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Yorke, C. (2001). Anna Freud: A View of Development, Disturbance and Therapeutic Technique Rose Edgecumbe London and Philadelphia: Routledge, 2000 viii + 232 pp., £14.99. J. Child Psychother., 27(2):218-220.

(2001). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 27(2):218-220

Anna Freud: A View of Development, Disturbance and Therapeutic Technique Rose Edgecumbe London and Philadelphia: Routledge, 2000 viii + 232 pp., £14.99

Review by:
Clifford Yorke

Anyone with a first-hand knowledge of Anna Freud's psychoanalytic thinking, lucky enough to work at the Hampstead Child Therapy Course and Clinic1 during her directorship, would find it a forbidding task to give any overall account of her psychoanalytic thinking. This is largely, though not entirely, due to the remarkably wide range of her interests: normal and abnormal development from earliest infancy to old age; theory of technique and therapy; residential care; family structure and interactions within it; separation and bereavement; nursery schooling and education in general; delinquency; psychological effects of physical illness; developmental anomalies; childhood borderline states and psychosis of all kinds (including its manifestations in adults); family law - the list goes on and on.

There are other reasons for the difficulty, of which the most imponderable is the extent to which her achievements were linked to her personality. Its public aspect could be seen in her incisive thinking and seemingly simple eloquence at innumerable meetings and discussions, in her participation in the work of study groups, and in her chairmanship of meetings open to the wider psychoanalytic public. All of these supplemented and enlarged on her written work, and more than a few gave rise to it. But the system of study groups and specialized responsibilities meant that no one person could be present at more than a few of the clinic's many events. At a personal level, she would be best known for the close interest she took in the individual's professional activities, though personal circumstances and difficulties did not escape her.

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