|Birth: ||Aug. 31, 1903|
|Death: ||Nov. 17, 2007|
Joseph Henderson, psychologist in Ross, dies at 104
New York Times
Posted: 12/05/2007 04:10:43 PM PST
Joseph Henderson, a Ross-based psychologist and author who was an early practitioner of methods developed by Carl Jung to explore cultural influences on the unconscious mind, has died at 104 of pneumonia.
As a young journalist in search of a new direction in the late 1920s, Dr. Henderson traveled to Zurich to undergo analysis with Jung, the pioneering psychological theorist and rival of Sigmund Freud.
While in Zurich, he studied dream imagery and colors, symbols and archetypes, which Jung believed crossed cultures to be almost universally recognized. After attending medical school in London, Dr. Henderson returned to the United States and opened a psychoanalytical practice in Manhattan in 1938. He moved to San Francisco shortly thereafter and carried Jung's methods and ideas about a collective unconscious mind with him.
Dr. Henderson became most widely known for a related notion: that of a cultural unconsciousness in which a person's inherited impulses may be automatically filtered through his culture, sometimes to appear in sharply different forms. An example would be the channeling of aggression, in which the impulse might take the form of team sports, dance or warfare, depending on the surrounding culture.
Dr. Henderson first explained his idea in 1962, in a "most stimulating paper that added a dimension to Jung's theory about how we talk about images and emotions coming up from the psyche," said Dr. Thomas Kirsch, a psychiatrist and former president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology and the author of "The Jungians."
In 1967, Dr. Henderson looked at psychological aspects of initiation rites, in a study that combined religion and anthropology. That book, "Thresholds of Initiation," examined how a person might face and surmount various hurdles at different times of life.
Dr. John Beebe, a psychiatrist and former president of the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, called it the "antithesis of a self-help book," saying that it made a distinction between a heroic figure in an extraordinary situation and the more commonplace experience of dealing with aging and other challenges.
In 2003, when he was 100, Dr. Henderson, with his fellow analyst Dyane N. Sherwood, published a study of the symbolism of alchemy, "Transformation of the Psyche." The book connected colors that appear in dreams with emotions and treated the alchemical notion of turning lead into gold as a metaphor for a movement of the unconscious mind toward the conscious.
Joseph Lewis Henderson was born in Elko, Nev., on Aug. 31, 1903. He graduated from Princeton and in 1938 earned his medical degree from St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London.
While still a medical student, Dr. Henderson encountered the "Splendor Solis," an illuminated manuscript kept in the library of the British Museum. Within the manuscript, which dates from the 16th century, he found color sequences and symbols strikingly similar to what he experienced in dreams. He drew the dream images out for Jung to see, who confirmed their essentially alchemical nature.
From that moment, Dr. Henderson was convinced that alchemy's powerful magic "could express significant stages in any deep process of self-discovery."
Dr. Henderson practiced for many years in San Francisco, where he helped to found the Jung Institute and served as its president. His office was eventually moved to his home in Ross, and he continued to see patients until he turned 102.
Dr. Henderson died on Nov. 17 in Greenbrae. His wife of 60 years, the former Helena Cornford, died in 1994.
He is survived by two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Noted in other research requested cremation.
Son of John/Joseph Jefferson Henderson and Maude Henley grandson of Jefferson Henderson founder of Henderson Banks originated Elko Nevada.
John Jefferson Henderson (1864 - 1934)
Maud H Henley Henderson (1871 - 1951)
Elizabeth Henderson Eisenman (1936 - 2001)*
Joseph Lewis Henderson (1903 - 2007)
John Henderson (1913 - 1970)*
Created by: Anne Rupert
Record added: Apr 21, 2009
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