenbühl traveled to Scotland to a summer camp of the Reforestry Commission. There he was enchanted by the voice of Anne Craig when he heard her singing in church and fell in love with her. After a year of correspondence, Anne Craig moved to Switzerland.

Adolf Guggenbühl married Anne Craig in Aberdeen in 1950. My mother was at that time a student of sculpture at the Art College. At first they lived in Zürich with his parents in Eierbrecht. In 1952 there first son, Allan Guggenbühl, was born. Adolf and Anne moved in the same year to Providence, Rhode Island and later to Omaha, Nebraska, where in 1954 I, Catriona, was born. In the USA he received his training in psychiatry and psychotherapy. In 1955 they moved back to Switzerland, to the Okenstrasse. Later they moved to Witikon, and finally in 1962 they built a house in Pfaffhausen on Saengglen street, where he lived until his death.

After his return, he worked in the Burghölzli Klinik as an assistant doctor and began to take an interest in Jungian psychology. In 1956 Marion, his second daughter, was born. In this period he opened a practice and worked from then on as a psychotherapist at Unteren Zäune 1. In 1959 the twins, Alastair and David, were born. In addition to his work as a psychotherapist Adolf Guggenbühl took part in the C.G. Jung Institut in Zürich, became a training analyst and teacher there, and for many years was president of the C.G. Jung Institut and for a time the president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology. In addition to many articles and lectures in Switzerland and abroad Adolf Guggenbühl wrote several books: Power in the Helping Professions, Marriage – Dead or Alive, Eros on Crutches. His books have been translated into many languages. Adolf Guggenbühl traveled a lot in his lifetime, giving lectures in North and South America, in many European countries, and also in Japan. He inspired countless people in many different cultures with his ideas. Every year he traveled with his family to Scotland. Next to his family, his male friendships and the exchange of ideas were most important to him.

In 1981 his first grandchild was born, and 13 more followed. Adolf Guggenbühl reduced his work load, let his beard grow, and dedicated a great portion of his time to his grandchildren. He gave further lectures and continued to write articles. Until one year before his death he saw patients and conducted supervision.

He could not recover from a hip operation, and after several difficult weeks he died peacefully on Friday, the 18th of July, in the Bethany Home in Zürich.

Catriona Guggenbühl (translated by Murray Stein)


Biographie Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig

A.G wurde 25. Mai 1923 als ältester Sohn von Adolf Guggenbühl und Helene Guggenbühl-Huber in Zürich geboren. Sein Vater war Journalist, Schriftsteller, Verleger und Herausgeber des Schweizer Spiegels, eine Monatszeitschrift, die im Kampf gegen den Nationalsozialismus eine grosse Rolle spielte. Seine Mutter entstammte einer in Zürich ansässigen Bünderfamilie aus Maienfeld. Sie hat währender der Schwangerschaft mit Adolf Medizin studiert. Später arbeitete sie als Redakteurin im Schweizer Spiegel Verlag.

Adolf Guggenbühl verbrachte seine frühste Kindheit in Brookline, Boston, wo sein jüngerer Bruder Allen Guggenbühl auf die Welt kam. Zurück in der Schweiz kam seine Schwester Elisabeth zur Welt.

Adolf lebte zuerst im Zürcher Seefeld, in der Nähe seines Grosseltern. Sein Grossvater Guggenbühl-Leuthold war Tiefbauunternehmer.

Die Familie zügelte noch vor dem Schuleintritt Adolf Guggenbühls an die Eierbrecht, Witikon, in ein für die damalige Zeit modernes Haus im Bauhausstil. Seine Eltern lebten von diesem Zeitpunkt an immer dort. In seinem Elternhaus, das geprägt war vom Beruf seiner Eltern, verkehrten Schriftsteller wie Kur Guggenheim, Friederich Glauser und Persönlichkeiten wie der Physiker Wolfgang Pauli oder der Philosoph Hartmann. Von Glauser erzählt er uns, er habe ihm speziell fantasievolle Gutenachtgeschichten erzählt.

Adolf Guggenbühls Kindheit war für ihn nicht einfach. Den grössten Teil seiner Kindheit verbrachte er fern von zuhause, in Kinderheimen und Sanatorien. Zuhause wurde er von nicht immer geliebten Kindermädchen gehütet, da beide Eltern berufstätig waren Mit 6 ½ wurde er wegen geschwollenen Drüsen nach Fidaz geschickt, anschliessend folgten nach kurzen Aufenthalten zuhause Davos, Turbach, Zuoz und Schiers. Ausser in Turbach empfand er die Aufenthalte in den Kinderheim und Sanatorien als sehr unangnehm. Den Sommer verbrachte er oft an der Eierbrecht, diese Zeit genoss er. Er gründete er eine Indianerbande und später einen Verein zur Befreiung Nordamerikas von den Weissen. Nach Weihnachten der ersten Klassen des Gymnasiums am FGZ wurde er wegen TB Verdacht in die Bündner Heilstätte geschickt. Später kam er nach Davos, in eine Schule, die von Nationalsozialisten dominiert war. Die Zeit dort war grässlich, er litt unter den Nazi Sprüchen der Nazifreundlichen Lehrer der Schule. Später kam er nach Troggen, wo er unter Spezialbedingungen wegen seiner Krankkeit die Matur machte. Am Anfang seines Studiums stellte sich heraus, dass es sich bei der TB um eine Fehldiagnose handelte. Nachdem ihm die Mandel herausgeschnitten wurden, verbesserte sich sein Gesundheitszustand.

1942 begann Adolf Guggenbühl Theologie zu studieren. Er widmete sich vier Semester dem Theologiestudium, wollte Pfarrer werden. Er brach das Theologiestudium ab und studierte in Basel Geschichte. Dort gründete er den Verein für den Schutz jüdischer Studenten. Er wurde wieder krank und kam nach Leysin. Dort entdeckte er Freud und Jung. Er entschloss sich dann Medizin zu studieren, gemäss seinen Worten wollte er ein solides Handwerk lernen.

Sein Bruder Allen brachte sich um diese Zeit um. Allen hatte schon immer unter dem Leben gelitten und sich schon etliche Male das Leben nehmen wollen. Allen war voller Energie, abenteuerlich, doch spürte Adolf, dass er keine Freude am Leben hatte und versucht ihn umzustimmen. Wahrscheinlich hat er stark darunter gelitten, dass er den Freitod nicht verhindern konnte. Allen warf sich in New York vor eine Untergrundbahn.

1949 reiste Adolf Guggenbühl nach Schottland in ein Sommerlager der Reforestry Commssion. Dort wurde er durch die Stimme von Anne Craig verzaubert, als er sie in der Kirche singen hörte und verliebte sich in sie. Nach einem Jahr Briefkontakt zog Anne Craig in die Schweiz.

Adolf Guggenbühl heiratete 1950 Anne Craig in Aberdeen. Meine Mutter war damals Studentin der Bildhauerei am Art College. Sie wohnten am Anfang in Zürich bei seinen Eltern an der Eierbrecht. 1952 kam der erste Sohn, Allan Guggenbühl zur Welt. Adolf und Anne zogen in jenem Jahr nach Providence, Rhode Island und anschliessend nach Omaha Nebraska, wo 1954 ich, Catriona zur Welt kam. Er liess sich in den U.S.A. zum Spezialarzt für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie ausbilden. 1955 kehrten sie in die Schweiz, an die Okenstrasse zurück. Später zügelten sie nach Witikon und schliesslich bauten sie er 1962 ein Haus in Pfaffhausen in der Sängglen, wo er bis zu seinem Tod lebte.

Nach seiner Rückkehr arbeitete er im Bürghölzi als Assistenzarzt und begann sich für jungsche Psychologie zu interessieren. 1956 kam Marion, seine zweite Tochter zur Welt. In dieser Zeit übernahm er eine Praxis und arbeitete fortan als Psychotherapeut an der Unteren Zäune 1. 1959 kamen Alastair und David, die Zwillinge, zur Welt. Neben seiner Arbeit als Psychotherapeut engagierte sich Adolf Guggenbühl im C. G. Jung Institut in Zürich, wurde Lehranalytiker und Dozent, war mehrere Jahre Präsident des C. G. Jung Instituts und eine Zeitlang Präsident der internationalen Gesellschaft für analytische Psychologie. Neben diversen Artikeln und vielen Vorträgen in der Schweiz und im Ausland hat Adolf Guggenbühl mehrere Bücher geschrieben: Macht als Gefahr beim Helfer, die Ehe ist tot, es lebe die Ehe, Seelenwüsten, die närrischen Alten. Seine Bücher wurden in mehrere Sprachen übersetzt. Adolf Guggenbühl ist in seinem Leben viel gereist, seine Vortragstätigkeiten führte in Nach Nord- und Südamerika, in viele europäische Länder und auch nach Japan. Mit seinen Ideen hat er eine Unzahl von Menschen aus verschiedensten Kulturen nachhaltig inspiriert. Einmal im Jahr reiste er mit seiner Familie nach Schottland. Neben seiner Familie waren ihm Männerfreundschaften und das Austauschen von Ideen wichtig.

1981 kam sein erster Enkel auf die Welt, es folgten 13 weitere. Adolf Guggenbühl reduzierte seine Arbeit, liess sich einen Bart wachsen und widmete einen grossen Teil seiner Zeit der Enkelschar. Er hielt weiterhin Vorträge und schrieb Artikel. Bis ein Jahr vor seinem Tod behandelte er Patienten und gab Supervision.

Von einer Hüftoperation hat er sich nicht mehr erholt und nach einigen schwierigen Wochen starb er am Freitag, den 18. Juli im Bethanienheim in Zürich friedlich.

Catriona Guggenbühl




It is our sad duty to inform you that Dr. med. Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig died on Friday, July 18th 2008 at the age of 85. Although he was not an ISAP Participant, he was very close to many of us from earlier contacts and collaborations. It is for this reason that we wish to remember him with this message of gratitude.

As a long-time president of the C.G. Jung Institute Zürich, and later as president of the IAAP, his contributions to Jungian Psychology within Switzerland and beyond were numerous. A large number of Jungians throughout the world were influenced by his activities as a psychotherapist and analyst, teacher and lecturer, and author of many important books and articles.

Adolf Guggenbühl possessed an extremely independent spirit. He loved contradiction and searched out the most unusual and paradoxical elements in human existence. This was apparent in the titles and themes of his books and lectures, which were characteristically marked by humor and a dialectical style.

Adolf Guggenbühl had a sober but also committed and engaging way of relating to others. He possessed a wonderful wit and sense of self-irony, and he knew how to tell good stories with pointed anecdotes and original conclusions.

He will be missed by many of us who encountered him in the years of his greatest influence here in Zürich, and he will remain in our memories as an original, unique personality and a most highly valued colleague.

Deborah Egger
President AGAP

Murray Stein
President ISAP

Ursula Ulmer
Vice-president ISAP


Wir müssen Ihnen die traurige Nachricht vermitteln, dass Dr. med. Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig am Freitag, den 18. Juli 2008 im Alter von 85 Jahren in Zürich gestorben ist. Er ist zwar nicht ISAP-Teilnehmer gewesen, doch stand er vielen Kolleginnen und Kollegen von ISAP aufgrund früherer Kontakte und Zusammenarbeit sehr nahe, weshalb wir Ihnen diesen Nachruf zukommen lassen möchten.

Er hat als langjähriger Präsident des C.G.Jung Instituts Zürich und später als Präsident der IAAP viel für die Jungsche Psychologie in der Schweiz und darüber hinaus getan. In seiner Tätigkeit als Jungscher Psychotherapeut und Psychiater, Ausbildner und Dozent am Jung-Institut, sowie regelmässiger Referent und Autor mehrerer Bücher hat er eine grosse Zahl von Jungianern, die heute in der Schweiz und im Ausland tätig sind, nachhaltig geprägt.

Er verfügte über einen sehr unabhängigen Geist, der den Widerspruch liebte und suchte und sich speziell für das Ungewöhnliche und Paradoxe menschlicher Existenz interessierte. Dies zeigte sich auch in den Titeln und Themen seiner Bücher und Referate, die sich durch besonderen Witz und dialektische Formulierungen kennzeichneten.

Adolf Guggenbühl hatte eine nüchterne, aber zugleich verbindliche und engagierte Art des Umgangs mit Menschen. Er war mit einem herrlichen Humor und viel Selbstironie gesegnet und wusste gute Geschichten mit träfen Anekdoten und originellen Schlussfolgerungen zu erzählen.

Er wird den vielen, die ihm in den Jahren seines intensiven Wirkens in Zürich begegnet sind, sehr fehlen. Er wird uns allen als einmalige, unverwechselbare Persönlichkeit und als geschätzter Kollege in Erinnerung bleiben.

Deborah Egger
Präsidentin AGAP

Murray Stein
Präsident ISAP

Ursula Ulmer
Vizepräsidentin ISAP



For IAAP by Thomas Kirsch

Adolf Guggenbühl Craig, one of the most influential Jungian analysts to come out of the Zürich tradition, died on Friday, July 18, 2008. His death followed a fractured hip which resulted from a fall several weeks ago. He was not able to recover from the broken hip.

Adolf was born in Zürich in 1923 and grew up in a traditional Swiss family. His father, a conservative Swiss, published an influential magazine where he spoke out against the Nazis. Adolf was very proud of his father’s political position. Adolf himself never was afraid to speak out and represent unpopular points of view.

He studied medicine at the University in Zürich and also at the time married his wife Ann Craig from Scotland . He did his internship in Providence , Rhode Island and then did his psychiatric training in Omaha , Nebraska , as it was exactly in the center of the United States . The growing family then moved back to Switzerland where Adolf did his Jungian training and became an analyst in 1958. In 1962 he edited the proceedings of the second IAAP Congress, Der Archetyp, and in 1963 he and Jim Hillman made a nationwide tour which included a stop in San Francisco . This is where I first met Adolf. He and Jim were considered the Young Turks of the Jung Institute at the time.

Adolf's leadership qualities were already evident and he became the president of the Curatorium of the Jung Institute for over a decade, president of the Swiss society of analytical psychology, vice president and then president for two terms of the IAAP, ending in 1983. His quiet and effective mediating qualities, plus his superior intelligence, made people gravitate to him from all walks of life, not just Jungians.

Adolf was not a prolific writer, but his three books, Power in the Helping Profession, Marriage, Dead or Alive, and Eros On Crutches, are all classics in the Jungian literature.

Adolf was dedicated to his family, which included his wife Ann, to whom he was married for over 60 years, his five children, and I believe 18 grandchildren. He spent a great deal of time with his family, travelling frequently to Scotland and to the Alps, where the family had had a house for many generations.

He valued his friendships deeply, and I would say that his life consisted of family, friends, and profession.

On a professional level he influenced students of analytical psychology for many generations, and he will be missed by family, friends, and colleagues greatly.

So far I have given you the bare outline of his professional accomplishments. What has only been hinted at were some of his human qualities which made Adolf such a unique individual. He, along with his wife, Ann, were two of the most welcoming people in Zürich to me and my family. They made us feel like part of their large family, and during the 30 years that we visited with Adolf and his family, it grew to include 18 grandchildren. It seemed like there were always visitors in the house, and they came from all walks of life. He was equally comfortable with neighbors and friends as he was with professional colleagues. He kept his professional life separate from his personal life in a way that I do not see many of us doing.

Adolf loved to talk about psychology, politics, IAAP politics, and was completely an internationalist, and at the same time, he was so typically a conservative Swiss. There was so often an unknown twist to his thinking, and his ideas were never conventional. Colleagues would identify Adolf as bringing up the shadow in a new way, but his ideas were much more complex than that.

Tom Kirsch
San Francisco



Reminiscences of Dr. Guggenbühl

From Walter Boechat (AJB Brazil):

Dr. Guggenbühl’s passing is a sad event for friends, students and former analysands in the whole world. As a former supervisee of his in Zurich I remember his clinical sensibility and sharp clinical awareness. As a Jungian analyst in Brazil, I must also say that Dr. Guggenbühl had a strong influence in South America and is deeply missed here. Some of his books have been translated to Portuguese and are widely read. Dr. Guggenbühl came to Brazil in 1978. I met him in Rio de Janeiro and his deep understanding of Brazilian social reality in topics such as racial integration and political power impressed me deeply.

Walter Boechat
Society Representative to IAAP -- AJB Brazil
Rio de Janeiro


From Liliana Liviano Wahba (SBrPA Brazil)

We wish to express our deep grief over the passing away of Dr Guggenbühl-Craig. He was a remarkable man, with that fine blend of intelligence, wisdom and affection that enlightens. His influence at the start of our Society was vital, having greatly supported and encouraged us in its creation in 1978. Along the years he continued stimulating us with his innovative, instigating books and his sporadic, memorable contacts.

A spark dims out on earth, and a new star shines in the heavens.
Our warmth and condolences to family, friends and colleagues.

Liliana Liviano Wahba
President of The Brazilian Society for Analytical Psychology - SBrPA


note: additional reminiscences and tributes may be added later

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