Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom

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Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom

Winnicott proposed that the transition that occurs during early development, from subjective omnipotence to objective reality, is facilitated by transitional objects. In the picture on the left, John is cuddling his blanket. For Winnicott, the psychoanalytic process was an opportunity for the patient to re-experience the early subjective experiences of a relationship with the good enough mother. However, there can be no single technique in this process, as each case is different Winnicott, Perhaps the most important aspect of this overall view of what is necessary for effective psychoanalysis, according to Winnicott, is that the analyst needs to have been a good, healthy candidate in the first place.

Although Winnicott may have felt that technique was not some special trick to be used by anyone in performing psychoanalysis, he did have some favorite techniques. As described above, he watched the playful interaction between child and mother, in much the same way as Klein used her play technique. Winnicott believed that this process provided a special opportunity to make contact with the child, in which it felt to him as if the child were alongside him helping to describe the case Winnicott, In Therapeutic Consultations in Child Psychiatry , Winnicott offers many examples of such drawings along with brief descriptions and analyses of the corresponding cases.

In closing, Winnicott felt it was important to focus on psychological health, and he defined this as something much more than simply making it through each day, going to work, and raising a family. He believed that healthy individuals actually lived three different lives: 1 a life in the world, with interpersonal relationships being key; 2 a personal psychic reality, including creativity and dreams; and 3 their cultural experience. Winnicott admitted that it was difficult to incorporate the cultural experience into the life of an individual. What is life about? I do not need to know the answer, but we can agree that it is more nearly about BEING than about sex…Being and feeling real belong essentially to health, and it is only if we can take being for granted that we can get on to the more positive things…the vast majority of people take feeling real for granted, but at what cost?

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To what extent are they denying a fact, namely, that there could be a danger for them of feeling unreal, of feeling possessed, of feeling they are not themselves, of falling for ever, of having no orientation, of being detached from their bodies, of being annihilated, of being nothing, nowhere? Health is not associated with denial of anything. Margaret Mahler , was also a pediatrician before becoming a child analyst, and the early relationship between a child and its mother had a significant impact on her views of developmental ego psychology. At birth, according to Mahler, a child is focused entirely on itself, in a state of primary narcissism known as the normal autistic phase.

In agreement with Sigmund Freud, Mahler believed that in the first few weeks of life there is very little cathexis of libido outside of the child itself. Through contact with the mother, however, the child slowly becomes aware that it cannot satisfy its needs by itself. As important as this stage is for the development of the child, the child still needs to develop a sense of individuality.

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That process is known as separation-individuation :. Like any intrapsychic process, this one reverberates throughout the life cycle. It is never finished; it remains always active… pg. Separation-individuation, therefore, refers to the two main tasks that a young child must accomplish in order to grow up.

First, they must separate from their mother including the psychological understanding that they and their mother are two separate beings , and then they must fully develop their individuality. According to Mahler, this process involves a series of four subphases: differentiation, practicing, rapprochement , and consolidation.

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Transitional objects, as described by Winnicott, are also important during this period. As the child becomes old enough to start crawling, it moves out into the world and begins practicing its ability to interact with the environment. The child becomes aware that the mobility it gained during the practicing subphase has had the unfortunate effect of truly, and physically, separating the child from its mother.

The distress this causes leads the child to regularly check in with its mother for security. If all goes well, the child will then enter the final subphase and consolidate a definite, and in some aspects lifelong, individuality. Louise Kaplan, who worked with Mahler for a time, was interested in applying the theory Mahler had developed to the full range of human life, both in terms of age and cultural differences.

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Although Kaplan agreed that the most profound development occurs during early childhood, she emphasized that the purpose of all this, from the point of view of society, is what sort of person will grow out of each child. In the first three years of life every human being undergoes yet a second birth, in which he is born as a psychological being possessing selfhood and separate identity. The quality of self an infant achieves in those crucial three years will profoundly affect all of his subsequent existence. The conditions of these early years, however, are not always good.

In many cultures women are oppressed, sometimes violently.

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This has an effect on the mothering these women are able to provide their children. Male children may be valued, but in a possessive way. Female children may be scorned, as they lack the male privileges the mother wishes she had herself Kaplan, Of course, not all cultures are like this. Kaplan describes a wide variety of cultures, both primitive and modern, and considers some of the many factors that contribute to the nature of adulthood.

The increased aggressiveness and general life stress that Kaplan observed coinciding with these changes in culture suggests to her that our modern way of life has led to many of these psychological problems. According to Kaplan, this would be true even if there were perfect babies and perfect mothers Kaplan, Discussion Question: Mahler believed that children develop through three stages. First the child focuses on itself, then the child becomes aware of their intimate relationship with their mother, and finally a sense of individuality develops.

If you look at your relationship with your parents, which stage seems more dominant: your narcissism, your symbiosis, or your separation-individuation? Heinz Kohut continued and expanded on this perspective of the important and revealing relationship between childhood development and the life and psychological health or not of adults. Also similar to Freud, he took some time to study medicine in Paris. He first went to a psychologist for treatment, but later sought psychoanalysis from August Aichhorn. Aichhorn was a highly respected analyst, and a close personal friend of both Sigmund and Anna Freud.

The success of his analysis greatly interested Kohut himself, and led to his becoming an analyst as well. After fleeing Nazi controlled Austria in , Kohut eventually settled in America. He continued his psychoanalytic training at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis where Karen Horney had been the first associate director , but not without difficulty. Initially, Kohut was soundly rejected by the institute.

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Making these connections was an intentional effort at good networking, and Kohut was later accepted into training Strozier, In his theory, Kohut focused on the self and narcissism. Most theorists express a negative view of narcissism, but Kohut felt it served an essential role in the development of individuality.

Early childhood is a time of vitality, children are exuberant, expansive, and creative. The development of a healthy self depends on three kinds of selfobject experiences. Selfobjects are the adults who care for the child, and they need to provide for both physiological and psychological needs. In this first basic narcissistic process, known as mirroring , the child is able to see itself as wonderful through the eyes of others. An important aspect of mirroring is empathy, a state in which the mother and child actually share their feelings as if they were one Strozier, This second basic narcissistic process, known as idealizing , allows the child to experience the wonder of others, and to consider itself special due to its relationship with them.

Finally, the child needs to experience others who are open and similar to the child, allowing the child to sense an essential likeness between the child and the selfobject. Although this was not described as a basic narcissistic process, its lack of development can be seen in the twinship transference described below. These various relationships will help the child to develop a healthy narcissism, a realistic sense of self-esteem.

As suggested above, mirroring is the first important step. Why else would the mother be so happy to see the child? Similarly, as the child observes selfobjects that are powerful and calm, those selfobjects the child has idealized, the child projects the best part of itself onto those selfobjects. Accordingly, the child sees those selfobjects as wonderful and, since the child is with them, the child must be wonderful too. In these instances the child strengthens its own sense of self, its own narcissism, in comparison to others.

These processes can be seen in the psychoanalytic session with patients who have not developed a healthy sense of self. They will exhibit three types of selfobject transference toward the analyst: mirroring transference, idealizing transference , and twinship transference.

In mirroring transference, the attention of the analyst allows the patient to feel more real and more internally substantial.

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In idealizing transference, the patient comes to believe that the analyst is an important and powerful person, and the patient is to be valued by virtue of their association with the analyst. Discussion Question: Heinz Kohut also considered a degree of narcissism to be necessary for a child to develop a sense of individuality.

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  4. Are you more likely to choose friends who admire you mirroring , or whom you admire idealizing? Or do you choose friends who are similar to you, and who help you to develop a realistic sense of self twinship? In each instance, is your choice an overwhelming desire, or just one aspect of choosing your friends? Kohut felt that Freud had made a crucial error in evaluating religion. Freud believed that religion would be undone by the study of science, but Kohut felt that it was simply wrong to try evaluating religion in a scientific way. He did not consider God to be an internalized image of the frightening and all-powerful father, but rather an internalization of the earliest and most wonderful relationship in life: the love of a mother Strozier, In keeping with his basic theory, he tried to outline the precise psychological needs that were being satisfied by religion.

    Most importantly, there is something uplifting about religion. The mirroring need is typically referred to as grace, the gifts freely given to us by God, something psychologically similar to the love shown by a mother holding and cuddling her beloved child. God is, of course, the ultimate in idealization, a perfect being, all-knowing and all-powerful.

    While an immense and ornate cathedral or temple may seem awesome to those who are religious, other spiritual people can be similarly impressed looking down from a mountaintop, walking along the ocean shore, or listening to beautiful music. As for the final selfobject need, twinship, one can easily relate the community of a religious congregation.

    Perhaps it is no coincidence that we often hear priests and ministers talking about a congregation as the children of God. There is something about this world in our experience that does lift us up beyond the simplicity of an individual existence, that lifts us into something higher, enduring, or, as I would rather say, timeless. This is a true story. I was at our local gym while my older son was at gymnastics practice.

    There were some children attending a party at the gym, including a little boy about 2 years old who was running around on one of the gymnastics floors. He fell down and hurt himself, and he started crying. A couple of the coaches walked over to help him, but he just cried louder and roughly turned away from them. Then he heard his mother calling him. He ran over to his mother, crying all the way, and she scooped him up into her arms. Almost immediately he stopped crying, started squirming around, and when she put him down he raced back onto the floor and started running wildly in circles and yelling for joy!

    This is a marvelous example of what psychologists call a secure attachment. Bowlby considered attachment theory to fit within an object relations approach to psychodynamic theory, but it was largely rejected by the psychodynamic community. He proposed an evolutionary basis for attachment, a basis that serves the species by aiding in the survival of the infant. In other words, the attachment between an infant and its primary caregivers helps to ensure both that the infant stays close to the parents the objects, if we consider object relations theory and the parents respond quickly and appropriately to the needs of the infant.

    Ainsworth studied the attachment styles of children using a technique called the strange situation. A stranger enters, interacts with the mother, and then tries to interact with the child. The mother leaves, then returns, the stranger leaves, and then the mother leaves again. The stranger then returns, then leaves, and finally the mother returns. Throughout all of these events, the child is observed for evidence of having a secure base feeling comfortable enough to explore the unfamiliar room , separation anxiety due to the absence of the mother , stranger anxiety due to the presence of the stranger , and, finally, for its attachment to its mother when the mother returns at the end of the experiment Jarvis, A securely attached child, as in the story above, will feel free to explore a new environment.

    When hurt or frightened, however, the child will seek its mother for protection and comfort. Having found that comfort, having affirmed its secure base, the child will then venture out again. But is this true for children in all cultures? It has been suggested that attachment theory and interpretations of the strange situation are embedded in Western perspectives and ideals, particularly those of middle-class White Americans.

    In particular, a secure attachment seems to promote the independence of the child, and its ability to separate from the mother and move out into the world. One of the key measures of a secure attachment is that child is comforted by the presence of its mother, particularly after the child has been in the presence of strangers. However, numerous cultural problems arise from these perspectives. For example, in many African American households children are raised by different members of an extended family, possible including individuals who are not related to the family. As mentioned briefly in Chapter 1, Kenneth and Mamie Clark were two very important individuals who studied the development of African American children.

    In addition, the center provided the same services for a smaller number of White and Puerto Rican children from working-class families in Harlem. Rothbaum et al. Attachment theory has been considered to have three, universal core hypotheses: sensitivity, competence, and the secure base. In order for a child to feel secure, the mother must respond quickly and appropriately when the child perceives a threat.

    When a child feels secure, and has a secure relationship with its primary caregivers, attachment theory predicts that the child will grow up socially and emotionally competent. If we compare Japan to the United States, and how we define each of the factors listed above, we come to very different conclusions. According to Rothbaum et al.

    They expect their children to explore the environment, and they wait for their children to express their needs before responding. In Japan, mothers emphasize emotion and social factors, as opposed to communication and physical objects. Similar differences are seen with regard to social competence. An American who grows up socially competent assumed to be the result of secure attachments in childhood is expected to be independent and self-sufficient, willing to express and defend their own opinions. In Japan, however, as in all typical collectivist cultures, a socially competent adult is expected to be dependent on the social in-group and emotionally restrained Rothbaum et al.

    In contrast, Japanese children are encouraged to focus more on their mothers, in both distressing situations and in those involving positive emotions. Since the expectations of each aspect of attachment theory are so different in Japan and the United States, which are assumed to be representative of Western and Eastern societies, Rothbaum et al.

    They do not question that children and their parents form important and deeply meaningful attachments, but they do question whether attachment can be reasonably evaluated the same way in all cultures. There are other researchers, however, who question whether the perspectives of Rothbaum et al.

    For example, Posada and Jacobs acknowledge differences in behavior among different cultures, but they emphasize that all children have the potential for developing secure base relations with their parents and the subsequent secure attachments. Also, Ainsworth first coined the term secure base relationship after studying a rural, African community in Uganda, not in a Western culture Posada and Jacobs, Amae has been described as what a child feels when seeking his or her mother consider the child in the story at the beginning of this section, as he ran crying to his mother. However, when the question is asked in the right way, Japanese mothers would prefer their children to fit a definition of a secure child as opposed to one experiencing amae van IJzendoorn and Sagi, Indeed, the very meaning of amae is not clearly understood, and may not be easily compared to behaviors recognized in Western cultures Gjerde, It may also be true that insecure relationships may be more adaptive in some cultures than secure attachments, and our misunderstanding of these concepts does not allow us to conclude which perspective on attachment theory, if any, should be preferred Kondo-Ikemura, This video explores Object Relations theory.

    Subject: Psychology Paper:Personality Theories. Child psychoanalysis has developed into a well-established technique for children and adolescents, with specialised approaches to working with younger Don Carveth. PowToon is a free An account of the life and work of Melanie Klein including her theories and practical work within her psychoanalytic career. Melanie Reizes Klein was born in Julia Kristeva - Entretien : Melanie Klein et la psychanalyse de l'enfant, dans Les chemins de la connaissance This is a recording of the first part of seminars Melanie Klein held with a group of young British analysts in The seminars focus on many important issues of Have you ever felt extremely overwhelmed and uncomfortable with an interaction or situation that wasn't very severe at all?

    It may be Projective Identification It's to Anna Freud we owe the genius term 'defensiveness' to describe how most of us get some of the time. Ferenczi, Superego vs. Sigmund Freud, the inventor of psychoanalysis, appreciated the many ways in which our minds are troubled and anxious.

    It isn't us in particular: it's the human Melanie Klein introduction. PS and D positions; the undialectical nature of the early Kleinian one-way arrow; a dialectical version of Kleinian theory; the good in PS and the bad in D; This workshop aimed to examine the Freudian concept of psychic pain as developed by Melanie Klein and Donald Winnicott.

    PSYCHOTHERAPY - Melanie Klein

    In the morning Bob Hinshelwood Depressive position. Depressive anxiety or concern. Depressive vs. Manic Defences,. To learn more The Psychology In Seattle Podcast. Kirk Honda talks about the psychodynamic concept of projective identification. Email: Contact PsychologyInSeattle. Susan Kavaler-Adler discusses so-called Klein-Winnicott dialectic, which enriched the object relations clinical theory and technique, as Melanie Klein and Psychology Klein presentation wmv.

    Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom
    Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom
    Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom
    Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom
    Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom
    Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom Melanie Klein: Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom

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