5th July 1999




Lincolnshire-born Ruth Ward, who forged a pioneering career as a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst in Switzerland, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside on 8th July.


Mrs Ward was brought up at Winthorpe, near Skegness, and was fortunate enough to have a mother who was a great believer in education, especially for girls. The young Ruth attended Skegness Grammar School and was set to study English at Oxford, but while in the sixth form she attended a course given by a psychiatrist from the Naval Training Establishment.


This experience fired a lifelong enthusiasm and set her on course for a psychology degree at London University’s Bedford College.


After graduating in 1948, she became one of the first students to study clinical psychology at the Maudsley Hospital. The following year she obtained the newly created post of clinical psychologist at St Ebba’s, a progressive and forward-looking psychiatric hospital in Surrey.


In 1955 Mrs Ward moved to Basle in Switzerland with her husband and took a career break to bring up their children.


Joining the University of Basle Psychiatric Clinic for Children in 1967 she then trained as a psychotherapist for children and a psychoanalyst. It was for her work with children that she gained international renown - her best-known publication, The Drama of Being a Child, has been reprinted several times.


During the 1970s she worked in private practice as a psychoanalyst and during this period took Swiss citizenship. She was particularly responsible for establishing training facilities in Switzerland and achieving agreement on national standards for training and registration of psychotherapists.


She has now ‘retired’ to Lincolnshire with her husband but retains a busy practice in the county. They support Workers Educational Association projects

as well as opening their garden several times a year for various charities.



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