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Koivulehto, S. (2001). Om Projektiv Identifikation; Fem Psykoanalytiker Tillämpar Begreppet Utifrån Olika Perspektiv. (On projective identification; five psychoanalysts apply the concept from different perspectives). Hans Camitz, Ludvig Igra, Arnc Jemstedt, Lena Teurnell and Bengt Warren. Stockholm: Mareld, 2000.. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 24(2):143-146.

(2001). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 24(2):143-146

Om Projektiv Identifikation; Fem Psykoanalytiker Tillämpar Begreppet Utifrån Olika Perspektiv. (On projective identification; five psychoanalysts apply the concept from different perspectives). Hans Camitz, Ludvig Igra, Arnc Jemstedt, Lena Teurnell and Bengt Warren. Stockholm: Mareld, 2000.

Review by:
Seppo Koivulehto

My review of this book on projective identification focuses on Ludvig Igra's (1994) article, because it is the most analytical in the narrow sense of the word.

The book opens with Arne Jemstedt's excellent introduction. A compact history of the concept of projective identification is complemented by a wellchosen collection of examples from literature and films. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome (1889) is an excellent choice, because it allows us to integrate Freud's concept of Nachträglichkeit (“deferred action”, which French psychoanalytic theory translates as après-coup) with the concept of projective identification. The former concept is central to our understanding of historicity, i.e., how transference bears the mark of the successive moments of integration or symbolisation and how the self experiences the after-effects of its infantile sexuality throughout life. In the story, George misunderstands time, because he forgets to wind his watch in the evening. He wakes up in the middle of the night and rushes out, thinking that he is late for work. When he understands that he has been mistaken, he becomes terrified of the police and feels persecuted by the law like a criminal. The acceptance of a past experience and its repetition is of central value to our understanding of a situation and the projective identification it involves.

Bengt Warren offers us some very descriptive clinical vignettes to describe how we should understand projective identification in marital situations.

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