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Projective Identification by Edna O'Shaughnessy, Elizabeth Spillius

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10

The concept of projective identification39

Joseph Sandler

The introduction of the concept of projective identification by Melanie Klein in 1946 was set against a rather confused and confusing background of literature on various forms of internalization and externalization – imitation, identification, phantasies of incorporation and many varieties of projection. Projective identification is a broad concept, as the following description by Hanna Segal indicates.

In projective identification parts of the self and internal objects are split off and projected into the external object, which then becomes possessed by, controlled and identified with the projected parts. Projective identification has manifold aims: it may be directed towards the ...

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