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Target, M. (2010). The psychoanalytic work of Hansi Kennedy: from war nurseries to the Anna Freud Centre (1940–1993). J. Child Psychother., 36(3):313-316.

(2010). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 36(3):313-316

Book reviews

The psychoanalytic work of Hansi Kennedy: from war nurseries to the Anna Freud Centre (1940–1993)

Mary Target

The psychoanalytic work of Hansi Kennedy: from war nurseries to the Anna Freud Centre (1940–1993)

The psychoanalytic work of Hansi Kennedy: from war nurseries to the Anna Freud Centre (1940–1993), edited by Jill M. Miller and Carla Neely, London, Karnac, 2008, 306 pp., £29.99, ISBN 13: 978-1-85575-523-9

It has been difficult to stand back from this book on Hansi Kennedy, skilfully edited by Jill Miller and Carla Neely, two of her very able students who have returned to the United States and had distinguished careers there as leading child analysts. Hansi Kennedy was someone it was best to know, work with, live with, to get her measure as she was not one – the editors point out – to blow her own trumpet. She did not write or present many papers of her own, and seemed much happier contributing to a group or helping young colleagues get going by writing something together. I was one who had the privilege of being helped in that spirit, as a research psychologist at the Anna Freud Centre 20 years ago, an outsider she could easily have ignored. After collaborating on a minor paper together, we wrote two much more substantial pieces in a group that worked and wrote together regularly for six years (Rose Edgcumbe, Hansi Kennedy, George Moran, Peter Fonagy and myself). We contributed a theoretical paper on child psychopathology and technique for the annual Colloquium (Fonagy et al., 1993), and a book on the theory and technique of child analysis at the Centre, which we never published.

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