Steven J. Frank, 1948 – 2022

We are deeply saddened to share that our beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, and colleague Steven J. Frank, PhD passed away on February 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA at the age of 73 from cancer. His tremendous determination and will to live after battling multiple myeloma for 15 years, along with a recent diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia, was a testament to his inner strength and love of life. He fought until the very end.

Steven was born on September 27, 1948 in Detroit, MI to Janice and Irving Frank followed by his sister, Barbara (Sobelman) Frank. After moving to Los Angeles, CA at the age of 10, he learned to surf at the age of 12, falling in love with riding the waves, and continued for 54 years. Surfing lured him to UCSB, where he became a Religious Studies major and was introduced to the work of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, leading him to find his life’s work as a Jungian Analyst. He received a MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Child Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in 1977. After training at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, he was the youngest candidate to become a Certified Jungian Analyst in 1983. Along with a fulfilling private practice, Steven was the co-director of the Hilde Kirsch Children’s Center and became the Director of the Kieffer E. Frantz Clinic — the first clinic in the world offering Jungian analysis on a sliding-fee scale — and Internship program at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles from 1999-2020. He taught and mentored generations of therapists by guiding them through the process of becoming certified analysts, as well as through psychoanalytic supervision, publishing papers, teaching classes, and presenting lectures. His reach and impact extends beyond his own patients and trainees, the effects of which knows no bounds. Those he worked with describe him as remarkably sensitive, genuinely kind, deeply insightful, and endlessly curious. One longtime colleague and friend writes, “While Steve embodied an exterior of California cool, surfer dude, dresser extraordinaire, his interior self was a testament to his depth, nuance, sensitivity, compassion, and most of all a love and respect for the psyche and soul of the other. Knowing Steve was an experience of being seen, received, and connected to in a way that came as naturally to him as breathing.” 

As gratifying as his work was to him, what brought him the most pleasure in life was undoubtedly his family. In 1980, Steven married the love of his life, Bonnie, and they had two daughters, Lauren (Ben) Kessler and Samantha (Matt) Frank. The profound bond shared between the Frank family is inimitable; the closeness that was cultivated over the years was built out of a deep and unwavering love for each other. Steven was incredibly loving and present, and taught his family what being a true husband and father looks like: a man who unabashedly cries during sad movies and openly expresses his emotions. He shared his love for art, literature, food, and travel with his family, and found genuine satisfaction by delving into TV shows and movies of all genres. He loved spending time with his three-year-old granddaughter, Yvie, proudly sharing photos of her at every opportunity. 

When faced with various health issues and hospitalizations, Steven met these challenges with courage and determination: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” ― Jon Kabat-Zinn

A private memorial service was held in Santa Monica overlooking the ocean, close to the surf spot he truly loved. If you would like to make a donation in Steven’s honor, it can be made to the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, the Surfrider Foundation, or the International Myeloma Foundation. We would also like to encourage those who are able to donate life-saving blood and platelets in his honor.

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