Histroy of Southern African Association of Jungian Analysts


This page seeks to provide a brief summary of the history of the Southern African Association of Jungian Analysts (SAAJA). The purpose of this overview is to provide information about the roots and developments within SAAJA to individuals who are new to the organization. A more comprehensive description of the history of the organization is in the process of being compiled, and this will eventually provide more detail and context to the facts described below.

Dr Vera BuhrmannEarly Period

Dr. Vera Bührmann (left) was the only Jungian analyst in South Africa for 40 years. She studied medicine at UCT and then she specialized in psychiatry in London where she qualified as a Jungian analyst. She subsequently lectured in the Department of psychiatry at UCT and worked for many years at the Child and Family Unit. Her deep commitment to Analytical Psychology, coupled with her commitment to South Africa, motivated her to initiate a Jungian training in SA. One of Vera’s hopes with the training was to establish a discourse between traditional healers and Western psychology, particularly Jungian psychology. She had initiated this exploration and written of her experiences and reflections in her book, Living in Two Worlds.

The formal inauguration of the Centre represented the amalgamation of at least three interconnected movements concerned with the application of Jungian thought in a South African context:

  1. Dr. M. Vera Buhrmann’s clinical practice and supervision, as well as her research in trans-cultural psychiatry;
  2. Academic teaching and research conducted by Dr. Renos Papadopoulos and Professor Graham S. Saayman in their collaboration at the University of Cape Town since the early 1970’s;
  3. Dr. Ian Player had independently founded the Wilderness Leadership School, within a Jungian-derived framework.

These three movements began to flow together formally for the first time at a conference held at the Hohenhort Hotel in Cape Town in 1984. The theme of the conference concerned, primarily, the relevance of Jungian theory to the concept of

History of SAAJAWilderness and nature conservation. A roundtable meeting took place at the end of the conference and the possibility of amalgamating the contributions of the three streams within the context of a single Centre was conceived. This meeting led to the inauguration of the Cape of Good Hope Centre for Jungian Studies, in Burnera in the Drakensberg in January 1987.

The following people were present at this meeting (from left to right in the photo): Graham Saayman, Vera Buhrmann, Gloria Gearing, Ian McCallum and Ian Player.

1987: Conception of Cape of Good Hope Centre for Jungian Studies

The Centre rested on two main pillars:

  1. A major aim of the Centre was to provide postgraduate training in Analytical Psychology, with a view to qualifying ultimately as Jungian analysts registered with the International Association of Analytical Psychologists (IAAP).
  2. A related aim was a public programme, designed to provide a forum and initiate reflection on relevant issues, within a Jungian framework, for a coherent, psychological understanding of the complexities confronting cultures in transition.

The following people were on the various committees of the Cape of Good Hope Centre for Jungian Studies:

Patron: Dr. Hans Dieckmann, President of the IAAP;
The board of trustees: Professor J.N. de Villiers, the Hon Enos J. Mabuza, Mr. Gary May, Professor Hendrik W. van der Merwe and Sir Laurens van der Post.
Executive committee: Dr. Joan Anderson, Dr. M. Vera Bührmann, Dr. Gloria Gearing, Dr. Ian Player and Professor Graham Saayman (Chairman).
Honorary Administrative officer: Mrs. Glenda Raad.
Public programme: Mr. John Neave, Mrs. Vanessa Saayman , Jean Albert, Tracy Blow, Ida Cooper, Sheila Cowburn, Ann Jordan, Heather Steyn and Mark Welmann.
Overseas Committee: Mr. Ronald J. Cohen (London), Dr. Renos Papadopoulos (London), Ms. Melanie Reinhart (London) and Sir Laurens van der Post (London).
The Transvaal Representative of the Centre was Mr. Mario Schiess (Pretoria)

1987: Selection of the first group of candidates

Dr Lee Roloff, Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts, acted as moderator in the selection process. Thirteen candidates were selected, seven starting their training in 1987 (Carole Abramowitz, Rod Anderson, Dr. Astrid Berg, Philip Faber, Dr. Bruce Lakie, Dr. Ian McCallum, Renee Ramsden), while another six (Stephen Bloch, Lesley Clarke, Gerald Stonestreet, Dr. Felix Potocnik, Dr. Tony Teggin, Dr. David Trappler) started 18 months later.

1988: Mantis Journal

In Spring 1988, the first Mantis journal was published. Initially it took the form of a newsletter. Over the years, this Mantis newsletter has evolved into a journal, containing the publications of both visiting analysts from abroad, SAAJA members and other professionals in related fields. Mantis Journal is published once or twice a year

Public Programme

The Public Programme was initiated in the very early stages of the development of the Jung Centre. Along with the Mantis Journal, the Public Programme was a platform for providing the wider public with access to Jungian thought through monthly public lectures. These Public Programme lectures continue to be held monthly at the Jung Centre.

Sir Laurens van der Post

Funding: Sir Laurens van der Post

Laurens van der Post (right) created a support foundation in America together with a group of five others. When Laurens’s support group agreed to finance two resident analysts for a minimum of three years to support the work of Vera Bührmann and Joan Anderson, as well as to support the block-training programme, they made it possible for the Centre to take root.

Analysts who offered to teach in a four-week module system:

1987: Dr. Lee Zahner-Roloff and Dr. Barry Williams (Chicago, USA).
1988: Dr. Hans Dieckmann (president of IAAP and Patron of the Centre) and Ute Dieckmann (Berlin); Dr. Manisha Roy (Boston); Dr. Tony Frey-Wehrling (Zurich); Ms. Ethne Gray (Boston); Dr. Renos Papadoupoulos (London).
1990: Dr. Gustav Dreifuss (Israel); Dr. Peter Ammann (Zurich); Dr. Margaret Johnson (Los Angeles).

Julian DavidResident analysts:

1989: Julian David – Early in 1989 Laurens’s foundation brought Julian David (see picture right) from London to the Cape and provided analysis for all the candidates in training at the time. He stayed for four years, assisting Vera and the other resident analysts in seeing the first group of candidates through to qualification, and then returned to England. For many years he continued to come to South Africa annually for two to three months to offer teaching and Public Programme lectures.

1990: Three more analysts came to South Africa to assist Vera and Julian in the training. Together these analysts took on the work of training new candidates, offering seminars while also providing both analysis and supervision. They were:

2000: Ursula Ulmer: Zurich-trained, Ursula moved from Switzerland to Cape Town and volunteered for LifeLine, offering training and supervision to HIV-counsellors in Cape Town and Khayalitsha. She later helped establish Etafeni, a community center in Nyanga dedicated to supporting children infected and affected by HIV. Ursula became a member of SAAJA, taught and supervised candidates, and served on the Curriculum Committee of SAAJA. She returned to Zurich in 2008.

Jean Alberts Library

1988: Establishment of the Library

Since the C. G. Jung Library’s inception in 1988, our Honorary Librarian has been Jean Albert . Jean nurtured and encouraged the development of SAAJA’s Library from its infancy to its current maturity as one of the best stocked libraries of its kind on the African continent. Unfortunately, Jean who has been instrumental in making this Library what it is today over the past twenty years, has had to resign from the Library Committee due to ill health. In acknowledgement of the enormous contribution Jean has made to the success of our library over these many years, membership decided to honour her by naming the Library the Jean Albert Library. Sadly Jean passed away in August 2020. Her memory is honoured by SAAJA and many others who knew her, who contributed their memories to our obituary page.

SAAJA Centre

Birth of SAAJA

In 1991, an anonymous donor made possible the purchase of a house as a permanent home for the C.G. Jung Centre on Linray Road in Rosebank. Laurens van der Post formally opened the building on 29 October 1991, and planted a Ginkgo Biloba tree in the garden to commemorate the auspicious occasion.

In March 1992, Dr. Thomas Kirsch visited South Africa, and assessed the first group of candidates for final qualification. Eight candidates of the first 13 applied, and at the IAAP conference in Chicago in August of the same year, they were accepted as IAAP members. They were: Carole Abramovitz, Rod Anderson, Dr. Astrid Berg, Stephen Bloch, Dr. Bruce Lakie, Renee Ramsden, Dr. David Trappler and Gerald Stonestreet. Along with the other already qualified analysts, Dr. Joan Anderson, Dr. Vera Bührmann, Julian David, Dr. Gerwin Davis, Dr. Peter Reid and Patrick Tummon the Southern African Association of Jungian Analysts (SAAJA) was formed. Over the next two years this group of 14 analysts created the formal structures of the new organisation. (See the SAAJA constitution, and ethics document.)

Brief overview of developments in SAAJA

The period from 1992 – 1994 was a transitional period, prior to SAAJA being granted training status by the IAAP, therefore assistance from overseas visitors for selection of new candidates was still required. In May 1992, Dr. J Groesbeek came to South Africa to assess potential candidates for acceptance into the new training programme. At this time six candidates were selected – Lyn Adamson (Cook), Ian Donald, Dr. Peter Hodson, Dr. Tony Kelly, Dr. Gill Mudie, Fernand Schaub.
1992: Dr. Avi Bauman and Dr. Mara Sidoli were visiting analysts who offered workshops and lectures to professionals and the public.

1994 – 1996: First Presidents of SAAJA were appointed: Dr. Gerwin Davis and Gerald Stonestreet (joint presidents). Gerwin resigned in 1995 after six months. Dr. Mario Jacobi and Barbara Stevens Sullivan were visiting analysts in 1994/95.

1995: SAAJA was granted training status at the IAAP Zurich Congress. At the same congress, four more candidates – Lesley Clark, Ian Donald, Dr. Ian McCallum, and Dr. Tony Teggin – graduated as analysts. Two more candidates, Dr. Peter Hodson, Dr. Tony Kelly, graduated that same year, this time through SAAJA’s own training programme.
SAAJA independently selected their first training group: Dr. Paul Ashton, Sheila Cowburn, Joy Jobson, Dr. Chris Milton, Colleen Smith, Catherine van Dyk, and Annalise von Schach.
Zurich-trained analyst Elizabeth Martiny became a member of SAAJA and settled in Gauteng.

1996 -1998: Second President of SAAJA: Dr. David Trappler.

1998 – 2003: Third President of SAAJA: Dr Astrid Berg. Astrid was also a member of the IAAP Executive Committee from 1998 to 2007 and served as Vice President for the last three years of her term during which she was also chair of the Academic Sub-Committee.

1999: The following candidates graduated: Dr. Paul Ashton, Lyn Adamson (Cook), Sheila Cowburn, Joy Jobson, Dr. Chris Milton, Dr. Gill Mudie, Fernand Schaub, Colleen Smith, Catherine van Dyk, and Annalise von Schach.

2000: The following candidates were selected for the next four year course: Fred Borchardt, Dr. Philippa Colinese, Caroll Faull, Grace Reid and Dr. Annette Wessels.

2003 – 2008: Fourth President of SAAJA: Rod Anderson

In 2004, Dr. John Gosling who was originally from South Africa but who relocated to New York in 1982 and trained at the C.G. Jung Institute of New York, returned to settle in Cape Town.
2004: Fred Borchardt, Dr. Philippa Colinese, Caroll Faull, Grace Reid and Dr. Annette Wessels graduated.

2005: Two new candidates were selected for training: Dr. Ester Haumann and Dr. Helise le Roux. Leslie Zimmermann qualified as an analyst in Zurich, joined SAAJA membership soon afterwards and settled in Gauteng.

2007: The XVII International Congress for Analytical Psychology was held in Cape Town.

2007/8: Marian Campbell and Dain Peters commenced their training and joined the existing group of candidates.

2008 – 2011: Fifth President of SAAJA: Dr. Peter Hodson.

2009: Dr. Ester Haumann and Dr. Helise le Roux graduated.

2010: Distance Training Programme Initiated
In 2010, SAAJA decided to embark on a distance training programme, an innovative new training programme that allowed those not resident in Cape Town to participate in the training. The programme attracted a sizeable group of candidates – Fiona Geddes, Lindy Greyvenstein, Marita de Wet, Dr. Loura Griessel, Alan Fourie, Gary Reid, Jolita Jansen van Rensenburg, and Dr. Pauline Close – most of whom are currently in the last stages of their training. Lindy unfortunately had to resign from the programme due to health reasons.

2011: Marian Campbell and Dain Peters graduated.

2011 – 2015: Sixth President of SAAJA: Dr. John Gosling.

2013: Dr. Suzan Hojdar from Gauteng who trained as an Individual Router through IAAP graduated at the IAAP Conference in Copenhagen and was accepted as a SAAJA member. Mariaan Nielson from Gauteng is continuing her training as an Individual Router through IAAP.

2015: Johann Graaff, a Zurich-trained analyst who qualified in 2014, was accepted as a SAAJA member. Alan Fourie and Jolita Jansen van Rensenburg graduated.

Relationships to other organizations

International Association of Analytical Psychology (IAAP)

When SAAJA was constituted in 1992 it became a member group of IAAP. According to the IAAP constitution, the eight positions on the Executive Committee (EC) for each three year administrative term are filled by group members who are elected by IAAP Membership at the tri-annual IAAP conference. In 1998 SAAJA was elected for this position and re-elected in 2001 for a second term. The representative from SAAJA for these two terms was Astrid Berg. At the end of her two terms as representative, she was elected for a further term as one of the two Vice-Presidents of the IAAP in 2004. She was responsible for the organization of the 17th World Congress of the IAAP which was held in Cape Town in August 2007. In 2010 and 2013 SAAJA was once again elected to serve on the EC, the representative for these two terms was Fred Borchardt.

The South African Psychoanalytic Confederation (SAPC)

The SAPC was launched on 22nd November 2009. SAAJA was an integral part of this Confederation from its beginnings, first represented by Astrid Berg, followed by Dain Peters and subsequently an additional member, Fred Borchardt.

Mario Schiess

Gauteng Developing Group (DG) and Associate Professional Membership (of SAAJA) Group (GAPMG)

Interest in Jung in Gauteng was initiated by Mario Schiess (who died in 1998, in photo left) in the 1980’s and 1990’s. He was a playwright and friend of Ian Player, with a deep commitment to Wilderness experiences. He promoted Jung through dream workshops, television and radio programmes in collaboration with Peter Ammann. From this impetus grew the Gauteng Developing Group, assisted by Helmut von Schach, and nurtured by Elizabeth Martiny, a Zurich-trained analyst who has been resident in Gauteng since 1995. This group officially was given Developing Group (DG) status by the IAAP in 1999. In mid-1998 Fernand Schaub moved to Gauteng, where he lived and worked for the next 12 years, after which he returned to Cape Town. In 2013, Dr Suzan Hojdar, who had been a member of the DG for many years, qualified as a Jungian analyst via IAAP’s Individual Router Programme. That same year, with SAAJA’s distance training programme having been established in 2010, the IAAP withdrew the Individual Router programme from South Africa. SAAJA then became the umbrella body for further development of the study of Jung in Gauteng. Since 2014 the DG has become the Gauteng Associate Professional Membership (of SAAJA) Group (GAPMG). A training programme for this group of interested professionals was worked out by the GAPMG in liaison with SAAJA.