Klein, Kleinians, and post-Kleinians: Deeper layers of the mind and projective identification

Fortuna, Tomasz (2023) Klein, Kleinians, and post-Kleinians: Deeper layers of the mind and projective identification. In: Underlying Assumptions in Psychoanalytic Schools: A Comparative Perspective. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 36-45. ISBN 9781003027768

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Kleinian psychoanalysis is rooted in the ideas of Sigmund Freud and Karl Abraham that paved the way for object relations theory as a school of thought and a therapeutic technique. In this chapter, the author focuses on the British developments in Kleinian and post-Kleinian psychoanalysis. Kleinian psychoanalysis exemplifies a close relationship between developmental theory, the focus on transference situation, and the clinical technique. The shift from libido to anxiety led to the notions of psychic positions, paranoid-schizoid and depressive, linking particular anxieties with relevant psychic defenses. Emphasis on the primitive processes of splitting, projection, and introjection, and the unconscious phantasy opened the way to recognition of manifestations of pre-verbal infantile experience represented in the session as memories in feelings. Melanie Klein firmly believed in early forms of object relations from birth, demonstrating the infant's capacity to momentary contact with external reality and primary objects even if in a primitive part-object form. This allowed her to see children's play as an expression of the unconscious narratives and interpret the transference situation to her young patients. Further understanding of those deeper layers of the mind, governed by processes of splitting and projection, led to her own model of early development and opened the way to a psychoanalytic approach to psychiatric disorders.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Schools of Psychology > Klein, Melanie
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Psychoanalysis - History of
Department/People: Adult and Forensic Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2769

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