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WidlöCher, D. (2014). Burial and Resurgence of Projective Identification in French Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 95(4):757-769.

(2014). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 95(4):757-769

Burial and Resurgence of Projective Identification in French Psychoanalysis

Daniel WidlöCher

(Accepted for publication 11 March 2014)

Curiously enough, the concept of projective identification was ignored, and even rejected in France for at least two decades after the publication of the founding texts of Melanie Klein and Herbert Rosenfeld. This rejection was due to a critique from child psychoanalysts close to Anna Freud and also from the teaching of Lacan: the first took the real mother-child relation extensively into account, while the latter only saw the internal object as a signifier. The fact that during this period the countertransference was a concept reduced to its negative content no doubt explains this deliberate ignorance.

With the dissemination of a broader and more positive conception of the countertransference, a renewal of interest could be observed in the 1980s with references to empathic listening and to the effects of thought-induction.

[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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