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Hendrick, I. (1937). Freud, Anna. Die Abwehrmechanismen Des Ichs. Vienna: Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, 1936.. Psychoanal. Rev., 24D(4):451-455.

(1937). Psychoanalytic Review, 24D(4):451-455

Book Reviews

Freud, Anna. Die Abwehrmechanismen Des Ichs. Vienna: Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, 1936.

Review by:
Ives Hendrick, M.D.

As is well known, Anna Freud is the daughter of Sigmund Freud, and the leader of the Vienna group of psychoanalysts specializing in the education and treatment of children. Her latest book is an important contribution to our knowledge of the various mechanisms utilized by the human Ego to defend itself against excess anxiety, and to the study of adolescence. It brings together her own contributions and those of other psychoanalysts to our knowledge of the integrated functions of the personality. There are also several new ideas of importance supported by clinical material. The author's special field is the therapy of children, and the clinical illustrations are taken from her work with them. But the fundamental principles which she outlines will be of interest not only to students of the psychology of childhood and adolescence, but to the analyst working with adults, and to the general psychiatrist eager to keep abreast of progress in psychoanalysis. She also points out several important applications of her work to educational problems, especially those of progressive schools.

The book begins with a summary of the concept of the Ego which psychoanalysis has developed during the last fifteen years. It regards the Ego as that department of the personality where instinctual forces are organized for the mastery of the external world, and the protection of the individual against both real danger and irrational anxiety. The newborn infant is regarded psychologically as a pleasure-pain system, with a very rudimentary capacity to manipulate the environment or to control those inner drives which may lead to danger from without.

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