An Autobiographical Sketch of Tory Hoff

Tory Hoff grew up in Salinas, California, and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California at Davis in 1970 after having been immersed in the music and student aspirations of that era. He spent a year in Europe, where he spent time in the vicinity of a Christian study centre called L'Abri. After spending a year helping his parents build their house outside Salinas, he moved to Toronto to attend the Institute for Christian Studies, where he was introduced to the somewhat esoteric philosophy of Dooyeweerd, though more specifically acquired a wholistic, phenomenological perspective to issues such as mind, body, and pathology. He wrote a paper on the ancient Hebrew understanding of nephesh. Retroactively he was given a Certificate in the Philosophy of Psychology in 1976.

He left academics and worked with disturbed children in residential treatment for a few years.  Interested in the historical implications of his research on nephesh, he returned to academics when he went to Carleton University in Ottawa, and in 1980 completed an M.A. in the history of psychology. Having already returned to Toronto to do historical research, in 1979 he was accepted into York University the year before it started its program in the history of psychology.  He enrolled in history and clinical courses and did two clinical practica. In 1990 he was granted his Ph.D. in the history of psychology . His dissertation was on the demise of physiognomy and phrenology within the context of intellectual and social changes within Western society since the Renaissance. From 1987 to 1994 he taught at the University of Saskatchewan and at its Catholic affiliate, St. Thomas More College, then returned to Toronto in 1994.  He upgraded at York University and did unpaid internships, whereupon in 1996 he obtained his registration to practice as a counselling psychologist in Ontario.

Over the years his clinical work has expanded. Currently assisted administratively by his office manager, Debbie Murray, and our assistant Anneliese Anderson, he has provided psychological therapy to a wide range of clients, though primarily to those suffering mental trauma and depression due to an accident. Many of his patients have been diagnosed with posttraumatic fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions. He also sublets from and works part-time for Christian Counselling Services as its psychologist. He maintains a branch office in Mississauga and goes there every Tuesday. 

A collector of old psychology and phrenology books since the early 1980's, he began to sell used antiquarian books his last year in Saskatoon. In the fall of 1995 he started to list them on his first website. Sales peaked in the late ‘90’s, but due to trends such as the introduction of ebooks, he now receives only about a dozen orders a year despite maintaining an on-line collection of about 4,000 books.

When not seeing clients, or writing reports, he spends time with his partner since 1996, Linda McClelland. They met on a country western dance floor, and still manage to find a place to dance from time to time. A member of the Longboat Running Club since 1994, he tries to stay in shape running various races each year, his favourite being the Big Sur Marathon near where he grew up. He and Linda bought a house in 2006, located in Port Hope an hour east of Toronto on King Street, known for its homes with historic designations though not theirs. They are delighted to have met a group of skilled and interesting neighbours and friends, and continue to garden.  They remain in some contact with Toronto friends even though Linda now primarily lives in Port Hope. On weekdays he commutes to the Toronto office and uses their home in the Beaches area of Toronto, which they purchased in 2007. Little time to read books or publish academic research these days. 

He maintains a few friendships going back to when he lived in California, and with other friends still in Saskatoon. Unexpectedly, all family members from  California now live in Massachusetts.