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Cooper, P.C. (2002). The Pervasion Of The Object: Depression And Unitive Experience. Psychoanal. Rev., 89(3):413-439.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Review, 89(3):413-439

The Pervasion Of The Object: Depression And Unitive Experience

Paul C. Cooper, NCPsyA

Pervasive Object Transference

Kleinian formulations posit both “good” and “bad” primitive mother representations. Through projective/introjective cycles, the individual ideally integrates both sets of representations into a more stable and cohesive object world accompanied by a more or less stable “I-sense” (Cooper, 1998) with both “good” and “bad” aspects. Klein (1935) asserts that bad objects derive from the subject's murderous impulses that are projected into the mother. She writes: “But it is because the baby projects its own aggression on to these objects that it feels them to be ‘bad’ and not only in that they frustrate its desires: the child conceives of them as actually dangerous-persecutors who it fears will devour, scoop out the inside of its body, cut it to pieces, poison it-in short, compassing its destruction by all the means which sadism can devise” (p. 262). Thus, for Klein, these images become gross “distortions” of the actual object that come to populate the subject's internal and external worlds. According to Klein, these distortions derive from the infant's primitive projective processes. Klein (1935) describes these early cycles as “momentous” (p. 267) in that they exert a significant impact on the internalization and integration of one's psychic structure. Klein implicates “restrictions” in the projective/introjective processes with “the most severe psychosis.” This underscores the importance of projective/introjective processes in normal development.

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