Obituary: Louis Zinkin

Louis Maurice Zinkin, analytical psychologist and group analyst: born London 24 April 1925; worked at West London Hospital 1952-53; West End Hospital for Nervous Diseases 1953-54; Paddington Chest Clinic 1954-55; Fair Mile Hospital 1954-59; Napsbury Hospital 1959-63; Hill End Child Guidance Clinic 1963-65; Middlesex Hospital (Child Psychiatry) 1965-78; Consultant Psychotherapist and Honorary Senior Lecturer St George's Hospital 1978-88; married Hindle Levicki (one son, one daughter); died London 13 March 1993.

TO CHARACTERISE Louis Zinkin's death as premature is almost banal: he was still energetically moving towards an ever wider and deeper maturity in his thinking and working as an analytical psychologist.

Intellectually and psychologically Zinkin advanced not in a restless way but in a searching one. The themes of moving and seeking show themselves in his intellectual Jewish ancestry - his grandfather, Jacob Zinkin, an eminent Jewish scholar, left the illiberal and anti-Semitic Russia of the late 19th century to settle with gratitude in England. Louis Zinkin inherited his powerful mind from his father and his love of music from his mother. Those two sides of him appeared more often as an effective combination than a source of conflict.

Zinkin did not do particularly well, on the arts side, at the City of London School, but he was thoughtful. At Lincoln College, Oxford, he combined beginning to study medicine with discovering the works of Jung, who already appealed to him as being both a doctor and deeply read in philosophy and other cultural specialisms. He qualified in London, and soon after went as a ship's surgeon to the Far East. Then he worked in a wide variety of hospital settings with adults and later with children, in psychiatry. In the 1950s he was sharpening his all-round understanding of illness.

During his years at Napsbury Hospital, London Colney, he trained as an analytical psychologist. Between 1978 and 1988 he was a consultant psychotherapist and honorary senior lecturer at St George's Hospital, central London, while building up his analytical practice. It was during that time that he took the brave plunge, through being a patient in an analytic group, to qualify as a group analyst. He became a much-valued training analyst in both the Society of Analytical Psychology and the Institute of Group Analysis. In committee meetings he never shirked disagreements, and in seminars he challenged preconceptions most constructively; students valued that. For the last 10 years he and his wife, Hindle, who is a psychotherapist, worked together with marital couples, thus combining group and individual approaches to disturbed relationships.

Zinkin's wide-ranging capacities and interests are beautifully demonstrated in his professional papers. Although to non-analysts they might sound as though they were written only for the cognoscenti, they are in fact an excellent example of how really good-quality analysts are much more than that. I can only select some of the most stimulating: 'Person to Person, the Search for the Human Dimension in Psychotherapy' (1978); 'Is there still a Place for the Medical Model?' (1983); 'The Hologram as a Model for Analytical Psychology' (1987); and 'A Gnostic View of the Therapy Group' (1989).

Zinkin took time to read and reflect on many other people's work. His 1977 paper on the characters in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice, particularly the elderly and sad Aschenbach and the charming boy Tadzio, is outstanding. His later papers show a fruitful mixture of Jungian and group analytic ideas and theories. Just before his sudden death he had completed the manuscript of a book, The Psyche and the Social World, which he had edited (and contributed chapters to) with a colleague, Dennis Brown.

Louis Zinkin was a music lover and a talented pianist. He delighted particularly in Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. He only started to learn to play the piano in mid-life, and at the age of 52 he was proud to pass Grade VIII with merit. His playing kept on improving. He suffered serious eye trouble which began in 1980-81, but he determined to master the fear of losing his sight. It was characteristic of him not to be defeated by the difficulty of reading music. What he owed to the constant help given him by Hindle cannot be overestimated. Their partnership paralleled his inner complementary talents in music, medicine and analytical psychotherapy.

(Photograph omitted)

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Assistant / Human Resources Assistant

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An HR Assistant / Human Resources Ass...

Talent Community Coordinator

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Talent Community Coordinator is nee...

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform