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Blomfield, O.H. (1991). Anna Freud: Creativity, Compassion, Discipline. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 18:37-52.

(1991). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 18:37-52

Anna Freud: Creativity, Compassion, Discipline

O. H.D. Blomfield


Some recent biographical sources are used to round out a personal view of Anna Freud's creativity, compassion and disciplined understanding of psychoanalysis. Rilke's poetry is seen as an inspiration for Anna Freud. Paradoxically the balance and strength of Anna Freud's thought stemmed from a sharing of 'maternal aptitudes' with her father. Some comment is made on the possibilities and limits of her personal analysis with Sigmund Freud. His view of her as his Anna-Antigone set special limitations. After his death, her maternal gifts found expression in the Hampstead Nurseries caring for war-traumatized children. Here was the genesis of the Hampstead Child Therapy Course and Clinic; an attempted realization of an 'ideal psychoanalytic institute'.

During a life dedicated to psychoanalysis, Anna Freud made key contributions to metapsychology, infant and child development and nosology and clinical aspects of child and adult analysis. She was instrumental in formulating fundamental aspects of the social and legal rights of children.

Her thought expressed a dialectic between idealism and practicality: the purity of the psychoanalytic method and the historicity of the subject. Her life's work remains as a substantial part of the contribution of psychoanalysis to human existence.

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