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Harris, M. (1983). Esther Bick (1901 - 1983). J. Child Psychother., 9(2):101-102.

(1983). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 9(2):101-102

Esther Bick (1901 - 1983)

Martha Harris

Mrs. Bick died in hospital on July 20th at the age of 82 after a period of failing health and memory after her retirement from practice with patients in 1980. She had no relatives in this country which became her home after she arrived as a refugee from Austria just before the war.

She was born in a small Polish city of Orthodox Jewish parents and by courage, perseverance and intelligence, she pursued her education without assistance, finally receiving her Ph.D. in Vienna for a study of infant development undertaken with Charlotte Bühler.

Her marriage broke up before she left Austria, her husband leaving for Switzerland. Her only brother and most of her family perished in concentration camps. It was not until many years later, in the fifties, that she learned her niece had escaped and was living in Israel.

Nusia, as she was called by her friends, was happy in her first contacts in this country. She first stayed with Violet Oates, the sister of the Antarctic hero, who became a friend, and who seemed in these last years to be assimilated in her internal world to her beloved grandmother and to Melanie Klein, as admired sources of strength and integrity. She then worked in a war-time nursery in Manchester where she also began analysis with Michael Balint. She completed her analytic training in London while working in a Middlesex Child Guidance clinic with Dr Portia Holman. She then joined the Tavistock Staff and with John Bowlby began the Tavistock training in Child Psychotherapy in 1949.

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