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Freud, A. (1954). Psychoanalysis and Education. Psychoanal. St. Child, 9:9-15.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 9:9-15

Problems of Infantile Neurosis

Psychoanalysis and Education

Anna Freud


In this paper, the term education is used in its widest sense, compristing all types of interference with the spontaneous process of development as they exist in the childish organism. The attempt is made here to establish and describe in detail the links between the following fields of work: psychoanalytic investigation proper; analytic child psychology as its most important by-product; the application of this new child psychology, on the one hand, to the upbringing of children and, on the other hand, to the research into the causation of neurosis and the prevention of neurotic development.


Psychoanalytic Child Psychology

The birth date of psychoanalytic child psychology is placed somewhere between two publications of Freud: The Studies on Hysteria (1895) and The Interpretation of Dreams (1900). At the earlier date Freud worked with propositions which were, in the later metapsychological sense, dynamic as well as logical, i.e., his basic conception was that of conflicting internal forces which cannot be brought into harmony with each other because they belong to different strata of the mind, being for one part conscious, for the other part unconscious. At the later date, genetic propositions were added, i.e., the cause of inner conflict was traced back to the individual past of the patient. Examples are given here of the manner in which clinical findings were used as the corner stones for a theory of childhood development. This analytic child psychology built up by reconstruction was confirmed later by child analysis, by the direct observation of young children, and recently even by academic experiments.

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