Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 149–163

Freud's “Anna O.”: Social work's Bertha Pappenheim

  • Carol R. Swenson

DOI: 10.1007/BF02190471

Cite this article as:
Swenson, C.R. Clin Soc Work J (1994) 22: 149. doi:10.1007/BF02190471


The story of “Anna O.” has loomed large in psychoanalytic history, but few social workers know that the young woman, who was so influential in the development of Freud's thinking, became a pioneer social worker in Germany. The story of the transformation of the troubled young woman, who was actually Joseph Breuer's patient, is the focus of this paper. In addition, some of the “facts” of the case are discussed as social constructions. Anna O./ Bertha Pappenheim participated in the creation of the “talking cure” and eventually went on to be a leading feminist, developer of social programs for women, and social reformer.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol R. Swenson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social WorkSimmons CollegeBoston

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