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Review
, 9, 487-510

The Significance of Kleinian Contributions to Psychoanalysis. III. The Kleinian Theory of Ego Psychology and Object Relations

  • PMID: 6759433
Review

The Significance of Kleinian Contributions to Psychoanalysis. III. The Kleinian Theory of Ego Psychology and Object Relations

J S Grotstein. Int J Psychoanal Psychother.

Abstract

The Kleinian theory of ego psychology rests largely on the theory of internal object relations formed through projective identification and re-introjection, and how they undergo transformations from the paranoid-schizoid to the depressive positions via the capacity of the maternal container to transform her infant's "paranoid" content into sobering awareness of truth. It differs from the classical theory in terms of the initial emphasis on projective identification and the only gradually developing importance of introjection of the external world of reality. This contribution develops the Kleinian metapsychology of ego formation from the succession of the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions, which are the phenomenological-experimental equivalents of Mahler's autistic, symbiotic, and separation-individuation phases of development. It seeks also to develop the Kleinian conception of narcissism and compare it to the classical one.

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