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Meltzer, D. (1966). The Relation of Anal Masturbation to Projective Identification. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 47:335-342.

(1966). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 47:335-342

The Relation of Anal Masturbation to Projective Identification

Donald Meltzer


For the purpose of illustrating a current trend of our researches into the intimate connexion between projective identification and anal masturbation, I have chosen to describe the transference manifestations of a type of character disorder seen with relative frequency among the many intelligent, gifted and outwardly successful people who seek analysis, namely of 'pseudo-maturity'. The concept of projective identification, first described by Melanie Klein, has opened the way to a new fruitful investigation of hitherto unexplored aspects of anality. By demonstrating how projective identification with internal objects is induced by anal masturbation, a richer conception of the derivation and significance of the narcissistic evaluation of faeces is unfolded, thus linking the anal phase more surely to symptom and character pathology.

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