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Novick, J. Novick, K.K. (1992). A Child Analysis with Anna Freud: Peter Heller. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1990, li + 383 pp., $30.00.. Psychoanal. Psychol., 9(2):257-261.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 9(2):257-261

A Child Analysis with Anna Freud: Peter Heller. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1990, li + 383 pp., $30.00.

Review by:
Jack Novick, Ph.D.

Kerry Kelly Novick

The tension between remembering and forgetting is the daily experience of the psychoanalyst. This takes place not only in the consulting room, but applies to our sense of ourselves and the history of psychoanalysis. Anna Freud died in October 1982. For almost 60 years she had been the heir apparent and then the leader of the international psychoanalytic movement. Yet, not even 10 years after her death, her name seems to have disappeared from psychoanalytic discourse and the contributions of her work and of child analysis to the body of psychoanalytic theory and technique are not discussed. Rudolf Ekstein, in his touching preface to Peter Heller's book, stresses the importance of knowing our psychoanalytic history, which tends to be ignored because “in our pragmatic culture many students are only interested in the immediate task, the instant recipe that is to help them meet a situation, change a symptom, and so on” (p. xv). Despite the proliferation of new psychoanalytic trainings, Ekstein's point is reflected in their tendency to omit a child analytic component. Thus it seems that many have forgotten the crucial contributions of child analysis in the evolution of our field.

The tendency to forget is countered by the urge to remember; recently a number of books have appeared about Anna Freud and her generation of psychoanalysts—what Katherine Rees (1991) has called “our Bloomsbury group.”

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