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Your Teenager: Thinking About Your Child During the Secondary School Years

Author(s) : Martha Harris, Editor : Meg Harris Williams

Your Teenager: Thinking About Your Child During the Secondary School Years
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Synopsis:

The Teenager books by Martha Harris, originally published in 1969, take a similar approach to her long-term bestseller Thinking about Infants and Young Children. Rooted vividly in the practicalities of everyday situations, the educational focus is on helping parents use constructively the turbulent emotions that are aroused in them by their child. The structural hinge is her empathy with the struggling child in all of us, and with the difficulty of becoming educated in the deepest and widest sense of that term. If the central task of the adolescent is defined as one of finding their individual identity, then the task of parents is a reciprocal one: it is to re educate themselves through questioning their own relationships, values, emotions and principles. Her aim is that children and parents may make the most of this opportunity to develop in tandem, with a view to ultimately taking their place in the great social class of the truly educated people, the people who are still learning.

Reviews and Endorsements:

Two books associated with Martha Harris: Your Teenager and The Story of Infant Development (by Romana Negri, catalogue number 25825) are being published simultaneously to inaugurate the successor to the Roland Harris Educational Trust: the Harris Meltzer Trust.

MARTHA HARRIS AS AN EDUCATOR
'The impact she had on those she taught derived from her being, as well as from the power of her presentation of psychoanalytic ideas ... Her approach to learning was a beautiful exemplification of Bion's ideas. Many of her colleagues can bear witness to the subtlety of her judgments of people - and very many students benefited from her sensitive contact with the creative spark inside them which could elude other observers but which Mattie could seek out and nourish.'
- Margaret Rustin, Head of Child Psychotherapy, Tavistock Clinic

'It was through Martha Harris that I first gained an inkling of what real teaching and learning is: of the distinction, for example, between knowledge and wisdom, between quantity and quality; of the diffidence and humility as well as the courage and resilience involved in the life-long venture of growing up. Her passionate commitment to helping a person, at whatever age or stage, to develop, tended to stir in others an answering passion, less imitative than aspirational - the desire to become more oneself and to have a mind of one's own.'
- Margot Waddell, Psychoanalyst and Child Psychotherapist

'By both background and inclination, Mattie was a scholar of English literature and a teacher. Nothing was more foreign to her nature than the administrative requirements that devolved upon her at the Tavistock. The way in which she came to terms with this was by framing a radical pedagogical method, many of whose central ideas came from Roland [her husband]. The central conviction, later hallowed in Bion's concept of "learning from experience", was that the kind of learning which transformed a person into a professional worker had to be rooted in the intimate relations with inspired teachers, living and dead, present and in books.'
- Donald Meltzer, Psychoanalyst

Contents
1 The teenager at school
2 Work and further education
3 Leisure interests and activities
4 Family relationships
5 The teenager and society
6 Sex and love
7 Towards finding an identity and living creatively
Appendix A: Martha Harris's philosophy of education - by Meg Harris Williams
Appendix B: extracts from a model of the child-in-the-family-in-the-community - by Donald Meltzer and Martha Harris

Notes about the author(s):

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.

Meg Harris Williams, a writer and artist, studied English at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford and art at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, and has had a lifelong psychoanalytic education. She has written and lectured extensively in the UK and abroad on psychoanalysis and literature, and teaches at the Tavistock Centre in London, and the University of Surrey. She is married with four children and lives in Farnham, Surrey.

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