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Hahn, A. (2005). Donald Meltzer (1922-2004). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(1):175-178.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(1):175-178

Donald Meltzer (1922-2004) Language Translation

Alberto Hahn

Donald Meltzer died on 13 August 2004. His passing deprives psychoanalysis of an innovative thinker, an inspirational teacher and a proflific writer whose pioneering work over the last 50 years influenced a whole generation of colleagues, psychotherapists and mental-health workers all over the world. He made an outstanding contribution to the understanding of the mind of the infant, the emotional development of object relations and the psychoanalytical treatment of perversions, narcissistic states and autism. The range and depth of Meltzer's work, his particular gift for analysing the deepest strata of the mind and his sensitivity for primitive modes of functioning made him a supervisor who was much in demand by students of psychoanalysis all over the world.

Born in New Jersey (USA) in 1922, the youngest of three siblings, Donald Meltzer was brought up in a Jewish home, a loving and stable environment which provided him with the background to pursue his medical training and his budding interest in psychoanalysis. During his medical training at Yale University and at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, he did an elective at Loretta Bender' ward at the Bellevue Hospital where the pioneering work with psychotic children was done, and where he first heard of Melanie Klein. After completing his psychiatric training at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, and having undergone a first analysis, he decided to go into child psychiatry and somehow find his way to London to have analysis with Mrs Klein herself.

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