Ann Martha Chmielewski was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1938, the daughter of Alice Elizabeth O'Connor '28, a social worker, and Alexander Chmielewski, who worked as Banking Commissioner for the State of Rhode Island. Her family moved from Providence to Cranston at age twelve, and Chmielewski graduated from Cranston High in 1955. She attended Pembroke College for two years as a commuter student before moving on campus.
After graduating from Pembroke in 1959 with an A.B. in psychology, Chmielewski moved to Boston with her future husband, Jack Anderson '58, and completed her Masters in Social Work at Simmons College. In 1963, Anderson's career took the couple to Rochester, New York, where Chmielewski worked at the Rochester Child Guidance Clinic, and Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester. She began her Ph.D. studies at Syracuse University in 1980 while the couple raised their two children, Brian and Kirsten. She received her degree in 1987 and maintainted a full-time private psychotherapy practice until retiring to Colorado in 2000.