Google recognises Anna Freud’s work revolutionising care for children facing emotional distress

3rd December 2014 By: Rose Palmer

A doodle celebrating the life of Anna Freud is at the top of Google’s homepages across the world.

December 3rd marks the 119th birthday of Anna Freud and Google has produced a doodle to celebrate her life and legacy.

Anna Freud, the youngest child of Sigmund Freud, is credited as being the founder of child psychotherapy. By the time of her death in 1982, she had revolutionised how children in many walks of life are cared for.

In 1941, she set up the Hampstead War Nurseries for young victims of war who had experienced profound trauma. Anna Freud applied her knowledge of child development whilst working with the children and their families. She also took the opportunity to research the effect of deprivation of parental care on children affected by conflict.

The Nurseries were renamed the Hampstead Child Therapy Course and Clinic after being granted charity status in 1952. Following Anna Freud’s death, the Clinic was renamed the Anna Freud Centre (now known as the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families) in her honour.

Today, whilst we have expanded our focus and use a wider range of clinical and research approaches, we remain dedicated to understanding young minds and to transforming how young people and families with mental health problems are helped.

Our vision is a world in which children and their families are effectively supported to build on their own strengths to achieve their goals in life.

We care for young minds in five main ways:

  • Researching the underlying causes of childhood emotional distress using the latest neuroscience techniques
  • Developing, piloting and evaluating new, cost-effective treatments for children and families facing mental health difficulties
  • Supporting mental health services to improve their practice through the collection and evaluation of outcomes data and shared decision-making
  • Offering teaching and training courses and building a global network of researchers, clinicians and mental health professionals to ensure that new knowledge and ideas are shared as widely as possible
  • Providing advice and leadership to national policy initiatives focused on improving children’s and young people’s mental health.
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