My friend, Hester McFarland Solomon, who died at the age of 78, has devoted her professional life to the treatment of psychological illnesses, as a renowned Jungian psychoanalyst in the development school. She rose to the pinnacle of her profession as an analyst, author, teacher and administrator, and in 2007 became only the second female president of the International Association of Analytical Psychology (IAAP).
Hester was American by birth. She came from a humble background in New Haven, Connecticut, and was a war baby who started life in a garage, then turned into a log cabin on a hill strewn with rainforest. She was the oldest of two children born to Emily Tutak, a nurse, and Orrin McFarland, who worked in the building industry.
Hester was an excellent student at North Haven High School and dreamed of exploring the world. One of his teachers told him that the front door was through learning languages, especially French. Although Hester got a place in college, the family couldn’t fund her, so she accepted a secretary job in New York City to try and achieve her goal.
Having secured a full scholarship to study French at Tufts University in Massachusetts, his desire to spend his third year of university in France was thwarted by the cost of the plane ticket. She solved this problem by finding other passengers to pay for a chartered flight to Paris. She attended the Sorbonne and over that Christmas, while traveling to London to meet a friend, she met Jonathan Solomon, a civil servant. They married in 1966.
Hester was trained at the British Association of Psychotherapists, graduating in 1977. She became a training analyst and chairman of the Jungian training committee in 1986. Her responsibilities as chairman of the ethics committee (2001-04), chairman elected (2004-07) and president of the IAAP frequently took him to his headquarters in Switzerland. She also remained loyal to her parent organization, the British Association of Psychotherapists, and later the British Jungian Analytic Association (BJAA).
Her deep commitment to ethical practice was always apparent, and she achieved her youthful goal of traveling the world working in South Africa, Latin America, Russia and China. In addition to this demanding job, she contributed to analytical psychology and, despite periodic bouts of ill health, was president of the BJAA from 2017 until shortly before her death; an exceptional example of dedication and endurance.
His author’s work has been collected in his professional autobiography, The Self in Transformation (2007). Hester was a highly respected and popular colleague with an infectious sense of fun.
The chance to meet Jonathan led to what turned out to be a lasting and happy marriage. Throughout his illness with cancer, Hester has been a dedicated caregiver.
Jonathan died in 2000. She is survived by their son, Gabriel, and their grandchildren, Moselle and Jonathan, as well as her brother, Brian.