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Prior to searching a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review The Language of Psycho-Analysis written by Laplanche & Pontalis. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Loshak, R. (2013). Reading Anna Freud by Nick Midgley. The New Library of Psychoanalysis Teaching Series; general editor: Alessandra Lemma. Published by Routledge, London and New York, 2013; 234 pp; £29.99 paperback. Brit. J. Psychother., 29(4):551-555.

(2013). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 29(4):551-555

Reading Anna Freud by Nick Midgley. The New Library of Psychoanalysis Teaching Series; general editor: Alessandra Lemma. Published by Routledge, London and New York, 2013; 234 pp; £29.99 paperback

Review by:
Rosemary Loshak

Anna Freud died at the age of 87 in 1982 when I was a newly qualified social worker. At that time she, and what was then the Hampstead Child Therapy Clinic, occupied a position of some isolation within the British psychoanalytic community and certainly within the front line of social work and child care as then practised. Since then her contribution has been more widely recognized in Britain as the Hampstead Clinic has become the Anna Freud Centre, and as several works have made her ideas more available to the UK audience. These have included a biography (Young-Bruehl, 1988), a view of theory and technique (Edgcumbe, 2000), a recent collection focusing on the work of the Anna Freud Centre (Malberg & Raphael-Leff, 2012), a DVD and a BBC (2013) series featuring her work.

Midgley's slim volume has the appearance of a reader for the developmental psychology course at the Anna Freud Centre and University College London of which he is the director. At first glance it may appear confusing. Biography, theory, practice and applications are interspersed throughout the book. I was at first mildly disappointed not to find the ‘developmental lines’ set out in full. Instead Midgley takes a broadly chronological and historical approach, helpfully opening the book with a timeline of Anna Freud's life and writings. His intention is to ‘introduce the interested reader’ to the material and to make clear the way in which her work and thinking developed over time, shaped by experience and by the colleagues with whom she worked in Vienna, and later in London and the USA.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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