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Women in Psychology

Women in Psychology

The selected woman of discussion will be Anna Freud. According to Encyclopedia Britannica (2009), "Anna has been called the founder of child psychoanalysis." Anna made significant contributions to the field of child psychology around during her lifetime. An insight on Anna's background and how she came to be involved with child psychology will be discussed. Her theoretical perspectives and her contributions to the field of child psychology will also be discussed and explained

Anna's Background

Anna's mother, Martha, had a difficult pregnancy with her. Anna's birth, however, was considered a blessing to her father, Sigmund Freud (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009). Anna was the youngest of Martha and Sigmund Freud's six children. Things in the home seemed to become better with the birth of Anna, and this made her father happy. As an infant, Anna did not form a close bond with her mother. This was thought to be because of her mother. Her mother did not breastfeed Anna like she had done with her other children (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2008). Her mother went on vacation after her birth for several months (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009). Anna's mother left her and her two older siblings in the care of their Nanny, Josefine Cihlarz. The three young children would often throw fits or "act-out" if Josefine was not there tending to their wants and needs. Anna ended up bonding to Josefine

Anna's Schooling

Anna graduated from high school in 1912 at the age of 17 and was extremely close to her father (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2008). Anna claims that she did not learn much from school, but learned from house guests that would come to see her father. The house guests were usually friends and associates of Sigmund. She learned several languages which include: German, English, French, and Italian (Van Wagner, 2009). After her graduation she became ill and moved to Sicily and Italy until her health improved.Anna had wanted to study psychoanalysis, but her mother sent her to school to become a teacher. Anna's mother was known to be a skeptic of psychoanalysis. In 1912, Anna passed her examine to become a teacher's assistant. Anna began her career as an elementary school teacher in England shortly after. In 1914, Anna was in England when WWI started.

Anna's Start in Psychoanalysis

She returned to Austria with the help of some friends that were in the diplomatic community, due to the war. Anna began her career as an elementary school teacher after she returned home. She taught in the school of which she graduated from during the war, but abandoned teaching not too long into her career. She did this to begin working with her father. Anna became one of her father's apprentices. She started translating her father's work into German, and became more interested in child psychology and psychoanalysis She started learning psychology and psychoanalysis around the year 1918. During this time she attended her first meeting of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. She became totally immersed in the development of psychoanalysis and began attending psychoanalytic meetings, translating papers, and analyzing patients.Anna was heavily influenced by her father's work, but did not follow in his footsteps. She was more interested in expanding her father's ideas, and created the field of child psychoanalysis (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2008). Anna never gained a higher degree, but worked in psychoanalysis and psychology for children. This contributed to her eminence in the field of child psychology (Van Wagner, 2009).

Anna's Child Psychoanalysis

In 1922, Anna wrote her first paper on her ideas which lead to her membership into the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2008). By this time she had started in her ventures in studying and treating children. Surprisingly enough her experience in teaching was bridging the gap between psychology and children. This led to her to develop child psychoanalysis. In 1925, Anna had started a private analytically-oriented nursery school, along with several other analysts. This nursery school is what is now regarded as the first modern daycare center for the underprivileged. This is how she met Dorothy Burlingham. Dorothy had brought her children to Vienna for analytic treatment (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2008). Dorothy was a psychoanalyst, and a mother of one of Anna's patients.By 1926, Anna's developments were so successful that the city of Vienna asked her to train nursery workers and elementary teachers. The city asked her to apply the new analytic knowledge to the education theory that she had developed. In that same year she wrote four lectures about this particular subject. The lectures were published as An Introduction to the Technique of Child Analysis. This marked the recognition of child analysis as a legitimate sub-specialty.According to Van Wagner (2009), "By the early 1930s, however, opposition to Freud's ideas was growing among extremists in the Nazi Party in Germany, and in 1933 his books were burned in Berlin."

Anna's Clinic

In 1938, Anna and her family returned to Britain when the Gestapo had forced their family out of Vienna (Van Wagner, 2009). The Gestapo had held her family for ransom and demanded that Sigmund write a statement. The statement was to explain that the Gestapo had treated them fairly. This was far from the truth, but Sigmund had done this for his family. Sigmund was ill from cancer and died in 1939 in their home in Britain (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009). The same home her father passed away in was the Hampstead Child Therapy Clinic. She established the clinic for the study of children and the training of her analysts. According to Van Wagner, "The Hampstead Child Therapy Clinic would become the world's largest and most comprehensive child analytic training and treatment center."Anna ruled as the director with a firm hand, and had a very tactful clinic this way. She would oversee the staff that was hired, and even chose the children who were entered into the clinic. She had to approve the analysts that came to her for training as well. She was always on the premises as she lived in the house. She was the clinic's director until her passing in 1982. According to Van Wagner (2009), "In the early 1960s, Freud began a collaboration with the Yale Child Study Center, contributing to seminars on family law and child placement conflicts."Dorothy Burlingham and her children also moved into the home from Vienna. She felt motherly towards the children and had a strong relationship with them and their mother. According to Van Wagner (2009), "Their friendship eventually deepened into a lifelong bond."

Anna Wrapped Up

According to Van Wagner (2009), "In her final years, Freud believed the future of psychoanalysis lay in examining each developmental path that led to adulthood." Anna's accomplishments were widely recognized. Many honorary degrees were awarded to her in England, Europe, and the United States, even though she had not gotten a higher degree.During her journey, Anna had influenced Erik Erikson, who later went on to expand the field of psychoanalysis and ego psychology (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009). She had written several papers and lectures which had been published. She also had the first daycare clinic.In her many years of life she accomplished so much. With help from friends and family she had accomplished what the world needed to learn about child psychoanalysis and psychology. If it were not for Anna Freud, psychologists would not have the things that society needed for children with mental illnesses and disorders.

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