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Elizabeth Norman - in the end kitchen at The Spinney - probably circa 1950

Elizabth Norman MA was for 25 years Senior Psychologist in the Department of Psychological Medicine at Guy's Hospital. A Foundation member of the Association of Child Psychotherapists (non-medical), and its first chairman, and a member of its Training Council, she was also a member of the Subcommittee on Selection and Training of Psychologists.

 Elizabeth Norman in her kitchen at The Spinney

Reprinted from N.A.M.H. Newsletter, Autumn 1955


 Mrs. Elizabeth Norman, M.A.

 The untimely death of Mrs. Norman, for the past 25 years Senior Psychologist in the Department of Psychological Medicine, Guy's Hospital, which took place in August after a very short illness, has deprived the N.A.M.H. of a valued friend and helper. For many years she served on our Committee on Psychologists and her Department at Guy's regularly received a student for training under her. In addition she lectured at 39 Queen Anne Street to psychological students.

From Ruth Thomas, an old friend and colleague, we have received the following tribute which we are glad to publish here :—

The complete unexpectedness of Mrs. Norman's illness and death at the height of an outstanding career emphasises with tragic suddenness, her loss to the work of mental health, affecting the diverse range of her activities in clinical work, and in psychological training and research. Already in 1929, while still completing her training, she gravitated towards Guy's as a voluntary worker, attracted without doubt by the considerable contact with human experiences and problems to be found in that large teaching hospital. Her devotion to Guy's was in many ways indistinguishable from her absorption in human beings, which her brilliant intelligence and shrewd practical sense and scholarship enabled her to canalise in the contribution she made to the growth of its psychological services. Her serious professional work commenced with the inception of its child guidance clinic which she helped to found.

 She did both group and individual therapy, and at her instigation, the department became an important centre for the training of psychologists, who can scarcely ever have been uninfluenced by her intellectual integrity and high seriousness. These qualities stand out in her published researches, notably on infant speech and on the problems of psychotic children. If her preoccupation with the solution of immediate clinical and teaching problems had allowed for it, they might have been much more extensive— she left an amount of planned but unfinished work. Inevitably with her the personal and human took precedence over the academic and. this in spite of her considerable academic back­ground and gift for a high quality of thought. If some part of her personal ambitions were curtailed as a result, there was no sign that she was aware of anything but the immense satis­faction of her job.

She was a Foundation member of the Association of Child Psychotherapists (non-medical), and its first chairman, and a member of its Training Council. She was also a member of the Subcommittee on Selection and Training of Psychologists. It was on these Committees that her care for the future of mental health work became most widely apparent. Experience and intellectual clarity, combined with an almost aesthetic precision of expression not infrequently put her in a position to turn a ravelled argument into a constructive statement of policy, unquestionably also because it was impossible to doubt that she was without personal bias. Her detachment made her easily the most likeable person in any group and her wisdom and ability easily the most sought out. In her many positions she will not easily be replaced and the calibre of her thinking will influence for a very long time those who were privileged to work with her.

and her daughter on the occasion of her wedding at All Saints Bow Brickhill (date unknown)

For earlier members of the Norman family click here

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