Anna Freud

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Anna Freud
Anna Freud with her father Sigmund Freud in 1913
Born3 December 1895
Died9 October 1982 (aged 86)
Known forWork on the nature of ego, super-ego, and id
Scientific career
InfluencesSigmund Freud

Anna Freud (3 December 1895 – 9 October 1982) was the sixth and last child of Sigmund Freud and his wife Martha Bernays Freud.[1]

She was born in Vienna. She followed the path of her father and contributed to the field of psychoanalysis.

With Melanie Klein, she may be considered the founder of psychoanalytic child psychology.[2] As her father put it, child analysis had received a powerful impetus through "the work of Frau Melanie Klein and of my daughter, Anna Freud".[3] Her work emphasized the importance of the ego and its ability to be trained socially.

Key moments in life[change | change source]

After a somewhat troubled childhood, Anna was psychoanalysed by her father. When her analysis was completed in 1922, she became a psychoanalyist herself. She taught at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Training Institute on the technique of child analysis. From 1925 until 1934, she was the Secretary of the International Psychoanalytical Association. She continued child analysis and seminars and conferences on the subject.

After the Anschluss in 1938 the Freuds fled Vienna and came to London. Freud himself was dying of cancer, so Anna ran the household. Anna had a professional disagreement with Melanie Klein, who had come to London much earlier, and was already established as a child psychologist. A series of 'controversial discussions' were held by the British Psychoanalytical Society. The discussions were about the training and the ideas of both parties. Eventually agreement was reached that both 'schools' should co-exist inside the Society. The Society now has three training divisions: Kleinian, Freudian and Independent.

During the war, Freud studied the effect of deprivation of parental care on children. She set up a centre for young war victims, called "The Hampstead War Nursery".[4] Here the children got foster care, with mothers encouraged to visit as often as possible.

In 1947, Freud and Kate Friedlaender established the Hampstead Child Therapy Courses. Five years later, a children's clinic was added. Freud started lecturing on child psychology.

From the 1950s until the end of her life Freud travelled regularly to the United States to lecture, teach and visit friends. During the 1970s she was concerned with the problems of emotionally deprived and socially disadvantaged children. At Yale Law School, she taught seminars on crime and the family.

Freud died in London on 9 October 1982.[5] She was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium and her ashes placed in a marble shelf next to her parents' ancient Greek funeral urn. Her lifelong friend Dorothy Burlingham and several other members of the Freud family also rest there.

Personal life[change | change source]

Anna Freud lived with her close friend Dorothy Burlingham, daughter of Louis Comfort Tiffany, for years.

Publications[change | change source]

Freud, Anna (1966–1980). The writings of Anna Freud: 8 Volumes. New York: Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

  • Vol. 1. Introduction to psychoanalysis: lectures for child analysts and teachers. (1922–1935).
  • Vol. 2. Ego and the mechanisms of defense (1936); (Revised edition: 1966 (US), 1968 (UK)).
  • Vol. 3. Infants without families: reports on the Hampstead Nurseries.
  • Vol. 4. Indications for child analysis and other papers (1945–1956).
  • Vol. 5. Research at the Hampstead Child-Therapy Clinic and other papers: (1956–1965).
  • Vol. 6. Normality and pathology in childhood: assessments of development (1965).
  • Vol. 7. Problems of psychoanalytic training, diagnosis, and the technique of therapy (1966–1970).
  • Vol. 8. Psychoanalytic psychology of normal development.

Biographies[change | change source]

  • Coles, Robert (1992). Anna Freud: the dream of psychoanalysis. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-57707-0.
  • Peters, Uwe Henrik (1985). Anna Freud: a life dedicated to children. New York: Schocken Books. ISBN 0-8052-3910-3.
  • Young-Bruehl, Elisabeth (1988). Anna Freud: a biography. New York: Summit Books. ISBN 0-671-61696-X.

References[change | change source]

  1. Elkins, Richard; Ruth Freeman (1994) Centres and Peripheries of Psychoanalysis: An Introduction to Psychoanalytic Studies Karnac Books page 18
  2. Shapiro, Michael. The Jewish 100: a ranking of the most influential Jews of all time. p. 276.
  3. Gay, Peter 1988. Freud: a life for our Time. WW Norton and Company London 1998 page 469
  4. Malberg, Norka T. ; Joan Raphael-Leff (2012) The Anna Freud Tradition: Lines of Development Evolution of Theory and Practice over the Decades Karnac Books London page 30
  5. Windsor, Laura Lynn 2002 Women in Medicine: An Encyclopedia ABC Clio, Inc. Santa Barbara, California page 81