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Harris, M. (2011). Chapter Six: Esther Bick (1901-1983) (1983). The Tavistock Model: Papers on Child Development and Psychoanalytic Training, 93-96.

Harris, M. (2011). Chapter Six: Esther Bick (1901-1983) (1983). The Tavistock Model: Papers on Child Development and Psychoanalytic Training, 93-96

Chapter Six: Esther Bick (1901-1983) (1983) Book Information Previous Up Next

Martha Harris

Martha Harris took over Esther Bick's course at the Tavistock in 1960 and continued to remain good friends and to work closely with her until her death. In a discussion with Meltzer about the difference between genius and talent, she said that she was one of the few who had “a touch of genius”. The following eulogy is the published version of what was felt by those present to be a “wonderful speech” (Elizabeth Spillius, personal communication). The speech transcript has been lost and there appear to have been differences from the published version. Joan Symington, who was present at the memorial occasion, writes:

“What I noticed in Mattie's very moving eulogy (which had many of the audience in tears) was that she said Mrs Bick had been ‘vouchsafed’ exceptionally fine internal objects. The word ‘vouchsafed’ struck me as some quite different way of looking at internal objects. It may link up with Bion's ‘third eye’” (personal communication).

Students have testified to the difficulty both Bick and later Harris both had in retaining infant observation as an integral part of the training at the British Psychoanalytic Institute.

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