Margaret Mahler: biography of this psychoanalyst

Margaret Mahler: biography of this psychoanalyst

Child development and how human beings gradually acquire their own identity through the stimulation of the environment and the development of the self have been frequently studied by psychology. Different models and explanations have been established in this regard.

One of the best known authors in this respect is Margaret Mahler, a psychoanalytic author specializing in child development and psychotic disorders in minors. Next we will review her life and work through a short biography of Margaret Mahler.

Brief biography of Margaret Mahler: early years

Margaret Schonberger, as that was her birth name until she acquired her husband’s surname, was born in Sopron (Hungary) during the year 1897.

The daughter of a doctor and a housewife of Jewish origin, Margaret was the first of two sisters. While her father always treated her well and encouraged her to do research (by the time in question he was considered to be offering her the same treatment as if she had been born a man), she never had a very close relationship with her mother.

Margaret Mahler became interested in science from childhood , probably in part because of her father’s profession. In her adolescence she was encouraged to read psychoanalytic authors such as Sigmund Freud, becoming interested in the subject of psychology and the unconscious.

She began studying Art History at the University of Budapest in 1916, but ended up deciding to change and become a doctor, being transferred to the University of Munich and beginning to specialize in pediatrics. However, at that time anti-Semitism began to be promoted and accentuated and, being of Jewish origin, she decided to move to Jenna until her graduation in 1922, seeing how play and emotional attachments were fundamental in the physical and mental development of minors.

Transfer to Vienna and approach to psychoanalysis

That same year, Margaret Schonberger received the news that she could not stay in Germany, being forced to move to Vienna. The author had already begun to interest Jenna in the attachments between parents and children , which once in Vienna led her to take a more active interest in psychoanalytic theory and to train herself in this area. In 1933 she would become a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute.

World War II

In 1936 she married Paul Mahler, whose name she would absorb . However, her husband’s business and activities practically bankrupted them.

Shortly after their marriage, the Nazi army took over Austria, forcing them to move to England (thanks in large part to the intervention of the wife of the viceroy of India) in order to escape.

They later moved to the United States, from where she would try to get her family to join her. However, her mother was deported and killed in Auschwitz while her father died before the Nazis invaded the region.

Life in the United States and death

In the years after World War II, Margaret Mahler began working and researching on psychosis and autism . She managed to practice at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Philadelphia. She would also be accepted into the New York Psychoanalytic Society and the Institute of Human Development.

Child development and how human beings gradually acquire their own identity through the stimulation of the environment and the development of the self have been frequently studied by psychology. Different models and explanations have been established in this regard.

One of the best known authors in this respect is Margaret Mahler, a psychoanalytic author specializing in child development and psychotic disorders in minors. Next we will review her life and work through a short biography of Margaret Mahler.

Brief biography of Margaret Mahler: early years

Margaret Schonberger, as that was her birth name until she acquired her husband’s surname, was born in Sopron (Hungary) during the year 1897.

The daughter of a doctor and a housewife of Jewish origin, Margaret was the first of two sisters. While her father always treated her well and encouraged her to do research (by the time in question he was considered to be offering her the same treatment as if she had been born a man), she never had a very close relationship with her mother.

Margaret Mahler became interested in science from childhood , probably in part because of her father’s profession.
In her adolescence she was encouraged to read psychoanalytic authors such as Sigmund Freud, becoming interested in the subject of psychology and the unconscious.

She began studying Art History at the University of Budapest in 1916, but ended up deciding to change and become a doctor, being transferred to the University of Munich and beginning to specialize in pediatrics. However, at that time anti-Semitism began to be promoted and accentuated and, being of Jewish origin, she decided to move to Jenna until her graduation in 1922, seeing how play and emotional attachments were fundamental in the physical and mental development of minors.

Transfer to Vienna and approach to psychoanalysis

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