Looking and Listening: Work from the São Paulo Mother-Baby Relationship Study Centre with a Supervision Seminar by Esther Bick

Editor : Marisa Pelella Melega, Editor : Mariângela Mendes de Almeida, Editor : Mariza Leite da Costa

Looking and Listening: Work from the São Paulo Mother-Baby Relationship Study Centre with a Supervision Seminar by Esther Bick

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‘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 of the 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 Editor(s)

Marisa Pelella Mélega is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice, and a Training Analyst and Supervisor at the Brazilian Psychoanalytic Society of São Paulo. She founded the São Paulo Mother-Baby Relationship Study Centre in 1987, receiving accreditation from the Centro Studi Martha Harris, in Rome. She teaches at the Brazilian Institute as a child psychoanalyst, where she chaired the training in child analysis from 1990 to 1996. Her clinical and research interests include applications of the Esther Bick observation model, as in assessment and therapeutic interventions with parents and children. She is the author of Looking and Listening: Work from the São Paulo Mother-Baby Relationship Study Centre; Post-Autism: a Psychoanalytic Narrative, with Donald Meltzer's supervisions; and Eugenio Montale, Poetic Creativity and Psychoanalysis.

More titles by Marisa Pelella Melega

Mariângela Mendes de Almeida is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist in São Paulo, Brazil, She has been working in the field of mental health and child development since 1982. Between 1988 and 1993, she was a Clinical Associate at the Child and Family Department, Tavistock Clinic, where she received her MA in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies (from the University of East London). She is currently training as an analyst at the Institute of the Brazilian Psychoanalytic Society of São Paulo. She specializes in early interventions on primitive states of mind in children with severe emotional disturbances. She has written chapters for Exploring Feeding Difficulties in Children - The Generosity of Acceptance (edited by G. Williams et al., 2004) and Un Bisogno Vitale (edited by E. Quagliata, 2002).

Mariza Leite da Costa trained as a Clinical Psychologist in Brazil before training further as a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic. She is a member of the ACP and holds an MA in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. She is a former Fellow of Essex University, where she taught Infant Observation at the Centre for Psychoanalytical Studies. She has a particular interest in autistic spectrum disorders and is in full time private practice.

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