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Anna O


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The name used by the Austrian physician Josef Breuer (1842–1925) to refer to his patient Bertha Pappenheim (1860–1936), the first person ever to undergo psychoanalysis. She suffered from various symptoms of hysteria, which were made to disappear by enabling her under hypnosis to recall the traumatic events that precipitated them, her recollections of these events being accompanied by violent outbursts of emotion that Breuer labelled catharsis. Breuer described the case in 1895 in Studies on Hysteria, co-authored with Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) (Standard Edition, II, at pp. 21–47), but the veracity of the account, and in particular the claim that Anna O was cured, have been questioned by later researchers.

Subjects: Psychology.


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