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Bick, E. (1964). Infant observation in psycho-analytic training. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 45: 558-566.

Esther Bick described six reasons for the including infant observation in psychoanalytic training, with a focus on what the observer learned to see in the infant, noting the observer had to resist being drawn into infantile transference/countertransference roles, to be open to the emotional impact of observing, and develop the capacity to contain.

Briggs, A. (Ed.) (2002). Surviving Space: Papers on Infant Observation. London, New York: Karnac.

Bick's four classic papers in infant observation and related issues by contemporary experts in the field commemorating the centenary of Esther Bick and assessing her unique contribution to psychoanalytic theory.

Briggs, S. (1997). Growth and Risk in Infancy. London & Bristol, Pennsylvania: Jessica Kingsley.

A study of five infants observed in vulnerable circumstances in England paying close attention to the qualities of receptivity and containment in the parent-infant relationship, and how development in this context contributes to risk or resilience.

Haag, M. (2002). A propos et a partir de I'oeuvre et de la personne d'Esther Bick. Volume I, La methode d'Esther Bick pour I'observation reguliere et prolongee du tout-petit au sein de sa famille. Paris: Privately printed.

This book, with important contributions by Genevieve Haag, includes detailed reports of the Haags' infant observations, supervised by Bick. It contains a fifty-page commentary in English of Bick's 1964 paper, and raises points of psychoanalytic theory that can be illuminated by infant observation.

Magagna, J., Bakalar, N., Cooper, H., Levy, J., Norman, C. & Shank, C. (Eds.) (2005). Intimate Transformations: Babies with their Families. London, New York: Karnac.

Six members of an international video-linked infant observation seminar group describe this process augmented by the affective learning model and highlight and the influence of the sibling relationship on personality development.

Miller, L., Rustin, M., Rustin. M. & Shuttleworth, J. (Eds.) (1989). Closely Observed Infants. London: Duckworth Press.

Eight observational accounts are presented introduced by three integrative chapters on the observer's anxieties, an integration on the main psychoanalytic theorists and infant development and reflections on research methods.

Negri, R. (1994). The Newborn in the Intensive Care Unit: A Newborn Psychoanalytic Prevention Model. Perthshire, Scotland: Clunie Press; London: Karnac.

Describes an approach, which is more than alleviating suffering, to the problem of the emotional experience of the baby who has not had enough of one type of life to be able to transfer his or her emotional allegiances to the new one.

Piontelli, A. (1992). From Fetus to Child: An Observational and Psychoanalytic Study. London and New York: Tavistock/Routledge.

The first longitudinal study of its kind, observations of the behavior of several children from early stages in the womb through birth to childhood show how observational and psychoanalytic data can offer complementary insights about development.

Reid, S. (Ed). (1997). New Developments in Infant Observation: The Tavistock Model. London: Routledge.

Twelve key papers from international contributors offering an overview of current practice, explores new concepts arising from direct observation and shows how observation findings are applied in the research setting.

Sternberg, J. (2005). Infant Observation at the Heart of Training. London: Karnac.

Sternberg interviewed trainees and showed that the experience of infant observation helped in developing the particular skills and capacities, particularly a capacity to contain, necessary for a psychoanalytic psychotherapist.

Urwin, C. & Sternberg, J. (Eds.) (2012). Infant Observation and Research: Emotional Processes in Everyday Lives. Hove, East Sussex: Routledge.

The value of infant observation as a research method is increasingly recognised, as potentially applicable in any setting where the psychoanalytically informed observation of emotional processes can deepen research insights into everyday life through a focus on individuals, dyads, groups, and organisations.


Barnett, L. (1989). Sunday's Child. Concord.

This DVD series films the development of an infant in Britain, initially fortnightly for two years with follow up until age twenty-one years, providing a longitudinal study of child development and attachment patterns.

(2002). Observation Observed. Tavistock Clinic Foundation.

A teaching DVD, based on the BBC filming of two year-long observations, with film script was prepared by M. E. Rustin and B. Miller, containing a range of unedited extracts from the observations on significant developmental themes, and an accompanying booklet by L. Miller with an outline of the nature and practice of infant observation, and a commentary on the extracts.

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