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Aguayo, J. (2009). On: The comments of Dr Steiner. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(6):1437-1438.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(6):1437-1438

On: The comments of Dr Steiner Related Papers

Joseph Aguayo

Dear Editors,

In an historical, context-sensitive manner, Riccardo Steiner's comments add to our growing appreciation of what he terms a ‘creative reciprocal influence’ that existed between Klein and her analysand Herbert Rosenfeld (amongst others) in the evolution of her concept of projective identification. The attempt I have made to outline a more contextually accurate development of Klein's notion of projective identification - as elaborated by her analysands and students - is at best tentative and subject to revision based on further research. Steiner has added to this by pointing out further evidence that indicates that a more detailed history is necessary if we are to understand the intellectual and analytic genesis of projective identification. These historical efforts are complementary to the clinically-based commentaries, such as the recent overview by John Steiner (2009) of Rosenfeld's contributions.

To Riccardo Steiner's points: when he mentions the early work done by Rosenfeld (1947, 1949) on Klein's (1946) rudimentary idea of projective identification, I think Elizabeth Spillius comes closest to approximating its immediate and local beginnings in Klein's brief three paragraph description in 1946 (Klein, 1946, p. 102). Spillius (2007, p. 107) writes: “… the concept is not mentioned by name. The actual term ‘projective identification’ is mentioned only in a passing comment two pages later where Klein says, ‘I have referred to the weakening and impoverishment of the ego resulting from excessive splitting and projective identification’” (Klein, 1946, p.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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