Anna Freud: Child psychoanalysis and lines of development

Anna Freud (1895 – 1982) is one of the founders of child psychoanalysis . She was influenced by her father, Sigmund Freud – the creator of Psychoanalysis , but her work focused more on the importance of the Ego and its role in striving to find a balance between the Id’s desire for pleasure, and the moral demands of the Superego . She expounded on the concept of defense mechanisms , as a means of the ego to deal with anxiety.

Anna Freud introduced the concept of developmental lines , which emphasize the nature of the child’s development as a continuum and a cumulative process, and the idea that it is possible to move forward (pace) or go backwards (backward) along the continuum.

Anna believed that it may eventually be necessary for an individual to regress for a brief period of time in order to deal with some major challenge. Once the person overcomes the challenge, he can move forward.

For example, a single child who has successfully mastered toilet training may appear to “forget” his training when faced with pressure from a very close brother. Once you have adjusted to the new family member, then the problem will be resolved and she will be ready to move forward again.


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