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Adolescence: Talks and Papers by Donald Meltzer and Martha Harris
Donald Meltzer (1922-2004) and Martha Harris | Edited by Meg Harris Williams
The Harris Meltzer Trust / Softcover / Oct 2018
9781912567515 (ISBN-10: 1912567512)
Klein and the Kleinians / Psychoanalysis with Infants, Children & Adolescent
reg price: $56.95 our price: $ 54.10
252 pages
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This volume contains a representative selection of talks and writings by Martha Harris and Donald Meltzer on the key developmental phase of adolescence, from their teachings both separately and together over many years. Their psychological penetration into this phase or condition transcends changes in culture and environment, focussing on the ‘community of adolescents’ as a state of mind struggling with confusion manifest not only in sexuality but in all aspects of life. This collection includes in many cases the post-talk discussions of the original seminars and is equally relevant to both parents and therapists.


‘This newly collected volume of the thought and work of Donald Meltzer and Martha Harris on adolescence is a potent witness to the devotion and enthusiasm with which they pursued their love of the psychoanalytic method and its sympathetic use at this most volatile age. The writing sparkles with wit and vigour and it is a great pleasure to hear again two voices which together express profound scholarship and virtuosic intuition.’
— Kenneth Sanders, Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society

‘The distinct, yet also conjoined, charisma of Martha Harris and Donald Meltzer sings through these pages. When these papers, lectures and exchanges were written, adolescent life was very different from the contemporary picture. Yet the underlying truths about the nature of human development remain. The pages are vividly evocative of the “condition” of being adolescent. We encounter here the wisdom and essence of the personal and clinical experience that so impressively underpins current practice.’
—Margot Waddell, psychoanalyst and consultant child psychotherapist

‘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 from imaginative descriptions of ordinary pubertal states of mind to the destructiveness of perversity. The case discussions in the book provide a master class on technique and clinical understanding.’
—Ellie Roberts, consultant child psychotherapist

Table of Contents:

Foreword by Jonathan Bradley

1. Your Teenager
Martha Harris (1969)

2. Identification and socialization in adolescence
Donald Meltzer (1967)

3. Adolescent psychoanalytical theory
Donald Meltzer (1973)

4. Emotional problems in adolescence: an adolescent girl
Martha Harris (1973)

5. The psychopathology of adolescence
Donald Meltzer (1973)

6. Adolescent sexuality
Martha Harris (1969)

7. Infantile elements and adult strivings inadolescent sexuality
Martha Harris (1976)

8. The paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions
Donald Meltzer (1975)

9. Depression and the depressive position in an adolescent boy
Martha Harris (1965, 1975)

10. From puberty to adolescence
Donald Meltzer (1975)

11. Juan: a constant disappointment
Jesús Sánchez de Vega and Donald Meltzer (1998)

12. Elsa: fear of the adolescent community
Nouhad Dow and Donald Meltzer (1998)

13. An adolescent voyeur
Donald Meltzer (1997)

14. The claustrum and adolescence
Donald Meltzer (1992)

15. A theory of sexual perversion
Donald Meltzer (1974)

16. Narcissism and violence in adolescents
Donald Meltzer (1989)

17. Adolescence: after the hurricane
Donald Meltzer (c. 2002)


About the Authors:

Donald Meltzer (1923–2004) was born in New York and studied medicine at Yale. After practising as a psychiatrist specialising in children and families, he moved to England to have analysis with Melanie Klein in the 1950s, and for some years was a training analyst with the British Society. He worked with both adults and children, and was innovative in the treatment of autistic children; in the treatment of children he worked closely with Esther Bick and Martha Harris whom he later married. He taught child psychiatry and psychoanalytic history at the Tavistock Clinic. He also took a special scholarly interest in art and aesthetics, based on a lifelong love of art. Meltzer taught widely and regularly in many countries, in Europe, Scandinavia, and North and South America, and his books have been published in many languages and continue to be increasingly influential in the teaching of psychoanalysis.

His first book, The Psychoanalytical Process, was published by Heinemann in 1967 and was received with some suspicion (like all his books) by the psychoanalytic establishment. Subsequent books were published by Clunie Press for the Roland Harris Educational Trust which he set up together with Martha Harris (now the Harris Meltzer Trust). The Psychoanalytical Process was followed by Sexual States of Mind in 1973, Explorations in Autism in 1975; The Kleinian Development in 1978 (his lectures on Freud, Klein and Bion given to students at the Tavistock); Dream Life in 1984; The Apprehension of Beauty in 1988 (with Meg Harris Williams); and The Claustrum in 1992.

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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Harris, Martha
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Psychoanalysis with Infants, Children & Adolescent