Freeman | Thomas

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Freeman | Thomas

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        Thomas Freeman was born in Glasgow in 1919. He was educated at the Belfast Royal Academy. He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, where he trained as a parachutist and saw service with the airbourne forces. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of major and began his distinguished career as a psychiatrist and trained in psychoanalysis. His training analyst was Dorothy Burlingham, a close friend and colleague of Anna Freud.

        Dr Freeman gained enormous clinical experience through work as consultant psychiatrist in large mental hospitals in Scotland and Northern Ireland. From 1952 to 1965, he worked at Glasgow's Royal Mental Hospital and the Lansdowne Clinic, where he made detailed studies of psychotic patients, which were significant and influential contributions to psychoanalysis. In 1965, he left Glasgow to take up a post at the Royal Dundee Liff Hospital. He returned to Northern Ireland in 1968, when he became consultant psychiatrist at Holywell Hospital, County Antrim.

        Whilst continuing his work at the mental hospitals, Dr Freeman was also appointed consultant psychiatrist to the Hampstead Child Therapy Clinic in London, where he worked closely with Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham. He adapted Anna Freud’s schema for diagnostic assessment of childhood psychological disorders to patients with psychotic disorders. He completed no fewer than 20 profiles using the schema and visited Hampstead on regular intervals to discuss this work. Two important books cam into being as a result of this devoted study: ‘A Psychoanalytic Study of the Psychoses’ (1973) and ‘Childhood Psychopathology and Adult Psychoses (1976).

        Dr Freeman made significant contributions to psychoanalytic training. In his earlier years he encouraged many people to travel to London to train as psychoanalysts. His achievements in later life were also remarkable. After retiring from the NHS, as the sole psychoanalyst in Northern Ireland, he set up a training scheme for psychoanalytic psychotherapy. He both analysed and supervised the candidates, as well as arranging for further supervision in England. As a result of his endeavors, in 1989, the Northern Ireland Association for the Study of Psychoanalysis was set up.

        During his career, Thomas Freeman published eight books, over one hundred papers and more than thirty chapters.


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        Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst

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        Authority record identifier

        GB BPASA AR Freeman T

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        British Psychoanalytical Society Archive (ISDIAH, 2008)

        Rules and/or conventions used

        ISO 8601-1:2019, Date and time - Representations for information interchange.
        National Council on Archives - Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
        International Council on Archives - International Standard for Describing Institutions with Archival Holdings (ISDIAH), 2008.



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        Revised 2024-04-04


        • English


        • Latin


        Maintenance notes

        Revised by Ewan O'Neill