By The Frame
An Austrian-British psychoanalyst born in 1895 in Vienna, Austria, Anna Freud was the youngest daughter of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Educated at home, and later at the Cottage Lyceum in Vienna, Anna began her training in psychoanalysis in 1913 with her father, later continuing her education at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute.
In 1924, Anna Freud and her family moved to London, where she continued to work as a psychoanalyst. She soon established the Hampstead War Nurseries, where her care and treatment for children who were victims of World War II became a model for the practice of child psychoanalysis and child psychotherapy.
Her most notable work, her 1936 book “The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence”, provides a comprehensive theory of the ego, which she defines as the part of the mind which mediates between the demands of the external world and the needs of the person’s unconscious. She theorises how the ego develops a set of defence mechanisms to protect itself from anxiety, coining now commonly-used terms such as repression, denial, projection, and displacement, describing how they operate in the mind. The book solidified her reputation as a pioneering theorist, and became a founding work of ego psychology.
Anna Freud died on October 9, 1982, in London, England. Widely recognised for her contributions to psychoanalysis and child psychology, she was a pioneering voice for women in the field, and key figure in the developing exploration of the human mind.
A Mental Health Fanzine