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Yorke, C. (1994). Freud or Klein: Conflict or Compromise. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:375-385.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:375-385

Freud or Klein: Conflict or Compromise

Clifford Yorke

ABSTRACT

There have been some striking changes in Kleinian technique since the Freud–Klein controversies of fifty years ago. Some of these changes suggest unacknowledged shifts in underlying theory. Some may imply a measure of reversion to Freudian practices, but it is far from clear that such changes apply to the analysis of children. Others—most importantly in the understanding and handling of transference—have widened the existing gulf between the two psychological systems. While Klein herself unswervingly took a global view of transference, regarding it as 'the total situation', the majority of Kleinians have extended this broad clinical concept to include its manifestations in countertransference phenomena. Although, for the most part, Freudians agree that transference phenomena pervade the clinical situation, they take the view that a portmanteau concept obscures the rich variety and diversity of transference, and in doing so fails to take full account of the many forms and intricacies of psychic conflict. This view is illustrated by material from child analysis. It is argued that, where basic differences of clinical practice and the theoretical understanding on which it is based are beyond resolution, it is in the interests of both groups to acknowledge the fact.

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