Enabling and Inspiring: A Tribute to Martha Harris

Enabling and Inspiring: A Tribute to Martha Harris

by Meg Harris Williams, Maria Rhode, Margaret Rustin, Gianna Polacco Williams
     
 

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Martha Harris (1919-1987) was one of the most influential and also one of the most loved psychoanalysts of the generation that trained with Melanie Klein. She also worked with Wilfred Bion, and wrote many books and papers on psychoanalytic training and child development. Her colleague James Gammill cites Mrs Klein as saying: "She is one of the best people I

Overview

Martha Harris (1919-1987) was one of the most influential and also one of the most loved psychoanalysts of the generation that trained with Melanie Klein. She also worked with Wilfred Bion, and wrote many books and papers on psychoanalytic training and child development. Her colleague James Gammill cites Mrs Klein as saying: "She is one of the best people I have ever known for the psychoanalysis of children….and she has a mind of her own." Harris was responsible for the child psychotherapy training at the Tavistock Clinic from 1960 onwards, developing laterally the method founded on infant observation that had been put in place by Esther Bick. She established cross-clinic work discussion groups, a pioneering schools’ counselling course (in collaboration with her husband Roland Harris), and individual work with disturbed children in the school environment. Her belief that psychoanalytic ideas could and should “travel”, both geographically and across the professions, led to her seeding the “Tavi Model” in many other countries through regular teaching trips, in company with her later husband Donald Meltzer.

Her influence was not as a theorist, but as a teacher with an extraordinary capacity to engage processes of introjective learning in both students and readers. This tribute by some of those who studied with her is not simply testimony to a remarkable teacher and clinician whose wisdom has been rarely equalled; it also offers inspiration to others who may be struggling to find ways of using psychoanalytic ideas imaginatively in a variety of contexts—clinical, social or scholarly—in what can at times appear to be an unreceptive world.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781780491066
Publisher:
Karnac Books
Publication date:
10/30/2012
Pages:
366
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Meg Harris Williams is an artist and writer with a special interest in aesthetic experience. She collaborated with Donald Meltzer in The Apprehension of Beauty and The Claustrum. Her latest books on psychoanalysis and poetry are The Vale of Soulmaking and The Aesthetic Development.

Maria Rhode is Professor of Child Psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic and the University of East London. She is co-editor of Psychotic States in Children (1997), and is currently working on an early intervention project for toddlers with communication difficulties.

Margaret Rustin

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