What place do Anna Freud’s ideas have in the history of psychoanalysis? What can her writings teach us today about how to work therapeutically with children? Are her psychoanalytic ideas still relevant to those entrusted with the welfare of infants and young people?
Reading Anna Freud provides an accessible introduction to the writings of one of the most significant figures in the history of psychoanalysis. Each chapter introduces a number of her key papers, with clear summaries of the main ideas, historical background, a discussion of the influence and contemporary relevance of her thinking, and recommendations for further reading.
Areas covered include Anna Freud’s writings on:
• The theory and practice of child analysis and 'developmental therapy'
• The application of psychoanalytic thinking to education, paediatrics and the law
• The assessment and diagnosis of childhood disorders
• Psychoanalytic research and developmental psychopathology
Nick Midgley draws on his extensive experience as a child psychotherapist and a teacher to bring Anna Freud's ideas to life. He illustrates the remarkable originality of her thinking, and shows how analytic ideas can be used not only in child psychotherapy, but also to inform the care of children in families, hospitals, classrooms, residential care and the court-room.
Reading Anna Freud will be of interest to child therapists, child analysts and psychoanalysts, as well as others working in the field of child and adolescent mental health, such as clinical psychologists, child psychiatrists and educational psychologists. It also has much to offer to those entrusted with the care of children in a wide range of settings - including teachers, nurses and social workers - for whom Anna Freud was always keen to demonstrate the value of a psychoanalytic approach.
Nick Midgley trained as a child and adolescent psychotherapist at the Anna Freud Centre, where he now works as a clinician and as Programme Director for the MSc in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice. Nick has written articles on a wide range of topics and is joint editor of Minding the Child: Mentalization-based Interventions with Children, Young People and their Families (Routledge, 2012) and Child Psychotherapy and Research: New Directions, Emerging Findings (Routledge, 2009).
"Reading Anne Freud is less a work of criticism than a work of orientation, and doubly valuable as such."- Schuyler W. Henderson, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2014
his comprehensive book, written in an academic style, is accessible and accomplishes its purpose: to remind the reader of Anna Freud’s contributions as a practitioner and teacher, theoretician and writer." -Jane Simon, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, 2014
"It is a well-researched and informative book. Midgley's writing is informal, reminiscent of Anna Freud's own style, which makes the book accessible to a range of audiences. … For me the book can be best summed up by quoting directly from Midgley and his statement that the purpose of psychoanalytic research is 'not so much to assess the effectiveness of psychoanalytic therapy but, rather, to develop a deeper understanding of the workings of the mind and of human behaviour." - Jeanine Connor, Therapy Today (July 2013)
Anna Freud: A Chronology. Introduction: Anna Freud, Her Life and Work. Psychoanalysis with Children. The Application of Psychoanalytic Ideas to Education. The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence. The Hampstead War Nurseries. Psychoanalytic Research and the Observation of Children. The Psychoanalytic Treatment of Adults. The Assessment and Diagnosis of Childhood Disorders. Developmental Psychopathology. Child Analysis and Developmental Therapy. Psychoanalysis and Paediatrics: The Care of Children in Hospital. Children and the Law. Conclusion: The Legacy of Anna Freud.
Through the Teaching subseries, the New Library of Psychoanalysis publishes books that provide comprehensive, yet accessible, overviews of selected subject areas aimed at those studying psychoanalysis and related fields such as the social sciences, philosophy, literature and the arts.