Anna Freud – An Heir to Psychoanalysis
Heredity and Environment
Anna Freud, daughter of famed psychologist Sigmund Freud and his wife, Martha Freud, was born in Vienna on December 3, 1865 as the youngest of six children. Anna was born the same year her father revealed the meaning of dreams, which became the foundation for his version of psychoanalysis (Sicherman,1990). Named after one of her father’s favorite patients, Anna’s birth made her a twin with Freud’s unveiling of psychoanalysis. As if predestined, Anna was the only one of Freud’s children to pursue psychoanalysis. Anna spent much of her young life competing with psychology for her father’s attention. Freud spent most of Anna’s childhood years completely engrossed in his work on Interpretation of Dreams (Fine, 1985). Anna did not form a strong bond with her mother, and easily identified with her father. Soon after Ann’s birth her mother decided not to breastfeed Anna as she had her other children, and went on a vacation (Young-Bruehl, 1994). Perhaps this is the reason for the estranged relationship that formed between Anna and her mother. According to Freud’s psychosexual stages, during the oral stage the infant finds comfort and bonds through suckling (Kowalski & Westen, 2005). Missing the opportunity to bond during this developmental stage in her life, may have contributed to her disassociation with her mother and clinging to her often preoccupied father.
Family Issues/Social Support
Freud’s studies reveal that during the phallic stage that children often identify with their same-sex parent and begin to pattern his or her behavior to mimic that of the parent (Kowalski & Westen, 2005). Because Anna did not bond with her mother, but her nanny instead, her identification and attachment were toward her father. This bond shows up later in Anna’s life, as she never had a romantic relationship with a male, and is suspected to have had a homosexual relationship with long-time female companion and...
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