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Ornstein, A. (1994). A Child Analysis with Anna Freud: By Peter Heller. Madison, CT: Int. Univ. Press, 1990, 383 pp., $47.50.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 42:247-252.

(1994). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42:247-252

A Child Analysis with Anna Freud: By Peter Heller. Madison, CT: Int. Univ. Press, 1990, 383 pp., $47.50.

Review by:
Anna Ornstein, M.D.

Do you hear the storm blowing


The cannon Time that blows you
You once had a home, now you
stand alone
In the storm.

Time, by Peter Heller, written around age eleven.

This book is an extraordinary contribution to the psychoanalytic literature. In 1972, Anna Freud turned over a collection of poems that young Peter Heller wrote during his analysis with her in the years 1929–1932. Heller, fifty-two years old in 1972, requested Ms. Freud's notes of the analysis. These notes, as Ms. Freud took them of the individual hours, are here reproduced with very few alterations. What makes the book extraordinary is not only that the reader gets a rare view into the work of an analyst who has been a pioneer in the field and considered a very gifted clinician, but because of the openness, honesty, and great courage with which Heller offers his present-day associations to and comments about these most intimate childhood experiences. Having retained an analytic attitude toward his inner life, the author's associations appear uncensored even when he can not quite rid himself of the images of fictitious German and Austrian readers who, he fears, will criticize him for his "bourgeois egocentricity.

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