Reich, Annie (1902-1971)

views updated

REICH, ANNIE (1902-1971)

Austrian physician and psychoanalyst Annie Reich (née Pink) was born on April 9, 1902, in Vienna and died on January 5, 1971, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Reich was the third child of Theresa Singer, a primary school teacher, and Alfred Pink, a Viennese merchant; Annie's father remarried shortly after her mother's death from influenza, during World War I. Her older brother, Fritz, was killed during the war, and her other brother, Ludwig, emigrated toAustralia in 1939. Reich studied medicine at Vienna University from 1921 and obtained her medical degree in 1926.

In 1921 she began an analysis with Wilhelm Reich, which was interrupted six months later when, in 1922, they were married. Two daughters, Eva and Lore, born in 1924 and 1928 respectively, issued from this marriage. Reich began another analysis with Hermann Nunberg and, years later, with Anna Freud. A member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society from 1928, she worked at the proletariat-oriented sex-counseling clinics founded by Wilhelm Reich and Marie Frischauf. After moving to Berlin in 1930, she became involved in the "Kinderseminar" for young, left-wing analysts that was founded by Otto Fenichel, and joined the Berlin Psychoanalytic Society.

In 1933, Reich and her husband separated. Reich emigrated to Prague where she established a practice and helped constitute the new psychoanalytic community there; as a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, she served as a training analyst until 1938. That year, she married Thomas Rubinstein and emigrated with him and her children to the United States, where she was quickly admitted into the New York Psychoanalytic Society; she served as its president from 1960 to 1962. She was also active in the International Psychoanalytical Association from 1938 until her death.

Reich's publications include some of the first psychoanalytic works dealing with pedagogical aspects of sexuality, including "Zur Frage der Sexualaufklärung" (On the question of sexual enlightenment) in 1929. In addition, she wrote numerous theoretical and clinical articles, including key papers on counter-transference and female psychology. A collection of her papers was published posthumously in 1973.

Lilli Gast

See also: Reich, Wilhelm.


Reich, Annie. (1929). Zur Frage der Sexualaufklärung. Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Pädagogik, 3, 98-100.

. (1973). Psychoanalytic contributions. New York: International Universities Press.

Sharaf, Myron R. (1983). Fury on Earth: A biography of Wilhelm Reich. New York: St. Martin's Press.