Emeritus Professor Russell Meares

Russell Meares trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley and Bethlem Royal Hospital in London from 1963-1968. He worked for two years at an in-patient unit specialising in personality disorder which was headed by the Jungian analyst, Robert Hobson. Together, they attempted to develop an approach to psychotherapy appropriate to this group of patients, now called borderline personality disorder. Hobson called it the "Conversational Model".

Research Interests

Russell Meares has established programs for the treatment of borderline personality disorder which have been taught across Australia. Faculties for these programs have been created at the University of Sydney and also within the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy, of which Russell Meares was the foundation president. Outcome studies of the university program have appeared in journals such as the American Journal of Psychiatry.

His major interests have been directed towards an understanding of the origins of borderline personality disorder and to the delineation of suitable methods of treatment for it. These explorations have been experiential, neuroscientific, and linguistic. The current NHMRC grant with Professor David Butt and Macquarie University is of a linguistic kind, and involves an attempt to characterize the essential linguistic structure of the beneficial therapeutic interplay between a borderline patient and the therapist.

Book Publications

Russell Meares has been published extensively on psychotherapy, child development, and psychosomatic medicine. His most recent books are:

Meares, R. (2000). Intimacy and Alienation: Memory, Trauma and Personal Being. London: Routledge.

Meares, R. (2005). The Metaphor of Play: Origin and Breakdown of Personal Being, Revised and enlarged edition. London: Routledge.

Meares, R. (2012). A Dissociation Model of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company

Meares, R., Bendit, N., Haliburn, J., Korner, A., Mears, D., & Butt, D. (2012). Borderline Personality Disorder and the Conversational Model: A Clinician's Manual (D. J. Siegel & A. Schore Eds.). New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company.

Meares, R. (2016). The Poet's Voice in the Making of Mind. London and New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Contact Details

T: +61 2 9840 3335

F: +61 2 9840 3572

E: russell.meares@sydney.edu.au