Psychology Paper

Submitted By yingram0
Words: 1565
Pages: 7

Women in Psychology: Anna Freud
The philosophic contributions to the formal discipline of psychology have primarily been dominated by male visionaries, but many notable women pioneered a role in the history of psychology between 1850 and 1950. Sigmund Freud was not the only Freudian to establish credibility in the field of psychology, as his youngest daughter Anna Freud pursued a career in psychology and made significant historic contributions. Anna's background, theoretical perspective, and contributions to the field of psychology will be discussed. Sigmund and Martha Freud had six children, Anna being born the youngest in December 1895. She was a mischievous child who admired her father and his work, but grew estranged from her mother and five siblings. Sigmund reciprocated the adoration towards Anna and once wrote of her saying, "Anna has become downright beautiful through naughtiness..." (The Anna Freud Centre, 1993, ¶ 2). Anna often spoke of her feelings of rivalry against her older sister Sophie, being labeled the beautiful Freud child and Anna being labeled the brains of the family. The bond with Anna's mother Martha was strained as Anna and her siblings were mostly raised by their nanny, Josefine Cihlarz. Anna completed her education in 1912 at Cottage Lyceum in Vienna and was uncertain about her future career path. She traveled to England in 1914 to improve her English language skills but had to return to Vienna following the declaration of war. Anna earned teaching credentials and began teaching at her old school. She expressed interest in the field of child psychology after spending time observing and teaching her pupils. She chose to abandon being only a teacher to help children and pursued a career in her father's footsteps of psychoanalysis (The Anna Freud Centre, 1993). Sigmund Freud increased Anna's interest in the field of psychology at the tender age of 14 when he allowed her to read his writings over psychoanalysis. Sigmund also began analyzing Anna's nighttime dreams in 1918, and she accompanied him to the International Psychoanalytical Congress in 1920. Anna met many of her father's colleagues and friends, including psychoanalyst Lou Andreas-Salome, who soon became Anna's confidante. The Vienna Psychoanalytical Society graciously accepted Anna as a member following her presentation of Beating Fantasies and Daydreams. She continued to attend psychoanalytic meetings, follow her father's work and publications, analyze patients, and translate papers. Anna had established her role as a significant contributor to the field of child psychology when she began her psychoanalytical practice with young children. She went on to teach seminars at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Training Institute and publish her first book, Technique of Child Analysis (The Anna Freud Centre, 1993). Sigmund Freud became dreadfully ill following a diagnosis of cancer and endured multiple surgical operations. He required constant nursing care in order to heal. Anna did not want to leave her father's side and provided full-time nursing care, but she managed to continue her work with children. Sigmund unfortunately passed away from his illness in 1939, around the same time the second war began. Anna continued to follow in her father's footsteps with psychoanalysis, but focused on developing techniques for studying children rather than adults. Anna became fully immersed in developing effective techniques to psychoanalyze children, which are still implemented and utilized in modern child psychology as well as ego psychology (The Anna Freud Centre, 1993).

Theoretical Positions

Anna Freud is known as her father's successor with her research and work in ego psychology and child psychology. Anna remained faithful to her father's central theme and ideas of psychodynamic theory despite some of Sigmund's followers abandoning his beliefs, but she primarily concentrated on the psyche dynamics rather than the psyche structures. She wrote and…