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melanie klein trust

Melanie Klein Trust

Furthering the psychoanalytic theory
and technique of Melanie Klein

Key psychoanalytic works

Mourning and Melancholia (1917)

One of Freud’s ‘metapsychological’ papers, Mourning and Melancholia draws a distinction between normal mourning and pathological depression, or ‘melancholia.’ In normal mourning, following the loss of a loved person or idea, the world as experienced by the mourner is depleted and full of sadness, whilst in the pathological state of melancholia, the sufferer directs this sense of depletion and hopelessness onto his or her own ego. This is because, Freud explains, the pathological melancholic has introjected the lost object into his or her ego, so that any libidinal attachment, both loving and reproachful, is directed toward the self. Pathological depression is therefore in part a retreat to a narcissistic relationship to objects, a turning-away from the world.

This idea of the introjection of, and identification with, external objects is hugely influential on Klein, as she develops the concepts of introjection, projection, and the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions.