|Born||Antonia Anna Wolff
18 September 1888
|Died||21 March 1953
|Fields||Psychology, Psychotherapy, Analytical psychology|
|Known for||Analytical psychology|
Antonia Anna "Toni" Wolff (18 September 1888 — 21 March 1953) was a Swiss Jungian analyst and a close associate of Carl Jung. During her analytic career Toni Wolff published relatively little under her own name, but she helped Jung identify, define, and name some of his best-known concepts including anima, animus, and persona. Her best-known paper was an essay on four "types" or aspects of the feminine psyche: the Amazon, the Mother, the Hetaira (or Courtesan), and the Medial (or mediumistic) Woman.
Wolff was born in 1888, the eldest of three daughters of a wealthy Zurich family. Encouraged by her parents to pursue creative interests, Wolff developed a passion for philosophy and mythology. However, when she asked to be allowed a university education, her father denied her request, explaining that it was not appropriate for a young woman of her class to have an "official" education. Wolff pursued her studies by enrolling in classes as a non-matriculating student.
In December 1909, when she was 21, Wolff's father died and she became acutely depressed. She began analysis with Jung, who was impressed by her intellect and treated her depression by stimulating and encouraging her to use it. Wolff "became the first in a long line of women who gravitated to Jung because he allowed them to use their intellectual interests and abilities in the service of analytical psychology". She began to help him with research, and accompanied Carl and Emma Jung to a psychoanalytic conference in Weimar in 1911.
Wolff's relationship with Jung was pivotal in her development as an analyst and member of the early analytic psychology circle in Zurich. She became an analyst and honorary President of the Zurich Psychological Club. By age 60, she had a busy practice, but was in poor health, suffering from both severe arthritis and her years of heavy smoking.
She died suddenly and unexpectedly on 21 March 1953, aged 64.
Relationship with Jung
Following Wolff's analysis with Jung, she became his assistant and then, in 1913 when she was 25 years old, his lover. Wolff also essentially became Jung's analyst during his period of intense introspection following his break with Sigmund Freud in 1912. Wolff at this time was a "constant presence in the [Jung] household. It was she who listened to all Jung's visions, dreams, and fantasies, serving his every need from sounding board to devil's advocate, and who was his unacknowledged personal analyst."
After successful analysis with Jung, she requested that they move to an intimate relationship and Jung agreed. Dr. Sonu Shamdasani notes in editorial comments to The Red Book, Jung recorded in his diary that he decided to undertake the relationship with Wolff after an impressive dream that occurred at the end of 1912. During the critical period of Jung's "encounter with the unconscious", the period between about 1913 and 1917 documented in Jung's The Red Book, Wolff was a crucial companion to Jung.
Jung's initiation of a relationship with Toni initially caused understandable tensions in his marriage, but by 1920 an accord of acceptance was evidently reached between Jung, his wife Emma, and Wolff. Jung had been looking for the "Anima woman," eventually coming to call Toni his "second wife." Wolff was a frequent visitor to the Jung house, occasionally working on projects for Jung at his home office in the late mornings until the family lunch (from which she was excluded), and then continuing in the afternoon. She usually joined the family for Sunday dinners. From around 1920 until the end of her life, Jung was commonly accompanied by both Wolff and his wife at public and private functions.
In the early 1930s, Jung began to pursue alchemy. To Jung, the internal, private mental processes of alchemists paralleled the process of individuation. Wolff became concerned that Jung would be marginalized by this arcane focus of study. She invited a group of university students to visit Jung, including the brilliant and socially awkward 18-year-old Marie-Louise von Franz. In her 2003 biography of Jung, Deirdre Bair quotes von Franz as saying she intellectually replaced Toni Wolff in Jung's life, confirmed by von Franz herself:
"Her [Wolff's] big mistake was in not being enthusiastic about alchemy. It was unfortunate that she refused to follow him there, because otherwise he would not have thrown her over to collaborate with me. He would have used me just for translating, and he would have confided in her. But she wasn't interested. She was too much a slightly conventional Christian, and she refused to follow him."
Yet despite this failing, throughout her life Wolff remained the companion of Jung's inner work. Aniela Jaffé, Jung's secretary and biographer, described her as Jung's "helper in the intellectual penetration of the world of psychic images." In A Memoir of Toni Wolff, Irene Champernowne describes her this way:
"I always felt as if I were even nearer to Jung’s inner wisdom when I was with her than when I was with him in the flesh. She was in some way the inner side of his or rather the inner companion of his journey through the unconscious. She had a remarkable insight and was articulate and confident."
Jung acknowledged the importance of his relationship with Wolff. Even in later years of life, they frequently spent time together at Jung's Bollingen tower. Until his health deteriorated after a heart attack in 1944, Wolff and Jung usually spent Wednesday evenings together at the home of Wolff. When Wolff died in 1953, Jung was overcome with grief, and found himself physically and emotionally unable to attend her funeral, fearing a public collapse; Jung's wife attended for them both. (Jung's absence at the funeral is often misrepresented as implying Jung's coldness toward Toni, while in fact it was the result of the depth of his feelings in old age.) Jung had a memorial stone carved for her that read in Chinese characters arranged vertically "Toni Wolff Lotus Nun Mysterious."
- Bair, Dierdre (2003). Jung. New York: Little, Brown, pg. 293; ISBN 0-316-07665-1
- Wolff, Toni (1956). Structural Forms of the Feminine Psyche. ASIN: B0007KA7RO
- Bair, Dierdre (2003). Jung. New York: Little, Brown, pg. 198
- Bair, Dierdre (2003). Jung. New York: Little, Brown, pg. 199
- Bair, Dierdre (2003). Jung. New York: Little, Brown, pg. 293
- Whitney, Mark (1985). Carl Jung — Matter of Heart
- C.G. Jung, The Red Book: Liber Novus, ed. Sonu Shamdasani, Norton (2009), pg. 198
- Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and Work, A Biographical Memoir (1976), pgs. 117-22
- Bair, Deirdre. (2003). Jung: A Biography. Little, Brown & Company.
- Aniela Jaffe, Spring 1972 pp. 177-8
- Irene Champernowne, A Memoir of Toni Wolff (1980), p. 5
- Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and Work, A Biographical Memoir (1976), pgs. 312-3
- Henderson, J.L. in Champernowne, A Memoir of Toni Wolff (1980), p. 4
- Whitney, Mark (1985). Carl Jung — Matter of Heart, 1h45m documentary in which Toni Wolff is discussed and pictured.
- Champernowne, Irene (1972). A Memoir of Toni Wolff. C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco.
- Davis, D.A. (1997). Jung in the Psychoanalytic movement. In P. Young-Eisendrath & T. Dawson (Eds.). Cambridge *Companion to Jung. Cambridge University Press.
- Wolff, Toni (1956). Structural forms of the feminine psyche. (Trans. P. Watzlawik). Zurich: C.G. Jung Institute.
- Champernowne, Irene (1980). A Memoir of Toni Wolff. San Francisco Jung Institute (for free download see: http://www.sfjung.org/about/other_institute_publications.asp).
- Jensen, Ferne (1983). C.G. Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff: A Collection of Remembrances. Analytical Psychology Club.
- Kirsch, Thomas B. (2003). Toni Wolff-James Kirsch correspondence. Journal of Analytical Psychology 48 (4), pgs. 499–506.
- Neri,Nadia.(1995)."Oltre l'ombra.Donne intorno a Jung" Borla,Roma.
- "A Memoir of Toni Wolff" by Irene Champernowne. Available for free download courtesy of the San Francisco Jung Institute (copyright holder).
- Out of the Shadows: A Story of Toni Wolff and Emma Jung
- A series of audio lectures on Jung and his relationship to Toni Wolff.