Women in Psychology

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Women in Psychology Paper

PSY/310

It feels as though most of the time when thinking about psychology and the great contributions that have been made to it, that most of them have been from men, but along the way there have been several influential women that have contributed to the field of psychology as well. Just like men, there were several women who were pioneers, theorists, and counselors; many of these women have contributed to the field of psychology in their own special between the years of 1850 and 1950. Of all these amazing women who are pioneers, theorists, and counselors, the one who stands out the most is Anna Freud. This paper will go on to explain Anna Freud’s background, her theoretical perspective, and contributions to the field of psychology.

Anna Freud was born December 3, 1895. She was born to Martha and Sigmund Freud, the youngest of six children. Anna had a very close relationship with her father all throughout her life, but was distant with her mother and most of her other siblings, but had an even worse relationship with her older sister Sophie, who was just two and a half years older than her. Anna referred to her as her rival. In 1912 Anna finished her education at the Cottage Lyceum in Vienna, but was still unsure of a career. She felt as if she had not learned that much from school; most of her education came from her father’s friends and colleagues. After college Anna went to England in 1914 to improve her English and later on became an elementary school teacher. (“Anna Freud - Life," n.d.)

By 1910 Anna was already involved in psychoanalysis because she was reading her father, Sigmund Freud’s work, but she did not become seriously involved until he began psychoanalyzing her in 1918. This was completely normal for a father to analyze his daughter; it was before any type of orthodoxy was established. In 1920 the two of them attended the International Psychoanalytical Congress at The Hague; by now the two of them had the same work and friends in common. One of their common friends was writer and psychoanalyst Lou Andreas-Salome. “Anna’s literary interests paved the way for her future career. “The more I became interested in psychoanalysis,” she wrote “the more I saw it as a road to the same kind of broad and deep understanding of huan nature that writers possess.” (“Anna Freud - Life," n.d.).

In 1922 Anna became a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society by presenting them with her paper, “Beating Fantasies and Daydreams”. By 1923 she was practicing her own psychoanalysis with children and two years later she was teaching a seminar at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Training Institute on the technique of child analysis. All of her work resulted in her writing a book, which was a series of lectures that was directed towards teachers and parents entitled: “Introduction to the Technique of Child Analysis (1927: American 1928) “Later she was to say of this period: “Back then in Vienna we were all so excited – full of energy: it was as if a whole new continent was being explored, and we were the explorers, and we now had a chance to chance things...” (“Anna Freud - Life," n.d.).

Anna’s father grew extremely ill from cancer in 1923 and became very dependent on her care and nursing. Sigmund eventually needed treatment, but that was in Berlin, and they were in Vienna, therefore Anna accompanied her father to Berlin for his treatment. It was because of Sigmund Freud’s illness that a “Secret Committee” was formed to protect psychoanalysis against attacks; Anna was a member for sure, the members were given rings as a token of their trust. After her father’s death she took one of his rings and turned it into a brooch. (“Anna Freud - Life," n.d.)

Between the years of 1927 and 1934 Anna was General Secretary of the International Psychoanalytical Association; she continued to work on her child analysis practice, as well as held seminars on...
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