After training in psychology at the University of São Paulo, Elias Mallet da Rocha Barros (born 1946) studied at the Institut International de Recherche, Education et Développement in Paris and then at the Institute of Child Health at the University of London. He trained as a psychoanalyst in the British Psychoanalytical Society where he was influenced by a variety of colleagues, in particular his analyst Herbert Rosenfeld. At that time he also worked with John Steiner at the Tavistock Clinic.
On his return to Brazil he played an active part in teaching, became a training analyst and held important roles in the São Paulo Psychoanalytic Society.
Barros also played a significant part in the International Psychoanalytical Association, where he was a member and chaired a number of committees.
His ideas have been influenced by his training in the British Society, especially by Wilfred Bion, Herbert Rosenfeld, Hanna Segal, Betty Joseph, Elizabeth Spillius, Donald Meltzer and Ruth Riesenberg-Malcolm, but they are broader than most and also include the work of César and Sara Botella, André Green, Antonino Ferro and Thomas Ogden.
Barros is a clinician with sophisticated knowledge of philosophy, literature and culture in general. His survey of ideas on the significance of dreams and of symbolism is particularly useful and brings detailed clinical material.
In 1999 he was the recipient of the Sigourney Award, which recognises significant contributions to the field of psychoanalysis.
It is through his work as a publisher and translator, and also as a lecturer at prominent universities, that Barros played a vital role in making the work of Klein and her followers known in South America.
He made a huge contribution to publishing in South America and became the representative of Hogarth Press/Chatto & Windus in Brazil and editor of the Brazilian editions of The New Library of Psychoanalysis. In these roles he was responsible for the translation and publication in Brazil of most, if not all of the British Kleinian writers. This includes the books of Hanna Segal, Betty Joseph, Herbert Rosenfeld, Ruth Malcolm, Elizabeth Spillius, Ronald Britton, and John Steiner, as well as The Freud/Klein Controversies 1941-5 by Riccardo Steiner and Pearl King. He has also published books by Robert Caper, Antonino Ferro, Florence Guignard, Anne Alvarez, David Tuckett, Patrick Mahoney and Jorge Ahumada.
At the same time Barros played a prominent part in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, being editor for Latin America for several years, and was also editor of the series Development in Psycho-Analysis, of the Revista Brasileira de Psicanálise and of the Livro Anual de Psicoanalisis where he included papers by Irma Brenman Pick, Eric Brenman, Leslie Sohn, Sidney Klein, Priscilla Roth, Ignês Sodré and Michael Feldman.
1988 Rocha Barros, E. M. 'Herbert Alexander Rosenfeld (1910-1986) Una nota sobre su contribucion a la psicoanalisis'. Revista de la Asociation Psicoanalitica de Buenos Aires. X: 393-417.
1989 Rocha Barros, E. M., Rocha Barros, E. L. 'Le clivage dans la position paranoide-schizoide et dans la position dépressive'. Le Trimestre Psychanalytique. 3: 125-142. Revista da "Association Freudienne". Paris: Joseph Clims Éditeur.
1989 Rocha Barros, E. M . 'Herbert Alexander Rosenfeld (1910-1986) Une note sur sa contribution a la psychanalyse'. Le Trimestre Psychanalytique. 3: 143-166. Revista da "Association Freudienne". Paris: Joseph Clims Éditeur.
1989 Rocha Barros, E. M.; Rocha Barros, E. L. 'Evoluções' Introdução ao livro: Melanie Klein: Evoluções. Páginas 9 à 43. In Melanie Klein: Evoluções, Elias M. da Rocha Barros (ed), São Paulo: Editora Escuta.
1993 Rocha Barros, E. M . 'Forty Years of Psychoanalysis in Chile. The Biography of a Scientific Society'. (Book review.) International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 74: 431-434.
1995 Rocha Barros, E. M. 'The problem of originality and imitation in psychoanalytic thought'. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 76: 835-843.
1996 Rocha Barros, E. M. 'Panel report: Addressing the psychic reality of the borderline child: Chaired by J. F. Chused, Washington DC'. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 77: 107-110.
1997 Rocha Barros, E. M. 'A questão da Originalidade e da Imitação no Pensamento Psicanalítico'. Livro Anual de Psicanálise. XI: 79-86.
1997 Rocha Barros, E.M., Dantas JR. A., Rocha Barros, E. L. 'Depressão (Depression)'. In Depression in the Life Cycle. Porto Alegre.
1998 Rocha Barros, E. M. 'The nature of the knowledge conveyed by Interpretation'. Presented at an inter-regional conference organised jointly by the International Psychoanalytical Association, die Freud Gesellschaft and the Wiener Psychoanalytische Vereinigung. Published by Wiener Psychoanalytischen Vereinigung.
1998 Rocha Barros, E. M. 'On countertransference: a critical view of the concept'. Boletim do Instituto da Sociedade Brasileira de Psicanálise do Rio de Janeiro. 3: 38-50
2000 Quinodoz, J. M., Rocha Barros, E. M. 'A report of the 9th Pre-Congress on Training, Santiago, 1999: Clinical approaches to the termination of the training analysis—clinical dilemmas of training analysts'. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 81: 1213-1219.
2002 Rocha Barros, E. M. 'An essay on dreaming, psychical working out and working Through'. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 83: 1083-1093.
2002 Rocha Barros, E. M. 'First interview and one session with ‘Ana’'. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 83: 569-574.
2003 Rocha Barros, E. M. 'Le premier entretien avec 'Ana' et une séance avec elle'. L'Année Psychanalytique Internationale. 2003: 107-113.
2011 Rocha Barros, E. M., Rocha Barros, E. L. 'Reflections on the clinical implications of symbolism'. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 92: 879-901.
2011 Rocha Barros, E. M., Negri, I. 'Un saggio sul sogno'. Rivista Psicoanal. 57: 427-430.
2012 Rocha Barros, E. M., Rocha Barros, E. L. 'Reflexions sur les implications cliniques du symbolisme'. L'Année Psychanalytique Internationale. 2012: 43-69
2012 Rocha Barros, E. M., Rocha Barros, E. L. 'Überlegungen zu den klinischen Implikationen des Symbolismus'. Internationale Psychoanalyse. 7: 123-154.
2013 Rocha Barros, E. M., Rocha Barros, E. L. 'Betty Joseph'. In the Bulletin of the Brazilian Federation of Psychoanalysis.