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The Kleinian Development derives from lectures delivered at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, 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.
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Psychoanalysis, Psychoanalytic Theory
Meltzer describes the series of lectures on Freud, Klein and Bion known as The Kleinian Development as both a quest for personal integration into some kind of ‘combined internal psychoanalytic object’, under whose aegis he personally could aspire to work, and as a vademecum for students. They were originally delivered to students at the Institute and at the Tavistock, specifically with the aim of demonstrating the logical development of that line of psychoanalytic practice. Seeking for this logical development reveals ‘an unfolding of method, leading to discovery of new realms of phenomena, generating in turn new models of the mind, which then modify method, etc.’
Richard Week-by-Week represents a unique and innovative approach to teaching the insights and techniques of Kleinian psychoanalysis, with Mrs Klein herself as teacher and learner at the same time. The Narrative of a Child Analysis offers a unique opportunity to watch Mrs Klein at work in the whitehot environment of the play-consulting room, pushing the boundaries of her conceptual tools whilst remaining acutely sensitive to the needs and sensibilities of the child and the transference emotions which are always at the forefront of her attention.
Meltzer’s own love and admiration for Mrs Klein shines throughout his critique of the Richard story, making this probably his most personal and passionate book, a tribute to both his own analyst and to the analytic process.
Meg Harris Williams
Introduction and required reading
1. First week: sessions 1–6
Establishing the analytic situation; evolution of the concepts paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions
2. Second week: sessions 7–12
The developmental role of the thirst for knowledge
3. Third week: sessions 13–18
Envy and Gratitude as the organizing postscript to the body of Melanie Klein’s theoretical work 19
4. Fourth week: sessions 10–24
Unconscious phantasies as mechanisms of defence, with special reference to obsessional mechanisms
5. Fifth week: sessions 25–29
The anxieties of the paranoid-schizoid position: paranoid anxiety, persecutory anxiety, persecutory depression
6. Sixth week: sessions 30–33
The development of the concept of reparation: true, manic, and mock reparation
7. Seventh week: sessions 34–39
Concepts of confusion – their absence in the work with Richard and its consequence
8. Eighth week: sessions 40–45
The phenomenology of hypochondria: its differentiation from psychosomatic phenomena or somatic delusions
9. Ninth week: sessions 46–52
Splitting and idealization: its role in development and its defects’ contribution to psychopathology
10. Tenth week: sessions 53–59
The composition of intolerance to frustration – review of the ten weeks’ work
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
12. Twelfth week: sessions 66–71
The role of interpretation in the therapeutic process
13. Thirteenth week: sessions 72–77
The relation of ambivalence to the experience of depressive pain
14. Fourteenth week: sessions 78–83
Technical problems related to countertransference
15. Fifteenth week: sessions 84–89
The concept of the combined object and its impact on development
16. Sixteenth week: sessions 90–93
The achievements of the analysis, with special reference to dependence on internal objects
Appendix: The paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions
Donald Meltzer (1923–2004) was born in New York and studied medicine at Yale. After practising as a psychiatrist specialising in children and families, he moved to England to have analysis with Melanie Klein in the 1950s, and for some years was a training analyst with the British Society. He worked with both adults and children, and was innovative in the treatment of autistic children; in the treatment of children he worked closely with Esther Bick and Martha Harris whom he later married. He taught child psychiatry and psychoanalytic history at the Tavistock Clinic. He also took a special scholarly interest in art and aesthetics, based on a lifelong love of art. Meltzer taught widely and regularly in many countries, in Europe, Scandinavia, and North and South America, and his books have been published in many languages and continue to be increasingly influential in the teaching of psychoanalysis.
His first book, The Psychoanalytical Process, was published by Heinemann in 1967 and was received with some suspicion (like all his books) by the psychoanalytic establishment. Subsequent books were published by Clunie Press for the Roland Harris Educational Trust which he set up together with Martha Harris (now the Harris Meltzer Trust). The Process was followed by Sexual States of Mind in 1973, Explorations in Autism in 1975; The Kleinian Development in 1978 (his lectures on Freud, Klein and Bion given to students at the Tavistock); Dream Life in 1984; The Apprehension of Beauty in 1988 (with Meg Harris Williams); and The Claustrum in 1992.
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