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The Kleinian Development - Part II

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The Kleinian Development derives from lectures delivered at the Institute of Psychanalysis, London, and the Tavistock Clinic (1965-78). It is divided into three volumes that examine, in turn, the writings of Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, and Wilfred Bion.'Meltzer's beautifully written text traces a line of development in psychoanalysis from Freud through Abraham to Klein and Bion, focusing on their methods of observation, clinical work and emerging theories. By highlighting points of congruence and difference and significant shifts in understanding, he outlines a continuity of clinical method and thought that has come to be known as the 'Kleinian Development'. This text is an invaluable companion to the readings of Freud, Klein and Bion for all students of psychoanalysis, for clinicians and for all those interested in the development of psychoanalytic thinking.'- Debbie Hindle, Organising tutor, Scottish Institute of Human Relations'In Part 2, a week-by-week account of Klein's Narrative of a Child Analysis, her clinical notes provide a rare opportunity to get very close to the clinical process. Meltzer throws new light on this material and shows the development in Kleinian and post-Kleinian thinking through the oscillations between clinical observations and model-making.'-Grete Tangen Andersen, Morten Andersen, Jon Morgan Stokkeland, Lilian Stokkeland, Eirik Tjessem (The Meltzer Study Group, Stavanger, Norway)'In these books as in his talks Meltzer offers the benefit of his observational skill and sometimes startling intuitions. For clinicians, whether students of the psychoanalytic method or experienced practitioners, this work provides a source of enlightenment which will become increasingly satisfying the more it is read.'-Kate Carling, Consultant child and adolescent psychotherapist, Oxford

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17 Chapters

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1. First Week: Sessions 1–6: Establishing the Analytic Situation; Evolution of the Concepts Paranoid-Schizoid and Depressive Positions



First week: sessions 1–6

Establishing the analytic situation; evolution of the concepts paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions

Narrative of a Child Analysis seems to have been written between 1958 and 1960, after Envy and Gratitude, which appeared in 1957. The clinical work, done in 1941, was first written up in ‘The Oedipus complex in the light of early anxieties’ (1945) and then in 1946 came the paper which changed everything: ‘Notes on some schizoid mechanisms’.

The first week of the analysis opens like a Chekhov play – immediately all the characters are introduced and all the themes and subplots are hinted at. An unlikely first week in the analysis of a ten-year-old. It is partly because Mrs Klein had already formulated some ideas in her mind, probably having taken a bit too much history from the mother. Consequently due to being in a hurry she makes mistakes which force things, mistakes in technique and interpretation which she has to make up for later. Her technique as she describes it in The Psychoanalysis of Children, was developed particularly with young children; and the technique with latency, pubertal and adolescent children was really an adaptation from this source. The basis of the technique aimed to establish the analytical situation, which meant getting some sort of transference going. Her way of getting it going was to perform some service to the child's unconscious by diminishing or modifying its deepest anxieties through interpretation.


2. Second Week: Sessions 7–12: The Developmental Role of the Thirst for Knowledge



Second week: sessions 7–12

The developmental role of the thirst for knowledge

This second week is a marvellous week of analysis. I said the first week was like the opening of a Chekhov play with all the characters and the stage setting, Mrs Klein introducing her concepts and her language, and Richard being charming and getting frightened. Mrs Klein was in a hurry and unused to this setting, not knowing how to operate it. But the second week is entirely different, she hardly puts a foot wrong and things move on in the most astonishing way. If the first week sets the stage, the second week really introduces the drama and produces the first real formulation. I will try to describe it in phenomenological terms.

Richard's modes of representation become evident; the geography for instance. It becomes quite clear that the inside of the playroom is generally a very ‘inside the mother's body’ situation and that he has a tendency to escape to the outside to look at the hills. The exception to this is when he looks out of the window, which often seems to have the meaning of being outside looking in, and then he sees the children and the horse and so on. It is a common phenomenon with younger children. If you wear glasses, the child might come and look into you in the same way. Thus the geography of Richard's phantasy begins to come clear, inside and outside of objects. In the last session another type of geography closely related to conscious and unconscious is suggested. It is represented in the drawing of the ocean with the ship on top and the starfish and submarine and so on underneath. Mrs Klein suggests to him that this represents his desire to split these two levels. The division in the geography, of inside and outside in relation to the object, is thus paralleled by the geography of internal and external world in relation to himself. Likewise his splitting of the self begins to be evident. At least three divisions in his personality are fairly distinct; there is a really nasty, rather fascist and primarily oral sadistic part that bites his cap when he thinks about the ship's captain that he admires, or wants to burrow its way into Mrs Klein's mind, identified with the rats which used to be at his old school or in the laundry in X. It also has certain anal sadistic qualities that are connected with bombing and his preoccupation with ‘big job’, his laughing at the backside of the clock and laughing at the map when he looks at it upside down, or not liking the picture because it is brown. Secondly, there is a part of Richard which is affectionate and tender, that nuzzles the clock with his lips, that appreciates the beauty of the hills, likes the picture of the landscape, admires the tower and the sun shining on it. It obviously has a capacity for deep feeling but also utilizes these feelings in a very manic way, which Mrs Klein now notices. His relationship to beauty is attenuated by his manic use of it for the purpose of denying both the destructive feeling and the depressive anxiety about the damage that he may do. Finally Mrs Klein defines the sly, deceptive, seductive part of himself, the part that can easily change back and forth, that shows her how a Nazi flag can be changed into a Union Jack by just adding a couple of lines. Also his tendency to seek alliances emerges: with his brother, with his dog Bobby, with John Wilson. The wish for a sister and for other siblings as allies, both against the parents when they are bad and also against the destructive aspects of himself becomes a bit clearer.


3. Third Week: Sessions 13–18: Envy and Gratitude as the Organizing Postscript to the Body of Melanie Klein's Theoretical Work



Third week: sessions 13–18

Envy and Gratitude as the organizing postscript to the body of Melanie Klein's theoretical work

This week is a most astonishing one, rushed forward very much by the fact of Richard's mother being ill, first of all from eating salmon and later with a sore throat. The fact that she disappoints him by not coming to ‘X’ with him and not visiting him, keeps the tension up and drives the depressive aspects into the forefront of the material in a very premature way. In that sense it is rather a misleading week and in a way it also misled Mrs Klein into overestimating Richard's capacity for depressive feeling.

It seems fairly clear that the coincidence of this with the material of the previous week when he started doing the drawings of the starfish and the submarines, and thus the coincidence of the revelation of his internal attacks on his objects with the external situation of his mother falling ill and the canaries going bald, really seems to have caught him in a kind of emotional vice that pushed him deep into hopelessness. It can be seen as a little depressive illness from which Mrs Klein extricated him with her interpretive work and enabled him to have depressive anxieties instead. The circumstances surrounding the secret that he defaecated in his pants and the way in which it was connected with the bombings and torpedo-ings quite overwhelmed him. In at least three sessions of the week one sees him, at least part of the time, quite depressively ill, absolutely joyless, unable to take an interest, not wanting to talk, or play, or draw…not wanting to do anything. Mrs Klein does manage to pull him out of it very well.


4. Fourth Week: Sessions 10–24: Unconscious Phantasies as Mechanisms of Defence, with Special Reference to Obsessional Mechanisms



Fourth week: sessions 19–24

Unconscious phantasies as mechanisms of defence, with special reference to obsessional mechanisms

This fourth week of analysis is also rather a splendid one and raises some interesting theoretical problems regarding obsessionality. The question of obsessional mechanisms is a puzzling and difficult aspect of Mrs Klein's work, since it is nowhere particularly set out. This is a week again punctuated by a disturbance in the setting. The mother's illness interfered in the third week. This week, in the second session, Mrs Klein has to take him to her lodgings and this also interferes in some way, although it is not so clear how and she takes it up very little.

The analysis is already going quite smoothly; she is working very confidently with him, sorting things out and throwing things away, and turning up new ideas. The changes in the formulation are changes in her ideas and attitude about the meaning of the material, but a lot of it has to be attributed to the deepening of the transference relationship so that it is more clearly differentiated from Richard's relationships at home to his parents, brother and Bobby. This is reflected very clearly in the way Mrs Klein interprets to him. The mode of presentation of the material keeps changing; he brings the fleet and then he draws, he plays with the toys and squeezes the football, he wanders about the room. In between he talks to Mrs Klein, confiding in her little things John said (that he wished she were dead), telling her a dream in the fourth session and being very confiding also about the paranoid suspicions about her. These are now becoming much more intense because they are also juxtaposed to the building up of a much more genuine positive transference. One still feels Richard to be disingenuous at times. It mainly comes out with regard to the drawing, when he starts saying why there are two of this and three of that, or one of the other. His sincerity is not so convincing but most of the time he works closely with her. Anecdotal material from his life outside the consulting room begins to enter, like the business of whether he could stay in the cinema in the evening or whether he had to run out because he felt sick from the noises of the sing-song. Altogether, as far as material is concerned, there are hardly any doldrums. Richard seems most of the time to pay attention to what Mrs Klein says, even when he is suspicious and is questioning how she can know what goes on in his mind. She explains to him how she works and examines the material, what it may mean about his unconscious and so on. Even at times when there is great suspicion and doubt he is really working with her. It is rather a joy to see this sort of thing from a little boy who seems to be able to tolerate very little in the way of discomfort. Yet, when it comes to mental pain he is not too bad about it. He does soldier on somehow, better than one would perhaps have expected in the first couple of weeks.


5. Fifth Week: Sessions 25–29: The Anxieties of the Paranoid-Schizoid Position: Paranoid Anxiety, Persecutory Anxiety, Persecutory Depression



Fifth week: sessions 25–29

The anxieties of the paranoid-schizoid position: paranoid anxiety, persecutory anxiety, persecutory depression

This week of the Narrative is an important one and brings up some very interesting problems, giving us the opportunity to investigate the history of the paranoid-schizoid position. It is again a week that has certain outside interferences. The mother is ill again and she goes home to visit Paul, while the nurse comes to look after Richard. He is furious about it, and by the end of the week he is ill himself and misses the Saturday session, and the next three sessions up to Thursday of the following week. it is a week in which his seductiveness and his placation and his trickiness are fairly in abeyance. Instead, what emerges is something very paranoid in the boy. In the context of much greater co-operation with Mrs Klein, he is able to admit to her something that must have been quite unknown, not only to Mrs Klein, but to his mother as well, absolutely secret, namely his paranoid fears of being poisoned by Cook and Bessie.


6. Sixth Week: Sessions 30–33: The Development of the Concept of Reparation: True, Manic, and Mock Reparation



Sixth week: sessions 30–33

The development of the concept of reparation: true, manic and mock reparation

These four sessions bring into focus an important aspect of the development of Mrs Klein's work, the concept of reparation. It has a very confusing beginning and winds gently through her work, never really drawn together anywhere, in spite of the book she wrote with Joan Riviere in 1937: Love, Hate and Reparation.

Again in this week, we meet a contaminated field, because Richard missed the first three sessions, and after his unusual extra session on Sunday became ill again. In a way the week is split into two, the first two sessions being devoted to his recovery from the terrific paranoid and hypochondriacal reactions to his illness and those sessions of the previous week which probably precipitated it, and then the last two sessions devoted mainly to the excitement of having an extraordinary session that arouses both his jealousy and his curiosity. The outbreak of paranoia is particularly linked to his having a sore throat and becomes connected with his hostility towards his father and Paul and the wish for the hook to stick in their throats, like the salmon which might die because of the hook.


7. Seventh Week: Sessions 34–39: Concepts of Confusion – their Absence in the Work with Richard and its Consequence



Seventh week: sessions 34–39

Concepts of confusion – their absence in the work with Richard and its consequence

An interesting week, but again it is a week that is interfered with because, on the Tuesday, Mrs Klein tells Richard that her trip to London is to start at the end of the week. He does not really react to this information until Thursday, and then on Friday and Saturday it strikes him terribly. So it is another one of those weeks in which the setting has been interfered with – the mother's illness, Mrs Klein going away, the playroom being locked so that she has to take him to her lodgings. There is hardly a week that has not been interfered with in some way, but it is very instructive to see how the interferences and the analytic process somehow mingle with one another.

By this time in the analysis almost all Richard's insincerity has dropped away, at least temporarily, and this is a week in which there is very little resistance to the analytical work. His participation has become somehow less formalized; although he plays with the fleet and draws a few Empire drawings, the really important things that happen just erupt – suddenly he digs in Mrs Klein's bag; he rushes out of the room into the kitchen and squirts the water; emotionality pours from him, looking up at her eyes, saying how he loves her. This analysis is going at full pace, and Richard is passionately involved in it, already feeling that it has benefited him. He tells her so, and his mother confirms this, that some of his fear of school children has diminished. He is begining to be able to think of himself as possibly grown up someday.


8. Eighth Week: Sessions 40–45: The Phenomenology of Hypochondria: its Differentiation from Psychosomatic Pheomena or Somatic Delusions



Eighth week: sessions 40–45

The phenomenology of hypochondria: its differentiation from psychosomatic phenomena or somatic delusions

This is the week following Mrs Klein's return from her nine days in London. It starts on the Tuesday and goes through to include Sunday and is a week that is very sharply divided. In the first session Richard is very persecuted about coming back to X and persecuted also by Mrs Klein. He does not really regain his relationship to her until the next session when he confesses his infidelity or, really, betrayal of her during the break. He had apparently seduced his mother by telling her she was a better analyst than Mrs Klein because she was his mother. Once Mrs Klein has related this to the breast-transference, contact is restored.

In the week before Mrs Klein went away she seemed to be emphasizing castration anxiety and only sporadically recognizing the infantile transference to the breast and the horizontal splitting of the mother into the breast-mummy upstairs and a very sexual and potentially bad and seductive mummy downstairs. This is the material that presents itself immediately in the Tuesday session, where he seems to have externalized that split on to his good mother at home and Mrs Klein as the bad mummy, surrounded or filled with poisonous nettles and toadstool babies. Again he stamps on his rivals and again the phantasy of being poisoned comes out when he gets his sore throat. That theme of the splitting of the mother into the idealized light blue breast-mummy who gives him his shredded wheat and this bad old woman genital spitting yellow stuff now also invades the Empire drawings so that it looks like a horrid bird which has black stuff falling out of it. (This is the material Mrs Klein used for her 1945 paper ‘The Oedipus complex in the light of early anxieties’.) When he cannot keep the split going, Richard either gets a sore throat or feels that he has poison dripping down inside him. It is instructive to note how different is this confusional and persecuted state from the paranoid delusion of being poisoned by the secret German spies, Cook and Bessie.


9. Ninth Week: Sessions 46–52: Splitting and Idealization: its Role in Development and its Defects’ Contribution to Psychopathology



Ninth week: sessions 46–52

Splitting and idealization – its role in development and its defects’ contribution to psychopathology

T his week's material springs from the themes of the Monday session, the most important session in the book as regards Richard's disturbances about the shortness of the analysis. This was becoming very real and vivid to him, and to Mrs Klein, for she is again seeing him on Sunday. It is another seven session week. The previous Sunday, which was the sixth session of that week because she had not seen him on the Monday, brought material about her silver dress and lovely hair, and his golden shoes. The atmosphere of the session, which Mrs Klein did not pick up sufficiently, was one of incipient mania which burst on the Monday.

The way in which these Sunday sessions are impinging on him becomes very clear during this week and she finally notes it in the Sunday session itself, when Richard raises the question about her not going to church but seeing him instead. He has a strong suspicion that it is because of greed for money, for he has discovered the facts of her fee, and confronts her with it in rather a devastating way. The other factor in the setting of the week is the expectation of the arrival of his father. Although Richard is looking forward to going fishing with father, the thought of being expelled from his mother's bedroom, which has really been the source of the mania, drives him quite wild. In the Thursday session, the very interesting ‘go away Mr Smith, go back to work’ material appears, certainly referring forward to his father's coming. All the railway drawings seem under the sway of the expectations of his father's arrival, but are woven into the transference: people crossing, Mr Klein going away sobbing, Richard and Mrs Klein meeting secretly. And there are the various interesting names which she makes use of –‘Valing’, ‘Roseman’ and so on. The ‘Roseman’ quite clearly referred to the hotel manager scolding him for picking the roses. Mrs Klein relates that mainly to his craving for the father's penis, which comes out quite clearly, following on from the earlier material about the ‘delicious monster’, or the yellow pencil being crammed into every orifice, mouth, ears, nose, in biting the pencil, and in the very interesting phantasy about the mouse in his parents’ bedroom. It ate the two biscuits, ran up his father's fishing rod and both father and mother were afraid of it. There is probably a bit of the truth in it, that there was something about the violence in this boy that did intimidate his parents, and made it very difficult for them to maintain any constant curb on his naughtiness, his exhausting his mother, or doing as he pleased.


10. Tenth Week: Sessions 53–59: The Composition of Intolerance to Frustration – Review of the Ten Weeks’ Work



Tenth week: sessions 53–59

The composition of intolerance to frustration – review of the ten weeks’ work

Since this week rather marks the beginning of the end, it might be useful to take stock of what has happened in the 21 months of the treatment so far. It is a week fairly full of suffering, mainly related to the father being in ‘X’ and Richard being expelled from his mother's bedroom. But it is also filled with the beginning of his suffering about the termination.

There is a very interesting episode about the catching of the ‘salmon parr’ and the killing of it. Richard has an authentic response of anxiety and guilt on the one hand and regret about it. It links with the episode where for a moment he was confused between the three women who were present at the river when he caught the parr and the three ‘silly’ women who were outside the consulting room in the session with Mrs Klein. She takes it up only in terms of anxiety about killing mummy's baby, which is certainly correct. It comes up again in a more reparative form in the material about the kitten, as evidence that he has also good feelings towards other children/mummy's babies. Mrs Klein does not however take up his identification with this little salmon parr, feeling himself to be the baby who is hooked away from the mummy. It comes up in the drawings about the mother fish and all the little fishes, and the bait that is being let down into the water. The feeling is unmistakeable that one of the baby fish is going to take the bait and be hooked away. Perhaps she does not pay much attention to that aspect because of still being a bit preoccupied with the genital conflict and the castration anxiety.


11. Eleventh Week: Sessions 60–65: The Clinical Manifestations of Splitting Processes and the Structural Meaning of Integration, with Special Relevance to the Concept of Ambivalence



Eleventh week: sessions 60–65

The clinical manifestations of splitting processes and the structural meaning of integration, with special reference to the concept of ambivalence

This is a week that presents us with a very interesting problem about analysis, the one that arises from Richard's father becoming ill. It produces a very different response from the time when his mother was ill, which threw him into something of a panic and an attempt to split and idealize in a very frantic way. Richard's father's illness occurred dramatically and it seems that Richard found him collapsed, presumably from a heart attack or some aspect of heart disease. It came after the Monday session which had the fascinating material about Mr and Mrs Bluebottle and Richard's savage attack on the moth, following which he became very persecuted. He was very anxious when Mrs Klein referred to it as a beetle instead of a moth and all this was in the context of his fear of thunderstorms.


12. Twelfth Week: Sessions 66–71: The Role of Interpretation in the Therapeutic Process



Twelfth week: sessions 66–71

The role of interpretation in the therapeutic process

Richard returns to playing with the toys for the first time in two months. Mrs Klein has some notes at the end of the session which are of great technical importance. Just to recall the setting: Richard's father is ill and Richard is travelling back and forth between Y where his family is living and X where the analysis is taking place, travelling on the bus. He has started living at the Wilsons, which he does not like. He seems to be managing quite admirably and is rather proud of himself, ‘doing his bit’. In connection with his father's illness, he certainly is trying to spare his family. In that way he contributes to holding the analysis and the family rather separated from one another in his mind, which Mrs Klein seems to realize more fully now and states it quite clearly in one of the notes.

There is some additional technical interference during the week other than the disturbed background setting. The first is the somewhat gratuitous information Mrs Klein gives Richard on Tuesday about his very limited breast feeding and early weaning. This has a terrific impact on him, which she justifies a bit in her notes on the basis of the mother having neglected to give this information, despite Mrs Klein's request. Why she picks this point to give it, and why she thinks it necessary to give it at all is a bit mysterious and she is rather apologetic about it. The second and third sessions of the week are dominated by the consequences of that information which excites a terrific flurry of distrust in Richard, distrust of mothers, of breasts, of Mrs Klein and his mother's collaboration with her. This is worsened by the end of the week because there is to be a conversation between the two adults the following Monday. Richard is terribly anxious that they are going to discuss his future, particularly the future of his schooling. He begs Mrs Klein to advise his mother to have a tutor and not to be sent to school and then he settles for a small school, clearly quite terrified still of the prospect of going to a big school, which seems to mean a school full of big boys. The anxiety centres on both the size of the boys and the number of them. A bit of material at the end of the Thursday session shows this when he asks Mrs Klein about all the people in X crowding at the top of the hill. It comes up later about the bus. There is something about the ‘crowding’ in his concept of a big school that stirs his anxiety about there not being enough attention for him or being crowded out of contact with his good object by these big boys. It is very interesting that his immediate response to Mrs Klein's information about his premature weaning was to ask if the mother had given the breast to Paul, then also to daddy. It seems to him immediately that the breast, if it had been taken away, must have been given to somebody else.


13. Thirteenth Week: Sessions 72–77: The Relation of Ambivalence to the Experience of Depressive Pain



Thirteenth week: sessions 72–77

The relation of ambivalence to the experience of depressive pain

It is rather a beautiful week, influenced on the outside by Mrs Klein meeting Richard's mother and his anxiety about the kind of school she would recommend. Also the question of plans for the possible continuation of the analysis are in the air. His suspicions and anxieties about these issues more or less dominate the first two sessions. Richard's father's illness casts an influence which threads through the week and there is also the problem about staying with the Wilsons which he does not like. He finds Mr Wilson much more authoritarian than he is accustomed to; he is used to being treated as an only child, not stinted of sweets. The Wilsons are a more disciplined family than his own. He finally begs Mrs Klein and his mother to make other arrangements for him, which they do. He is also jealous of John, who is with Mrs Klein in analysis and is older, about fifteen. He probably feels rather pushed aside when John will not take him for a walk with a friend, or will not climb a mountain with him. Then there is a big disturbance in the setting on Friday, when Mrs Klein brings the oranges, which absolutely drives Richard wild with jealousy.


14. Fourteenth Week: Sessions 78–83: Technical Problems Related to Countertransference



Technical problems related to countertransference

This is a terrible week. Why it is such a bad week is hard to say. Somehow Mrs Klein is not in such close touch with Richard and even loses her temper with him a bit on the Friday. It might be instructive to review the Thursday session in detail to to see what went wrong and why it is a rather heartbreaking session. The theme of the ‘baby tank’ which began developing five weeks before has become central now. The water tank in the kitchen has become not only the ‘baby tank’ but the ‘milk tank’ as well. The very central issue is the killing of the flies and putting them in the milk and whether the milk is dirty and poisonous. In this week Mrs Klein has lost the formulation she found the previous week, the one that seems to be the climax of the treatment. Instead she keeps going back to the problems of castration anxiety and the competition with the father, all of which is quite true, but not central any longer. It is a complicated week. The threat of the ending hangs over the whole procedure and Richard can often hardly bear to think about it. But it is also very complicated in other ways concerning mainly the two bus conductresses, the pretty one who says ‘Stand up’ and the other one who does not, and the dark-blue uniform.


15. Fifteenth Week: Sessions 84–89: The Concept of the Combined Object and its Impact on Development



Fifteenth week: sessions 84–89

The concept of the combined object and its impact on development

This fifteenth week is the least satisfactory of the whole analysis from the viewpoint of Mrs Klein's work. Richard is absolutely preoccupied with the approaching end, and attempts to work out the various possibilities, sometimes in quite a matter-of-fact and rather grown-up way. If she dies would somebody else be available? Could he not go to London, stay in a hotel? It seems to cause Mrs Klein great distress during the week and perhaps makes her work less well than usual. I would think that she must have been considering in her mind the same possibilities. She did call his mother, and try to discuss the question of the continuation of the analysis. Although she firmly took it upon herself that the decision to come to London was too dangerous for him, one assumes that she must have tried to investigate this with the mother and found her quite adamant about it. In a way Richard is better than Mrs Klein in this week, produces dreams and new play material, but does not get much in response. The previous week she had lost track of the formulation about the breast and the nipple and the upstairs and downstairs of the mummy's body. Things went wrong when she played the piano and later she lost her temper. But she was struggling.


16. Sixteenth Week: Sessions 90–93: The Achievements of the Analysis, with Special Reference to Dependence on Internal Objects



Sixteenth week: sessions 90–93

The achievements of the analysis, with special reference to dependence on internal objects

The material that Richard brings in these four days is less dramatic than the previous week with exception of the lovely piece about the umbrella with which Mrs Klein works so beautifully. He tends mainly to peregrinate round different types of material that he brought earlier on in the analysis and a little bit of a dream or really the extension of the dream that he brought on the previous Saturday. In a sense there is nothing very new, no expectation on either part of discovering anything else during these last sessions.

It is all a rather sad reviewing of what they had accomplished and some attempt at making more explicit what they have not accomplished. Richard cannot keep his hands off Mrs Klein and these hands that are caressing and touching her also turn into the crab's claws waiting to fasten on her. This is the clinging material which Mrs Klein had no conceptual framework for developing, but the fear of falling comes out in the parachute material and is discussed in the notes connected with it. It gives an insight into a fundamental insecurity of an extremely primitive sort, underlying the weakness of Richard's ego and his distrust of his mother. This distrust is connected with the dark-blue mummy, this pretty conductress whom he says he ‘wouldn't have’. But one can see that his mother, like the conductress who is accused of saying ‘stand up’, is the mother who expected too much of him in some way, expected him to be too independent, too manly, too potent. Mrs Klein also has tended, in emphasizing his genital conflicts, his castration anxiety, his wish to put his penis into the mummy and explore her inside, expected too much masculinity from him. Something very strongly feminine has not been allowed to develop and perhaps has not fared much better during this analysis, although he has had an opportunity to express it occasionally.


Appendix: The Paranoid-Schizoid and Depressive Positions



The paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions1

The subject I have been asked to talk about today is for many the most central of the psychoanalytic developments linked with the name of Melanie Klein. As with all psychoanalytic concepts it seems to me that, to understand their significance, we have to put them in the context of their history. And studying the history of Mrs Klein's ideas is different from studying that of Freud, owing to the fact that Freud is both a clinician and a theoretician, whilst Mrs Klein is almost exclusively a clinician who describes far more than she theorizes.

The evolution of Freud's thought is like a country that underwent two revolutions: the first being the fall of the theory of hysteria, and the second being the overthrow of the theory of the libido in the 1920s and its substitution by the structural theory. The work of Melanie Klein on the other hand has grown in a way more analogous to the peaceful transformation that is characteristic of English political institutions. It seems to me that Melanie Klein, not having a particularly theoretical mentality, did not particularly take account of the changes that were taking place in her use of terminology, and the theoretical implications that she was putting forward.



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