Reading list: Depressive position

Key papers by Klein 

For full references for Melanie Klein’s works see Melanie Klein’s publications.

1927 Klein, M. ‘Criminal tendencies in normal children’. First observations of guilt in children after aggressive attacks.

1929 Klein, M. ‘Infantile anxiety-situations reflected in a work of art and in the creative impulse’. Shift observed from dread of attack to fear of the loved object. First mention of reparation.

1932 Klein, M. The Psychoanalysis of Children. Splitting in order to protect the good object; the importance of ‘restitution’ in sublimation.

1933 Klein, M. ‘The early development of conscience in the child’. Change in nature of superego from vengeful to concerned with guilt and moral sense.

1935 Klein, M. ‘A contribution to the psychogenesis of manic-depressive states’. First explicit exposition of the depressive position.

1940 Klein, M. ‘Mourning and its relation to manic-depressive states’. Clearer and more developed exposition.

1945 Klein, M. ‘The Oedipus complex in the light of early anxieties’. Important link made between depressive position and Oedipus complex.

1946 Klein, M. ‘Notes on some schizoid mechanisms’. Introduction of the paranoid-schizoid position, with clearer delineation of the two positions.

Further exploration 

Abraham, K. (1924) ‘A short study of the development of the libido’, in K. Abraham (ed.) Selected papers on Psychoanalysis. London: Hogarth Press (1927), pp. 418-501

Alvaraz, A. (1922) Live Company. London: Routledge. 

Bion, W. (1957) ‘Differentiation of the Psychotic from the non-psychotic personalities’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 38: 266-275. 

Bion, W. (1959) ‘Attacks on linking’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 40: 308-315.

Bion, W. (1962a) ‘A theory of linking’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 43: 306-310.

Bion, W. (1962b) Learning from Experience. London: Heinemann. 

Bion, W. (1963) Elements of Psychoanalysis. London: Heinemann. 

Britton, R. (1985) ‘The Oedipus complex and the depressive position’. Sigmund Freud House Bulletin. 9: 9-12. 

Britton, R. (1989) ‘The missing link: Parental sexuality in the Oedipus complex’, in J. Seiner (ed.) The Oedipus Complex Today. London: Karnac, pp. 83-101.

Britton, R. (1992) ‘The Oedipus situation and the depressive position’, in Clinical Lectures on Klein and Bion. London: Routledge, pp. 34-35. 

Britton, R. (1998) ‘Before and after the depressive position’, in Belief and Imagination. London: Routledge, pp. 69-81. 

Freud, S. (1916) ‘On transience’. S.E. 14. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 303-307. 

Freud, S. (1917) ‘Mourning and melancholia’. S.E. 14. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 237-258. 

Freud S. (1930) ‘Civilisation and its discontents’. S.E. 21. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 57-145. 

Hobson, R.P., Patrick, M.P. and Valentine, J.D. (1990) ‘Objectivity in psycho-analytic judgements’. British Journal of Psychiatry. 173: 172-177. 

Jacques, E. (1965) ‘Death and the mid-life crisis’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 46: 502-514

Likierman, M. (2001) Melanie Klein: Her Work in Context. London: Continuum. 

Milton, J. (2000) ‘Psychoanalysis and the moral high ground’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 81: 1101-1115. 

Money-Kyrle, R. (1944) ‘Towards a common aim: A psychoanalytic contribution to ethics’, in The Collected Papers of Roger Money-Kyrle. Strath Tay: Clunie Press (1978), pp. 176-197. 

Money-Kyrle, R. (1955) ‘Psychoanalysis and ethics’, in The Collected Papers of Roger Money-Kyrle. Strath Tay: Clunie Press, pp. 264-284. 

O’Shaughnessy, E. (1999) ‘Relating to the superego’, International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 80: 861-870. 

Petot, J.-M. (1991) Melanie Klein: Vol. 2: The Ego and the Good Object (1932-1960). (C. Trollope, Trans.) Madison, CT: International Universities Press. 

Rosenfeld, H. (1965) Psychotic States. London: Hogarth Press. 

Rosenfeld, H. (1987) Impasse and Interpretation. London: Tavistock. 

Roth, P. (2005) ‘The depressive position’, in S. Budd and R. Rusbridger (eds.) Introducing Psychoanalysis: Essential Themes and Topics. London: Routledge, pp. 47-58. 

Segal, H. (1952) ‘A psychoanalytical approach to aesthetics’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 33: 196-207. 

Segal, H. (1956) ‘Depression in the schizophrenic’, International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 37: 339-343. 

Segal, H. (1957) ‘Notes on symbol formation’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 38: 391-397. 

Segal, H. (1979) Klein. London: Fontana. 

Steiner, J. (1993) Psychic Retreats: Pathological Organizations in Psychotic, Neurotic and Borderline Patients. London: Routledge. 

Temperley, J. (2001) ‘The depressive position’, in C. Bronstein (ed.) Kleinian Theory: A Contemporary Perspective. London: Whurr, pp. 47-62.