The pioneer who cracked anxiety and made her peers nervous

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The pioneer who cracked anxiety and made her peers nervous

Dr Claire Weekes had the answers, but her contemporaries didn’t see her as one of them

Joe Shute

In 1977 a diminutive 74-year-old woman in tweed stood up to address the great and good of US psychology at a conference in New York.

The audience muttered, checked their watches and heckled as Dr Claire Weekes explained her pioneering work on anxiety and that the prevailing psychoanalysis methods her peers relied on did more harm than good.

The response was muted. “They didn’t see her as one of them,” recalls her biographer, Judith Hoare...

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