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Learning from Experience by Marilyn Charles

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8 Projective Identification

ONE OF THE OBSTACLES we encounter as psychodynamic therapists has to do with trying to understand some of the nonverbal cues being communicated within the space. This is an area that has been very intriguing to me. One conceptualization I've found to be particularly useful—again from Klein (1946) and then elaborated more fully by her followers (see, e.g., Grotstein, 1981; Joseph, 1997; Alvarez, 1999)— is projective identification. I've already alluded to projective identification in talking about the experiential end of the paranoid-schizoid state, where the fragmentation lends itself to good versus bad dichotomies and so to splitting.

Projective identification has been confused, particularly in the United States, ...

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