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Projective Identification by Edna O'Shaughnessy, Elizabeth Spillius

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1

The emergence of Klein's idea of projective identification in her published and unpublished work

Elizabeth Spillius

Introduction

I will first describe something of the history of the term ‘projective identification’ followed by discussion of Klein's own ideas about it in the two published versions of her paper ‘Notes on some schizoid mechanisms’ (Klein, 1946, 1952a) and in her 1955 paper ‘On identification’. Then I will discuss two sets of unpublished entries on the concept of projective identification in the Melanie Klein Archive.

History of the concept

Although Melanie Klein was the originator of the definition and usage of the concept of projective identification as we know it today, she was not the first person to use the actual term. ...

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