"Meltzer referred to this stage of life as the 'great combine harvester of adolescence'. In essence: all have to go through it; some find it hard to emerge from it. Theory and clinical material bring alive the political and ethical states of mind of adolescents as they re-evaluate their child knowledge and understanding. The tension builds through the book, leading froim imaginative descriptions of ordinary pubertal states of mind to the destructiveness of perversity. The case discussions in the book provide a master class on tehnique and clinical understanding."
- Ellie Roberts, consulting child psychotherapist
"Marisa Pelella Melega came to Rome in 1988 to celebrate the foundation of the first Centro Studi Martha Harris, and to establish a link between the Centro Studi and her initiative in São Paulo. The link with the Centro Studi and with the Tavistock proved very fertile and this book is a witness to it. The valuable work documented here exemplifies vividly Martha Harris’ own often-cited statement that 'psychoanalytical ideas have travelled… and found a home in which to flourish'."
- Gianna Polacco Williams, Psychoanalyst and child analyst; founder , Centro Studi Martha Harris
"What an interesting collection of descriptions of Infant Observations and applications of the method of observing babies pioneered by Esther Bick in the seventies! Infant observation and its applications still constitutes the bedrock for understanding the origin of the human mind, and the training of all the authors is rooted in this method of observation as well as in the work of later object relations clinicians and theoricians (Klein, Bion, Winnicott, Meltzer etc). The authors from the São Paulo Mother-Baby Relationship Study Centre, working in the fields of infant, child and family psychology, cover a variety of interesting settings, such as: the seminar room where Esther Bick herself led a discussion group; the homes of observed babies; the consulting room with parents and children in therapy; a nursery; a child psychiatric hospital department; and a neonatal intensive care unit. The work and observations are described vividly and with the precision of refined observers who share their experience generously and openly. The book ends with an innovative and timely chapter on research on the link between maternal reverie and the development of symbolic play in babies. This is a book which I indeed recommend to all those interested in infant observation and its broad application."
- Maria Pozzi Monzo, Consultant child and adolescent psychotherapist; visiting lecturer , Tavistock Clinic
About the authors
Foreword by Daisy Maia Bracco
Introduction: Esther Bick’s infant observation method, Daisy Maia Bracco
1) Esther Bick in South America: supervision of the observation of a baby girl from birth to eight months, Esther Bick
2) Aspects of supervision: an observation seminar about a ten-month-old triplet, Marisa Pelella Mélega
3) The flame of psychic life: reviewing a two-year observation twenty years later, Mariza Leite da Costa
4) Early feeding difficulties: risk and resilience in early mismatches within the parent-child relationship, Mariângela Mendes de Almeida
5) Psychoanalytic observation: the Esther Bick method as a clinical tool, Magaly Miranda Marconato Callia
6) The psychoanalytic observer as model for a maternal containing function, Marisa Pelella Mélega
7) The psychoanalytic observer at the nursery, Ana Rosa Campana de Almeida Pernambuco
and Maria da Graça Palmigiani
8) The psychoanalytic observer in paediatric assessment, Marisa Pelella Mélega and Maria da Graça Palmigiani
9) Joint parent and child therapeutic interventions, Marisa Pelella Mélega
10) A family assessment based on the Esther Bick method, Ana Rosa Campana de Almeida Pernambuco
11) The observer in the neonatal intensive care unit, Mariza S. Inglez de Souza
12) Infant observation and its developments: working with autistic children, Mariângela Mendes de Almeida
13) A research methodology for the study o? wf symbolic activity in infants, Marisa Pelella Mélega and Maria Cecília Sonzogno
References and Bibliography