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116 From Freud to Klein – 2 seminars

Seminar Leaders: Prof. D. Carveth and S. Moore, PhD RP

Course Description

This course introduces candidates to the psychoanalytic work of Melanie Klein. It traces both her continuity with and key departures from Freudian theory, such as her rejection of the concept of primary narcissism, her insistence on the existence of object relations from the beginning and the importance of the early mother-infant relation (in which mother is initially experienced as a part-object, good or bad). Her elaboration of the theory of the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions and the concepts of splitting and projective identification and her distinctions between persecutory anxiety and guilt on the one hand and depressive anxiety and guilt on the other will be reviewed.

Course Objectives

Candidates will be able to:

  1. (1.2) Integrate the theory or theories upon which the therapist’s practice is based. To introduce Melanie Klein as a personality and a major psychoanalytic thinker.
  2. (1.3) Integrate knowledge of key concepts common to all psychotherapy practice. To introduce the Kleinian critique and development of Freudian theory, defining and explaining key concepts and showing both their continuity with and departures from Freudian theory.
  3. (1.2) Integrate knowledge of how human problems develop from the viewpoint of the therapist’s theoretical orientation. To illustrate Abraham’s and subsequently Klein’s breaking through of Freud’s patriarchal idealization of the mother and discovery of the “bad” part-object mother.
  4. (1.2) Integrate a theory of change consistent with the therapist’s theoretical orientation. To show how Kleinian theory illuminates work with so-called “pre-oedipal” conditions (though for Klein oedipal conflict exists in what Freudians consider the “pre-oedipal” phase).
  5. (1.2) Integrate knowledge of the impact of trauma on psychological functioning. To show how the widespread notion that Klein ignored the role of the real parents in the genesis of psychopathology is false and how her theory stressed the crucial role of good parenting in counteracting infantile anxieties.

Seminar 1

Required Readings

May, U. (2001). Abraham’s discovery of the ‘bad mother’: A contribution to the history of the theory of depression. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 82, 283-305.

Segal, H. (1979). Chapters 1-3. In Klein. London: Karnac Books (1989).


Hinshelwood, R.D. (1989). Entry on “Karl Abraham”. In A Dictionary of Kleinian Thought. London: Free Association Books.

Schroter, M. (2004). The early history of lay analysis, especially in Vienna, Berlin and London. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 85(1), 159-178.

Seminar 2

Required Readings

Segal, H. (1979). Chapters 4–13. In Klein. London: Karnac Books (1989).


Ross, John Munder. (2007). Trauma and abuse in the case of Little Hans. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 55(3), 779-797.

Caper, R. (2000). Preface, foreword, chapters 1 and 20. In Immaterial Facts: Freud’s Discovery of Psychic Reality and Klein’s Development of His Work. London: Routledge, (PDF file supplied by instructor).

Hinshelwood, R.D. (1989). Entry on “technique”. In A Dictionary of Kleinian Thought. London: Free Association Books.

De Bianchedi, E.T., Etchegoyen, R.H., De Moreno, V.U., De Urman, C.N., & Zysman, S.M.. (2003). Erna and Melanie Klein. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 84, 1587-1603.

Zysman, S. & Hollander, N. C. (2000). Erna and Melanie Klein. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 81, 579-581.

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