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Colonna, A.B. (1996). Anna Freud: Observation and Development. Psychoanal. St. Child, 51:217-234.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 51:217-234


Anna Freud: Observation and Development

Alice B. Colonna

Anna Freud taught the importance of observation, suggesting that students jot down their observations in a systematic manner. She urged observers to amplify their notes, which were later discussed in meetings. Observations made in the nursery school, for example, were discussed afterwards and classified in a file under appropriate headings somewhat similar to the technique used at the Anna Freud Centre. In this paper I describe my observations of a subject as an infant and a toddler with special reference to the way she looked intensely at the world around her. To some degree, the way she herself looked—i.e., her appearance—was also interesting. The relationship between the child's looking in infancy and the oedipal child's sexual curiosity, exhibitionism, and scoptophilia is suggested by these observations.

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