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Kennedy, H. (1994). Anna Freud. The Dream of Psychoanalysis: By Robert Coles. Reading, MA/New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Inc., 1992. 220 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 63:587-590.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:587-590

Anna Freud. The Dream of Psychoanalysis: By Robert Coles. Reading, MA/New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Inc., 1992. 220 pp.

Review by:
Hansi Kennedy

In this book Coles describes with great warmth and eloquence the influence Anna Freud exerted on his work. His admiration was kindled when he heard her deliver a lecture in 1950 to Harvard and Radcliffe College students and, later, during his internship and residency in pediatrics and child psychiatry, it was nurtured by his supervisor, who directed him to read Anna Freud's book, The Mechanisms of Defence. This he found helpful in his work with patients, and it set him on course for seeking further and deeper acquaintance with psychoanalysis, especially with Anna Freud's writings. In 1966 he sent her a copy of an essay, "The Achievement of Anna Freud," which he had published in The Massachusetts Review. He received an approving response. This started a correspondence between them about his work and publications; the appended text of four of Anna Freud's letters conveys her interest and expresses her hope to meet him in person. Eventually, during Anna Freud's visits to the United States in the 1970's, a number of personal discussions could be arranged. They form the basic material for this book, supplemented by what is drawn from Cole's conversations with others about Anna Freud and from her publications.

Coles's conversations with Anna Freud seemingly ranged over a wide field, but their main focus was around their shared experiences of working with socially and psychologically deprived children. Coles carefully prepared material for these meetings; he brought taped interviews with children, their drawings, and his observations, for example, of the initial effects of school desegregation on black children in the South.

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