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Fountain, G. (2000). A Critical Review of the Concept of Projective Identification and Its Clinical Applications. Joachim Grefe and Günter Reich. Pp. 57-77.. Psychoanal Q., 69(1):189-190.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: A Critical Review of the Concept of Projective Identification and Its Clinical Applications. Joachim Grefe and Günter Reich. Pp. 57-77.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 69(1):189-190

A Critical Review of the Concept of Projective Identification and Its Clinical Applications. Joachim Grefe and Günter Reich. Pp. 57-77.

Gerard Fountain

The development of the concept of projective identification is presented and critically reviewed, especially the tendency to broaden the concept to include every form of interaction, a mixing of process and fantasy, and the failure to distinguish it from the Freudian concept of projection. The processes nowadays often summed up as projective identification can be understood as a combination of “classical” defense mechanisms and interactional processes. The recent formulations in developmental psychology describe the processes of interpersonal affective exchange, which are made obscure by Kleinian terminology.

These factors often take effect in clinical practice but are ignored. The concept of projective identification and the container metaphor, as well as a widespread native concept of countertransference, seem to be unsuitable for

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understanding parallel processes within both analyst and patient. A transactional view is presented.

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Article Citation

Fountain, G. (2000). A Critical Review of the Concept of Projective Identification and Its Clinical Applications.. Psychoanal. Q., 69(1):189-190

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