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(1995). Interviews. J. Child Psychother., 21(3):347-359.

(1995). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 21(3):347-359


Caroline Essenhigh Hansi Kennedy Joint Director of the Anna Freud Centre with Anna Freud and Clifford Yorke 1977-82 and Co-Director with Clifford Yorke 1982-8

CE: Tell me about Anna Freud.

HK: I think it is important to remember that there are two dimensions to Anna Freud. First of all she was a psychoanalyst, but she was also a teacher. It was her first profession and in some way she never stopped being a teacher. She always liked being with young people and liked the idea of having a training which would secure the future of child psychoanalysis. In particular, she liked the fact that it was an international training with students from other countries who would broaden the case of child analysis in the world. (This happened of course to Freud's theories but child analysis was still in its infancy.)

CE: On leaving Vienna, why did Anna Freud not take up the many invitations to the USA and settle there?

HK: Anna Freud liked living in England and also felt gratitude towards the country that enabled her father and a retinue of thirty people to immigrate in 1938. Many of her closest colleagues from Vienna had moved to the USA where child analysis was beginning to flourish after the war and mental health workers clamoured for psychoanalytic training. It was then that she received invitations to join them. I think it was particularly the Yale group that wanted Anna Freud to teach there.

CE: What do you think would have happened to child psychoanalysis if Hitler had not existed?

HK: It is a very interesting question. I think what would have happened is that psychoanalysis would probably have developed in Vienna and perhaps in London but not spread to the USA so quickly.

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