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Spillius, E.B. (1983). Some Developments from the Work of Melanie Klein. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 64:321-332.

(1983). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 64:321-332

Some Developments from the Work of Melanie Klein

Elizabeth Bott Spillius


This paper discusses four areas of work in which several followers of Melanie Klein in Britain have developed some of the discoveries and ideas she initiated. First, extension of her concept of projective identification is briefly described, with emphasis on Bion's and Rosenfeld's stress on its communicative as well as its pathological aspects. Second, the extension of Klein's ideas about the epistemophilic instinct, on symbolism, and about projective identification is described in the work of Segal, Bion, Money-Kyrle, and Bick on the development of the capacity to think. Third, certain developments in Kleinian technique are described, with emphasis on the use of the concept of projective identification in analysing transference, and on the analysis of acting out in the transference, a trend contributed to by many Kleinian analysts but perhaps most closely associated with Betty Joseph. Finally, continued refinements in the analysis of the death instinct are briefly described, together with discussion of the changes these refinements have led to in ideas about the organization and relations of parts of the self and internal objects.

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