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Beiser, H.R. (1981). Child Analysis in Chicago. Ann. Psychoanal., 9:3-7.

(1981). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 9:3-7

I Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis

Child Analysis in Chicago

Helen R. Beiser, M.D.

As the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago approaches, it seems appropriate to look at the history of child analysis and its training program. Although I did not personally participate in the earliest phases, I knew all of the early child analysts as my teachers, and had frequently discussed the origins of our present program with Anne Benjamin, to whom this volume is dedicated. Her application in 1969 requesting accreditation for the child-analysis training program by the American Psychoanalytic Association is the basis for the early part of this history.

Shortly after the Institute was founded in 1932, George Mohr returned from Vienna where he had studied child analysis with Anna Freud. He had been a pediatrician, especially interested in the care of premature infants. He was followed onto the staff by Margaret Gerard, and then by Helen Ross, both of whom were also trained by Anna Freud. This established a strong theoretical tie that culminated in the visit of Anna Freud to Chicago in 1967. Margaret Gerard's background was in academic neurophysiology, and Helen Ross was an educator who wished to apply psychoanalytic principles to education and child rearing. For years she wrote a daily newspaper column giving advice to parents. These pioneers with their unique combination of talents joined with the rest of the staff to study the psychogenic factors in bronchial asthma (1941), as well as other “psychosomatic diseases,” as they were then called. George Mohr also acted as the director of child-analysis training, and Margaret Gerard (1939) wrote one of the classical papers on childhood enuresis.


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