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melanie klein trust

Melanie Klein Trust

Furthering the psychoanalytic theory
and technique of Melanie Klein

Projective Identification: The Fate of a Concept

Edited by Elizabeth Spillius and Edna O'Shaugnessy

Published by Routledge, 2011

In this book Elizabeth Spillius and Edna O'Shaughnessy explore the development of the concept of projective identification, which had important antecedents in the work of Freud and others, but was given a specific name and definition by Melanie Klein. They describe Klein's published and unpublished views on the topic, and then consider the way the concept has been variously described, evolved, accepted, rejected and modified by analysts of different schools of thought and in various locations – Britain, Western Europe, North America and Latin America.

The authors believe that this unusually widespread interest in a particular concept and its varied ‘fate’ has occurred not only because of beliefs about its clinical usefulness in the psychoanalytic setting but also because projective identification is a universal aspect of human interaction and communication.

Projective Identification: The Fate of a Concept will appeal to any psychoanalyst or psychotherapist who uses the ideas of transference and counter-transference, as well as to academics wanting further insight into the evolution of this concept as it moves between different cultures and countries.


Spillius, O'Shaughnessy, Foreword.

Part I: Melanie Klein's Work. Spillius, The Emergence of Klein's Idea of Projective Identification in Her Published and Unpublished Work. Klein, Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms.

Part II: Some British Kleinian Developments. Spillius, Developments by British Kleinian Analysts. Bion, Attacks on Linking. Rosenfeld, Contribution to the Psychopathology of Psychotic States: The Importance of Projective Identification in the Ego Structure and the Object Relations of the Psychotic Patient. Joseph, Projective Identification: Some Clinical Aspects. Feldman, Projective Identification: The Analyst's Involvement. Sodré, Who’s Who? Notes on Pathological Identifications.

Part III: The Plural Psychoanalytic Scene. Spillius, O'Shaughnessy, Introduction. The British Psychoanalytic Society. O'Shaughnessy, The Views of Contemporary Freudians and Independents about the Concept of Projective Identification. Sandler, The Concept of Projective Identification. Continental Europe. Spillius, Introduction. Hinz, Projective Identification: The Fate of the Concept in Germany. Canestri, Projective Identification: The Fate of the Concept in Italy and Spain. Quinodoz, Projective Identification in Contemporary French-Language Psychoanalysis. The United States. Spillius, Introduction. Schafer, Projective Identification in the USA: An Overview. Spillius, A Brief Review of Projective Identification in American Psychoanalytic Literature. Malin, Grotstein, Projective Identification in the Therapeutic Process. Ogden, On Projective Identification. Mason, Vicissitudes of Projective Identification. Latin America. Meyer, Introduction. Jarast, Projective Identification: Projections in Argentina. Massi, Projective Identification: Brazilian Variations of the Concept. Jordan-Moore, Projective Identification and the Weight of Intersubjectivity.

Spillius, O'Shaughnessy, Afterword.