Anna Freud (3 December 1895 – 9 October 1982)
was the sixth and last child of Sigmund and Martha Freud. Born in Vienna, she followed the path of her father and contributed to the newly born field of psychoanalysis. Alongside Melanie Klein, she may be considered the founder of psychoanalytic child psychology: 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"'. Compared to her father, her work emphasized the importance of the ego and its ability to be trained socially.
The Vienna years
Anna Freud appears to have had a comparatively unhappy childhood, in which she 'never made a close or pleasureable relationship with her mother, and was really nurtured by their Catholic nurse Josephine'. She had difficulties getting along with her siblings, specifically with her sister Sophie Freud (as well as troubles with her cousin Sonja Trierweiler, a "bad influence" on her). Her sister, Sophie, who was the more attractive child, represented a threat in the struggle for the affection of their father: 'the two young Freuds developed their version of a common sisterly division of territories: "beauty" and "brains"', and their father once spoke of her 'age-old jealousy of Sophie'. As well as this rivalry between the two sisters, Anna had other difficulties growing up - 'a somewhat troubled youngster who complained to her father in candid letters how all sorts of unreasonable thoughts and feelings plagued her'. It seems that 'in general, she was relentlessly competitive with her siblings...and was repeatedly sent to health farms for thorough rest, salutary walks, and some extra pounds to fill out her all too slender shape': she may have suffered from a depression which caused eating disorders. The relationship between Anna and her father was different from the rest of her family; they were very close. She was a lively child with a reputation for mischief. Freud wrote to his friend Wilhelm Fliess in 1899: 'Anna has become downright beautiful through naughtiness'. Freud is said to refer to her in his diaries more than others in the family. Later on Anna Freud would say that she didn’t learn much in school; instead she learned from her father and his guests at home. This was how she picked up Hebrew, German, English, French and Italian. At the age of 15, she started reading her father’s work: a dream she had 'at the age of nineteen months...[appeared in] The Interpretation of Dreams, and commentators have noted how 'in the dream of little Anna...little Anna only hallucinates forbidden objects'. Anna finished her education at the Cottage Lyceum in Vienna in 1912. Suffering from a depression, she was very insecure about what to do in the future. Subsequently, she went to Italy to stay with her grandmother, and there is evidence that 'In 1914 she travelled alone to England to improve her English', but was forced to leave shortly after arriving because war was declared. In 1914 she passed the test to be a trainee at her old school, the Cottage Lyceum. From 1915 to 1917, she was a trainee, and then a teacher from 1917 to 1920. She finally quit her teaching career because of tuberculosis. In 1918, her father started psychoanalysis on her and she became seriously involved with this new profession. Her analysis was completed in 1922 and thereupon she presented the paper "The Relation of Beating Fantasies to a Daydream" to the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society, subsequently becoming a member. In 1923, Freud began her own psychoanalytical practice with children and two years later she was teaching 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 while she continued child analysis and seminars and conferences on the subject. In 1935, Freud became director of the Vienna Psychoanalytical Training Institute and in the following year she...
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