Alfred Adler Institute of Northwestern Washngton

Biographical Sketch of Anthony Bruck

Anthony Bruck (rhymes with "book") was born in Apatin in Southern Hungary (now Northern Yugoslavia), the second of three children. His father was a lawyer with offices in the family home, and at the age of six He began showing an interest in people's problems as he listened to the conversations between his father and his clients.

A voracious reader as a child, Bruck was able to read books written in Hungarian, German and French. At the age of twelve, he also learned English, Latin, Italian and Serbian. This background in languages contributed greatly to his wide range of understanding human nature and his lifelong travels throughout the world.

In 1922 Bruck graduated with a Masters Degree in Business Administration at the Hochschule Fuer Welthandel in Vienna, a specialized University. He had a classical education, as well as a passionate interest in music and the theater (he saw over five hundred plays in countries all over the world). After graduation, he moved to the United States and worked for a while in the field of business. Although his family encouraged him to be a businessman, it was clear to the young twenty-year-old that his greatest desire was to help people.

In 1925, Bruck was introduced to Adlerian thought when he read a publication called The Mother. Having already read in-depth about many other psychologies, he was impressed by this article and felt he "had now chanced upon the most truly understanding psychology there was."

For years, Bruck had read about lectures in the auditorium of the Anatomical Institute of the University of Vienna organized by the "Society for Individual Psychology." A few weeks before leaving Vienna for New York, Bruck discovered an advertisement in The Mother about a special edition of the Zeitschrift (Journal) Fuer Individual Psychologie on the "Psychology of the School Child." He sent for the special edition and found that it, as had the Adlerian articles in The Mother, helped him to understand a great deal about himself as a child. Consequently, he became a subscriber to the Zeitschrift.

In October 1926, Bruck read in the Zeitschrift that Adler was coming to the United States. He immediately wrote Adler and placed himself at his disposal. Adler wrote back asking Bruck to try to arrange lectures for him in New York. Bruck did so, and this was the beginning of their personal involvement.

From 1927 to 1931 Bruck arranged and attended lectures and discussions by Adler. He also observed Adler at work with patients at the Community Church Clinic on 34th Street in New York. In the clinic patients sat with their backs to a sheet that had been thumbtacked to a door-frame and, behind this sheet, in a small room, Adler's pupils had a chance to witness the progress of therapy. No names were ever mentioned and the pupils never saw the patients.

From 1929 to 1931 Bruck served as Honorary Secretary first of the Group For The Discussion Of Individual Psychology which met in the New School for Social Research, and later the New York Circle of Individual Psychology. The lecturers included Olga Knopf, Beran Wolfe, Alan Porter, Bruck and occasionally Adler himself when he was in New York.

In 1931 Bruck returned to Vienna to acquire further Adlerian knowledge and skill by attending the thirty-two Adlerian Child Guidance Clinics. He began assisting at Adlerian public lectures, took courses by Adler and joined the Adlerians at the Cafe Shiller for lengthy discussions of Adlerian Psychology.

After Vienna, with the recommendation of Adler, Bruck consulted in Egypt, Spain, France, Yugoslavia, and Costa Rica. From 1942 to 1947 he was a professor of Psychology at The School for Social Work, San Jose, Costa Rica; at Mexico City College, Mexico City; and the University of Kansas City in Missouri. He also taught Adlerian Psychology and lectured at the Arab University of Cairo, the National University of Mexico and Purdue University.

After leaving the United States in 1931, Bruck came back in 1947, with eighteen years of experience helping people with their psychological problems. He held professorships in the United States, Spain, Costa Rica, and Mexico, and taught eight different courses in Applied Psychology. In addition, he spent another twenty-two years as a psychological consultant.

Bruck published articles in Egypt, Spain, Austria, Argentina, Costa Rica and Mexico. His writings were in French, Spanish, English, German and Arabic. As he taught courses in Adlerian Psychology, he clarified what he talked about with illustrations on the blackboard. He called his series of illustrations: "Visibilization of Adlerian Psychology."

In 1977 Bruck presented his ideas and illustrations to San Francisco Adlerians in seminars at Catholic Social Services, in San Rafael, California. These illustrations and concepts have proven useful as therapeutic and educational "visual aids." In 1978 he moved to New York City and worked on completing several manuscripts, including Twenty Lives, which documented his exceptional skill in the art of Adlerian brief therapy. After his death in 1979, all of his published and unpublished manuscripts were donated to the Alfred Adler Institute of San Francisco Classsical Adlerian Resource Library.

Bruck knew Adlerian Psychology in all of its aspects. He became a Classical Adlerian teacher and practitioner who understood, applied, and lived what he taught. Sophia de Vires, another of Adler's students, provides some insight into Bruck's Adlerian Style, "Anthony possessed the loving, giving attitude Adler expected of practitioners. With colleagues and 'co-thinkers,' as he liked to call his clients, he shared his knowledge and wit."

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