I took a first degree in philosophy at University College London, where my interest in psychoanalysis (and that of other students at that time) was encouraged by my tutors. I became a child psychotherapist, and subsequently a child analyst. I worked from the late 1960s at the Tavistock Clinic, where I have been Head of Child Psychotherapy, Dean and Chair of the Professional Committee. I am an Associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society, and have trained as an adult psychotherapist. Now post-retirement from the Tavistock, I continue to supervise trainees at the Clinic and work mainly in private practice.
My writing in the field of child psychotherapy has been primarily clinical in its focus though I have also worked on a psychoanalytic approach in some cultural fields. I have been involved in the academic development of child psychotherapy and psychoanalytic observational studies. My publications, as well as many articles, include Closely Observed Infants (co-edited with Lisa Miller, Michael Rustin, and Judy Shuttleworth(1989); Psychotic States in Children (co-edited with Alex and Helene Dubinsky and Maria Rhode) (1997) ; Assessment in Child Psychotherapy (co-edited with Emanuela Quagliata) (2000); Work Discussion (co-edited with Jonathan Bradley) ( 2008); and Young Child Observation (co-edited with Simonetta Adamo (2013). I am co-author with Michael Rustin of Narratives of Love and Loss ((1987/2002) and Mirror to Nature: Drama Psychoanalysis and Society. (2002).