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Abrams, S. (2001). Summation-Unrealized Possibilities: Comments on Anna Freud's Normality and Pathology in Childhood. Psychoanal. St. Child, 56:105-119.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 56:105-119

Summation-Unrealized Possibilities: Comments on Anna Freud's Normality and Pathology in Childhood

Samuel Abrams, M.D.

Anna Freud's Normality and Pathology in Childhood Proposed radical approaches to the treatment of children. Since its publication in 1965 there have been important changes in the way in which analysts address their child patients. For example, they have moved away from autocracy and toward responsive interaction. However, it remains unclear whether those changes were derived principally from Anna Freud's radical proposals or, indeed, exactly what those proposals were.

This discussion is in three sections: (1) What did Anna Freud say? (2) What obstacles exist to implementing what she said? (3) What can be done about it?

What Did She Say?

Ms. Freud was both a conserver and an innovator, often a very difficult straddle. Sometimes these traits have been interpreted as reflecting an ambivalence to her father, at other times as an extraordinary feature of her personality (Wallerstein, 1984, Ekins and Freeman, 1998, Kris, 2000).

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