University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Professor Emeritus Heinz Ansbacher, 101, Dies

University Communications
Release Date: 06-26-2006
Author: Thomas James Weaver

Heinz Ansbacher, one of the world's leading experts on Adlerian psychology and a professor at the University of Vermont from 1946 to 1970, died on Thursday, June 22. Professor Ansbacher was living at his longtime home on East Avenue, adjacent to the UVM campus, and was 101 when he passed away.

About half of Heinz Ansbacher's long life was spent in Burlington, where he joined the UVM faculty in 1946. Professor Ansbacher and his late wife, Rowena, both worked directly with Alfred Adler as scholars and editors and are considered among the leading early followers of the Adlerian school of thought. The Alfred Adler Institute Web site summarizes the pillars of that philosophy: "the necessity of looking at man as a whole, as a functioning entity, reacting to his environment as well as to his physical endowment, rather than as a summation of instincts, drives and other psychological manifestations."

Heinz and Rowena Adler were widely credited for advancing Alfred Adler's work through their clear analysis and writing. The Ansbachers edited The Journal of Individual Psychology in the 1950s and 1960s and their 1956 book, "The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler," has been published in 25 editions and remains a key text in the field.

"They lived Adlerian psychology," UVM Psychology Professor Robert Lawson said in an interview for a Vermont Quarterly article marking Ansbacher's 100th birthday. "Social support, the priority of home life and individual responsibility were all very important to them." Lawson recalled that Heinz Ansbacher remained an important presence in the Psychology Department long past his retirement. The professor emeritus strolled from his home to Dewey Hall daily to check his mail, often putting in a good word for keeping the spirit and practice of individual psychology alive at UVM.

Heinz and Rowena Ansbacher's influence on their field and the University of Vermont will long be remembered. On the occasion of Ansbacher's 100th birthday in 2004, his four sons-Max, Ben, Ted, and Charles-established a fund to support The Heinz and Rowena Ansbacher Endowed Green and Gold Professorship in Psychology.

Last modified July 22 2010 11:30 AM