Vienna Psychoanalytic Society's child guidance service

From Anarchy in Action

Jump to: navigation, search

Austrian teacher August Aichhorn (1878-1949) set up a child guidance service for the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, after completing psychoanalytic training in 1922.[1]

From Colin Ward, Anarchy in Action [2]:

Aichhorn was an equally bold man of the same generation who ran a home for maladjusted children in Vienna. He gives this description of one particularly aggressive group: 'Their aggressive acts became more frequent and more violent until practically all the furniture in the building was destroyed, the window panes broken, the doors nearly kicked to pieces. It happened once that a boy sprang through a double window ignoring his injuries from the broken glass. The dinner table was finally deserted because each one sought out a corner in the playroom where he crouched to devour his food. Screams and howls could be heard from afar!'[3]

Aichhorn and his colleagues maintained what one can only call a superhuman restraint and faith in their method, protecting their charges from the wrath of the neighbours, the police and the city authorities, and 'Eventually patience brought its reward. Not only did the children settle down, but they developed a strong attachment to those who were working with them . . . This attachment was now to be used as the foun­dation of a process of re-education. The children were at last to be brought up against the limitations imposed upon them by the real world.'[4]

  1. http://apsa.org/About_Psychoanalysis/Noted_Psychoanalysts.aspx#aichhorn
  2. Anarchy in Action
  3. August Aichhorn, Wayward Youth (London, 1925).
  4. ibid.