The First Female Pioneer in Psychoanalysis and Her Important Lessons

Sigmund and Anna Freud,VI International Psychoanalytical Congress, The Hague 1920Image sourced from Wikimedia Commons

Anna Freud is the daughter of Sigmund Freud. She was the youngest of six children and born in Vienna in 1895. She was bullied in school as her father started to make his radical theories about incestual sex and the mind. She was given the nickname the ‘black devil’ at school.

She later became a very prominent psychoanalyst, following in the footsteps of her father. She pioneered in the treatment of children. In 1934, she published her most notable and famous work, The Ego and Mechanisms of Defence.

A defense mechanism is a responsive method intended to ease our pain in the short term. However, this harms us in the longer term, and in turn, we learn to deal with reality not very well, causing development and maturity issues.

She highlighted ten main types of defense mechanisms in her book, but I won't go over all of them to spare you some time.
Anna Freud and her father Sigmund Freud, 1913.Image sourced from Wikimedia Commons

Anna Freud as a key thinker and pioneer in psychology taught us that our defense mechanisms that we so often put up against the real world are not by choice. We don’t realize what we are doing most of the time.

We fail to realize that we are in denial about something, or making some excuses up to save ourselves. It’s a default mechanism we all use to make life less stressful, and Anna helped us understand this so well.

Anna Freud was a wonderful soul, who taught us about modesty above all. Because she showed us that our defense mechanisms are probably affecting the relationships around us and have powerful roles within our own life.

We should show gratitude to those who willingly decide to invest themselves in our lives because all of us have these destructive self-defense mechanisms without knowing ourselves what they are.

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I am an entrepreneur from London with a passion for reading and writing about self-improvement, productivity, fitness, history, philosophy, and happiness.


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