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Feldman, M. (1989). Chapter Three: The Oedipus Complex: Manifestations in the Inner World and the Therapeutic Situation. The Oedipus Complex Today Clinical Implications, 103-128.

Feldman, M. (1989). Chapter Three: The Oedipus Complex: Manifestations in the Inner World and the Therapeutic Situation. The Oedipus Complex Today Clinical Implications, 103-128

Chapter Three: The Oedipus Complex: Manifestations in the Inner World and the Therapeutic Situation Book Information Previous Up Next

Michael Feldman

Melanie Klein expanded our understanding of the Oedipus complex by developing the notion of the child's internal world, inhabited by figures derived from early experiences, whose qualities and functions are influenced by projections and distortions. She showed how, in the child's phantasy, these figures relate to one another in complex ways, and some of these relationships constitute early versions of the Oedipus complex (Klein, 1928, 1932; also chapter one in this volume). Part of the power of her clinical theories derives from the way she was able to use her understanding of the nature and relationships of these internal figures to recognize what was being experienced and enacted by the child, in the clinical situation, as it was made manifest in the transference.

I would like to use three clinical fragments to illustrate some points that derive from this. First, the familiar but compelling phenomenon of the way in which the patient's experience of the figures of his childhood remains alive in his mind and influences his current relationships, including

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