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The Story of Infant Development : Observational work with Martha Harris, Second Edition
Romana Negri and Martha Harris
The Harris Meltzer Trust / Softcover / Jun 2018
9781912567096 (ISBN-10: 1912567091)
Psychoanalysis with Infants, Children & Adolescent / Klein and the Kleinians
reg price: $54.95 our price: $ 52.20 (may be subject to change)
262 pages
Out of stock - more on the way...

The Story of Infant Development details Romana Negri’s close observation of a child (Simone) from birth to age three, accompanied by perceptive comments from her supervisor Martha Harris, who developed Observational Studies at the Tavistock Clinic. Also included are chapters on further clinical supervisions of young children, in hospital as part of their diagnostic assessment and in therapy.

Romana Negri, known for her pioneering work in neonatal intensive care units, here presents the transcribed tapes of her detailed observation of a normally developing infant in a family context, an observation which Martha Harris supervised for three years. The story represents a unique record of the normal, but unique, growth of an individual personality from birth onwards. Other chapters in the book present observations of children in hospital that formed part of their diagnostic assessment, and the book includes some commentaries by Donald Meltzer and Martha Harris together.

Table of Contents:

Editorial Note
Meg Harris Williams

Gianna Polacco Williams

Romana Negri

The pattern of normal development: forming a relationship with the breast
A stunning experience
A state of normal non-integration and evacuation of sensations
The pull of the nipple
Maternal depression and the difficulty of introjecting the object
Digesting emotions
Problems of identification in the mother
The breast that comes and goes away
The bottle, and a distance from the mother

The pattern of normal development: the end of breastfeeding
The end of breastfeeding
Feelings of aggression and seduction
Representations of the breast
The lost breast and the nipple lifeline
Mother returns to work—the new sweetheart
The only baby
The relationship with the father
How the new baby is made
The little chair—the new place in the family

The story of the birth of the next sibling
Feminine and masculine qualities
The value of fairy tales
The epistemophilic instinct
One day it will be his turn
A point of “catastrophic change”
Birth of the next sibling
The “imbecile” infantile self that damages its objects
The second day at nursery school (with Donald Meltzer)
The third birthday

A three-year-old uses the gang as container
Summary of the first two observation sessions
The gang and circularity of time
The parents’ unfulfilled childhood (with Donald Meltzer)

Play observation in a hospital setting: some diagnostic implications
Eleanora: redefining a diagnosis of child psychosis as neurotic anxiety
Daniela: redefining a diagnosis of epilepsy as psychosomatic illness
Vittoria: redefining a diagnosis of brain pathology in terms of mental insufficiency
Infant observation: Matteo (early internalization of the object)
Infant observation: Giuseppino (the relation of the child’s way of looking to the mother’s emotional condition)


About the Authors:

Romana Negri graduated in medicine and trained as a child neuropsychiatrist at the University of Milan. From 1970 onwards she attended the seminars of Martha Harris and Donald Meltzer and commenced work projects inspired and influenced by their teaching. From 1976 to 2004 she was a consultant in the Special Care Baby Unit at the Caravaggio Hospital, Treviglio, publishing some of her research findings in The Newborn in the Intensive Care Unit. Since 1982 she has been a professor at Milan University, teaching in the paediatric department of the School of Medicine and the School of Psychiatry and Psychology. She is also responsible for early pathology consultation at the Sacco Hospital in Milan. She has published over one hundred papers in the field of early psychopathology and child psychiatry in Italy, Germany, France, Spain, and England.

Martha Harris (1919–1987) read English at University College London and then Psychology at Oxford. She taught in a Froebel Teacher Training College and was trained as a Psychologist at Guys Hospital, as a Child Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic, where she was for many years responsible for the child psychotherapy training in the department of Children and Families, and as a Psychoanalyst at the British Institute of Psychoanalysis. Together with her first husband Roland Harris (a teacher) she started a pioneering schools counselling service. With her second husband Donald Meltzer she wrote a psychoanalytical model of The Child in the Family in the Community for multidisciplinary use in schools and therapeutic units.

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