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Britton, R. Chused, J. Ellman, S. Likierman, M. (2006). Panel I: Contemporary Views on Stages versus Positions. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 5(3):268-281.

(2006). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 5(3):268-281

Panel I: Contemporary Views on Stages versus Positions

Ron Britton, Judy Chused, Steve Ellman and Meira Likierman

Moderated by:
Anni Bergman

Before the Conference, the Participants were sent four questions to which they were asked to respond.

Question One: The concept of positions has been central to Kleinian thought since originally theorized by Klein. Positions does not necessarily, although they well might, suggest a developmental theory. We have asked our Kleinian speakers to elaborate on any possible changes that may have occurred in the way they use this concept now. The Freudians have been asked to talk about their view of psychosexual stages, the timing of such, and where separation-individuation fits into their thinking. We have wondered how modern Kleinians and Freudians think about infantile sexuality and its relationship to their core developmental concepts.

Meira Likierman

For this panel we have been asked to discuss whether Kleinians still think in terms of “positions,” and whether any changes have occurred in the usage of these concepts over time. I will start by saying that I don't personally rely exclusively on Melanie Klein's thinking. On the other hand, I do see myself as working within a particular tradition and, like all of us, I wish to keep alive not only the tradition but also its broader context, which is psychoanalysis. In my contributions I shall be including some of Bion's ideas, partly because they are now so integral to a Kleinian outlook and partly because his thinking is an important source in its own right.

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