Happy 121st Birthday, Anna Freud!

Take a peek inside the mind of psychoanalyst Anna Freud for her 121st birthday. As the daughter of famed neurologist Sigmund Freud, Anna followed her father’s footsteps into the field and is recognized as the founder of psychoanalytic child psychology.

Anna Freud was born December 3, 1895 in Vienna, Austria. As the daughter of Sigmund Freud, she was inescapably steeped in the psychoanalytic theories of her famous father; however, she did more than simply live in his shadow, pioneering the field of child psychoanalysis and extending the concept of defense mechanisms to develop ego psychology.

Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939) in his office in Vienna with his daughter Anna (1895 - 1982), circa 1937. Photo taken by Princess Eugenie of Greece, daughter of Marie Bonaparte.

Anna Freud's work continued her father's intellectual adventure. She said: "We felt that we were the first who had been given a key to the understanding of human behaviour and its aberrations as being determined not by overt factors but by the pressure of instinctual forces emanating from the unconscious mind..." Her life was also a constant search for useful social applications of psychoanalysis, above all in treating, and learning from, children. "I don't think I'd be a good subject for biography," she once commented, "not enough 'action'! You would say all there is to say in a few sentences - she spent her life with children!" (Source: Life and Work of Anna Freud)

Anna Freud (3 December 1895 – 9 October 1982) was the 6th and last child of Sigmund Freud and Martha Bernays.

Listen to Anna's voice in Freud’s Home Movies

Made from amateur footage shot between 1930 and 1939, the film starts with a colour introduction by Anna Freud. She provides a commentary that includes invaluable information about the everyday events and special moments in the Freud family life.

You can watch the complete 24-minute film from which these scenes were taken on YouTube.

(Selected) Books by Anna Freud

Books on Anna Freud

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