Anna Freud Biography
(British Psychoanalyst and Founder of Psychoanalytic Child Psychology)
Birthday: December 3, 1895 (Sagittarius)
Born In: Vienna, Austria
Anna Freud was an Austrian psychologist, a pioneer in the field of child psychoanalysis, who defined the function of “ego” in psychology. The youngest daughter of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, Anna was devoted to her father and enjoyed developing psychoanalytic theory and practice. As a young woman she taught at elementary school, and her daily observation of children drew her to child psychology. She is most noted for her work with children and the concept of children undergoing analysis. She discovered that children often required different psychological treatment as compared to adults and emphasized the role that early disruptions in attachment could play a role in the subsequent development of psychological problems. Her experience as a school teacher added to her knowledge of ego psychology and helped her maintain The Hampstead Child Therapy Clinic. Her publication ‘The Ego and Mechanisms of Defense’ is considered to be a groundbreaking work in the development of adolescent psychology. During the World War II, she also established war nursery with an aim to help the children form attachments by providing continuity of relationships with the helpers and by encouraging mothers to visit as often as possible. Until the final years of her life, she travelled regularly to the United States to lecture, teach and visit friends. Her life was spent in constant search for useful social applications of psychoanalysis, especially in treating children and in learning from them.