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Case Study: Little Hans

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 28 May 2008

Claudia Hammond presents a series on case studies that have made a significant contribution to psychological research.

A phobia of horses developed by a small boy living in Vienna in 1904 seemed unlikely evidence for the Oedipus complex. But for Sigmund Freud, this was the proof he had been waiting for. His study of Little Hans was the first recorded case of child psychoanalysis, and, with its detailed recording of a how a child makes sense of the world, continues to provide rich pickings for all who are interested in child development.

Claudia investigates the legacy of the study, and visits one of the centres run by Childhood First, which deals with some of the most disturbed and damaged children using a model informed by psychoanalysis.


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