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Melanie Klein Trust

Furthering the psychoanalytic theory
and technique of Melanie Klein


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CRPMS Conference - Kleinian Pychoanalytical Technique

Universite Paris Diderot logo

Organised by: Centre de Recherches Psychanalyse et Médecine (Research Centre for Psychoanalysis and Medicine)

Date: 20 Oct 2018

Kleinian Psychoanalytical Technique

A conference organised by the Centre de Recherches Psychanalyse et Médecine (Research Centre for Psychoanalysis and Medicine)

Venue: Amphithéâtre Turing, Bâtiment Sophie Germain, Université Paris Diderot, 8 place Aurélie Nemours 75013 Paris France

Registration: The conference is free. Colleagues from outside France, please register by email at

Timings: 9.15 am to 5pm

Download the conference flyer


9.15 Welcome speech by Ms Laurie Laufer, Chair of the CRPMS
9.30 Introduction by Francis Drossart (CRPMS, IVème Groupe)
9.45 Conference paper by Jane Milton

11.00 Break

11.15 Discussion with the floor (moderator: Francis Drossart)

12.30 Lunch break

14.00 Panel discussion on Kleinian psychoanalytical technique today with:

  •         Anne Amos (BPS)
  •         Didier Houzel (APF)
  •         Susan Lawrence (BPS)
  •         Chantal Lheureux-Davidse (CRPMS)
  •         Sharon Numa (BPS)

16.00 Break

16.15-17 Discussion with the floor and conclusion

Jane Milton will give her lecture in English. English translations of French papers will be available, plus translation during panel discussions.

Translation from/into English by the MKT website French Translation Team.   

Conference theme

‘When we read Melanie Klein’s first writings… we can only be struck by the faithfulness she shows to Freud’s thought and to the topographic model prevailing at the time in the psychoanalytical community: The libido theory… But this gradually leads her to a change of paradigm, as it previously happened with Freud, who revolutionized metapsychology by introducing a new topography, as early as 1921… The models of both psychoanalytical thinkers converge towards a new theoretical paradigm, that of the object-relations theory.

Why so many French psychoanalysts have devoted so much time to opposing these two models, arguing that one, the libido theory, is purely Freudian, while the other, the object-relations theory, is a blameworthy distortion of the master’s thought, remains a mystery to me.’ (1)

We believe that the issue had to be addressed anew. It had actually already been mentioned two years ago at a Paris CRPMS conference devoted to The British psychoanalytic school in the country of Lacan, in which we took part, and left unanswered.

It became obvious at the time that the unsolved theoretical difference rested at least partially on  lack of knowledge about the Kleinian technique too often summarised as the interpretation of play with children, if not disparaged as showering the patient with interpretations (!).

In this respect, the recent book of Dr John Steiner (2), one of the most important leading psychoanalysts in the contemporary Kleinian movement, appears quite enlightening. Four colleagues of the British Psychoanalytical Society will thus come with his agreement to present and discuss the book with some French colleagues trained in Kleinian psychoanalysis.

The Conference will come as a supplement to the University diploma on Kleinian psychoanalysis we set up in Paris and, from an international perspective, to the French MKT website translation team which now exists. The team will take care of translations to and from English of the lectures as well as the discussions.

Francis Drossart   

(1) Houzel D., in Drossart F., Une théorie kleinienne de la Destructivité et de la Créativité, ed. du Hublot, 2016, préface, p. 1-2.

(2) Steiner J., Lectures on Technique by Melanie Klein edited with critical review, ed. Routledge, 2017.