30 March 2019

30th March 1882 - Melanie Klein was born


On 30th March 1882 Melanie Klein was born. Klein was an important psychoanalyst who is best remembered for developing the technique of play therapy to allow psychoanalysis with young children. Given a box of toys children could act out all their fantasies, and conflicts using horses, locomotives and figurines.

Born in Austria, Melanie first worked in Berlin, then moved to London where her ideas were more accepted. She gave to psychoanalysis the concept of experiencing the world through the Paranoid-Schizoid Position. A mother can bring great pleasure and great sadness and the child has a divided view on this important person, loving them sometimes and hating them at others. A more mature view can come about and this is what Klein called the Depressive Position, recognising that reality is more complicated and not neatly packaged. People and things are a perplexing mixture of good and bad. Some people don't reach this stage and get stuck in the paranoid schizoid position.

The Melanie Klein Trust continues to develop her theory and techniques and www.melanie-klein-trust.org.uk has more.

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