Anna Freud's Role in the History of Psychology

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Anna Freud, born in 1895, was the daughter of Sigmund Freud, the well-known founder of psychology and the psychoanalytic theory. Anna Freud’s work with her father and his friends and associates as well as her own personal studies, curiosities, and analyses lead her to cofound psychoanalytic child psychology. An appealing woman who did not have much of a formal education, Anna Freud, had an extensive background in psychology, an interesting theoretical perspective, and many contributions to the field.

The daughter of Sigmund and Martha Freud, Anna Freud, was the sixth and last child. Born in Vienna, Austria on December 3, 1895, Anna grew up very close to her father, Sigmund. However, she did not develop much of a bond with her mother or five siblings, especially her sister, Sophie. Research indicates that Anna was jealous of her sister Sophie because Sophie was the most attractive child and was a threat for the affection of their father. In any case, Anna was a vivacious child who became quite mischievous. Her father “wrote to his friend Fliess in 1899, ‘Anna has become downright beautiful through naughtiness…’” (Freud Museum Publications, 1993, p. 1). Sigmund Freud had a deep admiration for Anna and used her for research in his psychology field. First, he began to study her dreams when she was 14 years old for his book of dream interpretations. In later years, he used her for analysis for his theory of psychoanalysis. Anna spent much time with Sigmund and became very intrigued by her father’s work. Research has indicated that she did not learn much from her schooling but from her father, his associates, his books and research, and the conferences she would attend with him. Anna’s respect for her father and her fascination of his work lead her to follow his path and begin work in the field of psychoanalysis.

After Anna Freud finished school in 1912, she became an apprentice at the school she attended and later a teacher. “One of her pupils later...
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