Barrie is a psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist who trained in London under Anna
Freud. He was born in Leicestershire and was educated at the Alderman Newton Boy's
School and the University of Sussex.
In January 1962 after working on a farm, driving taxi cabs and lorries and a spell
of beekeeping Barrie set off with a mountaineering friend, Tony Smythe, for Alaska.
They drove across Canada and made two first ascents of peaks in the McKinley range.
Barrie then hitchhiked
down the west coast of Canada and the USA sleeping rough and paying his way by washing
cars and mopping out restaurants. Turning east he hitched across the southern states
stopping in places that caught his attention. He was deeply moved by the generosity
and interest of
drivers who stopped to pick up a total stranger. This was probably one of the last
times when thumbing a lift was considered safe for both the driver and the hiker.
On arrival in Washington DC a British Embassy official informed Barrie that he needed
to return to the UK to complete his reserve training in the Cliff Assault Wing, Royal
Marines Commando. Just outside of Washington he stayed with his former C.O., Major
Banks, who was attending a course at the USMC barracks in Quantico. Before returning
to England Barrie then stayed in New York with a climbing friend, Christopher Wren,
whose wife was involved in working with street gangs. These contacts were the inspiration
deciding to train for work with young people.
Returning to the UK Barrie enrolled in a course at the National College for the
Training of Youth Leaders. It was while he was a student there that he saw the advertisement
for the manager’s job at the Hoxton Cafe. Not wanting to lose out on this rare opportunity
experimental youth work Barrie decided to leapfrog the normal application procedures.
He immediately traveled down to London and arranged an ad hoc interview with the
Chairman of the project, Dr Hyla Holden. Fortunately, he was successful. Barrie was
the manager of
the cafe during the years 1964 and 1965. After working at the cafe Barrie began his
university education by studying psychology at the University of Sussex. In Brighton
founded a project aimed at researching and meeting the needs of itinerant adolescents.
His course advisor at the university, Dr Josephine Klein eventually joined him as
Co-Director on the project. It was also at this time that Barrie and his then girlfriend
set up a small business making men’s neckties. Although he was not particularly inclined
toward a vocation in business it did provide Barrie with sufficient funds to study
in Sussex and later in London while training to be a psychoanalyst.
Back in London Barrie became a Consultant for the Young Volunteer Force Foundation
(Founded by Anthony Steen M.P.); a Consultant for Centrepoint (Directed by Nic Fenton);
a Lecturer for the London Boroughs Social Work Training Committee and supervisor
for a number of youth work trainees.
After graduation from the Anna Freud Centre Barrie then worked at the
centre as a member of the diagnostic team and at the Brent Consultation Centre with
Dr Moses Laufer. In 1977 he and his wife Lucy, moved to America to join the faculty
of the University of Michigan, where Barrie was Associate Director of the Child Analytic
Study Program alongside Dr Humberto Nagera. Since that time he has been a Consultant
to the Detroit Psychiatric Institute, the University of Capetown, and to the Instituto
Mental, Monterrey, Mexico.
He has worked extensively with young people in England who are held in Secure Units
and require risk assessments and brief therapeutic interventions. Barrie is now
almost retired but retains some supervisory work in Mexico and a small private practice
We regret Barrie Biven died after suffering from cancer on the 12th December 2016
at the age of 80.