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Esman, A. (1972). Problems of Psychoanalytic Training, Diagnosis, and the Technique of Therapy. 1966-1970. the Writings of Anna Freud, Vol. VII: New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1971. 312 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 41:424-425.
   

(1972). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 41:424-425

Problems of Psychoanalytic Training, Diagnosis, and the Technique of Therapy. 1966-1970. the Writings of Anna Freud, Vol. VII: New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1971. 312 pp.

Review by:
Aaron Esman

With the publication of this volume, Anna Freud's collected works are brought virtually up to date. It is, by and large, a set of occasional pieces, composed over the past five years, some major, some minor, but all imbued with the harmony, richness of invention, and cadence that have characterized her work throughout her long and richly creative life.

The scope of these contributions—some reprinted, others newly published here—ranges from profoundly important reflections on crucial psychoanalytic and child development issues to rather transient mourning tributes and salutatory prefaces. Through most of them, however, certain leitmotifs appear that seem to serve as unifying principles drawing together this somewhat disparate collection. In several cases these reflect a return to old themes, reworked and reconsidered; in others the themes are new, but represent the development of motifs stated earlier but never fully exploited.

An instance of the latter is the paper, Problems of Termination in Child Analysis, a subject never before considered in the literature. Warning against premature termination, Miss Freud nonetheless discourages excessive therapeutic zeal with her admonition that 'no successful conflict solution on one [developmental] level can act as safeguard and immunization against the conflicts and difficulties in store for the individual in the future'. Further, she emphasizes here, as she does repeatedly throughout the volume, that child analysis is above all a therapy for neurotic conflict, and that the analyst who aims through analytic means alone to undo the effects of early preoedipal disturbances is more than likely to be doomed to frustration or to interminable efforts. Still another new venture is Miss Freud's consideration of the relative merits of residential versus foster care, in which her clarity of thought and her ability to cut to the heart of questions yield a concise and systematic set of criteria for the use of the various modes of surrogate care for children.

These

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