Reading list: Internal objects

Key papers by Freud and Klein

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

1910 Freud, S. ‘Leonardo da Vinci and a memory of his childhood‘. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 11. Hogarth Press (1958). Freud writes about Leonardo’s identification with his mother.

1914 Freud, S. ‘On narcissism: an introduction‘. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 14. Hogarth Press (1957). The self takes the ego as its love object.

1917 Freud, S. ‘Mourning and melancholia‘. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 14. Hogarth Press (1957). Ego identified with reproached lost object.

1926 Klein, M. ‘The psychological principles of early analysis‘. The introjected mother is distorted by the child’s sadistic impulses.

1927 Klein, M. ‘Symposium on child analysis‘. ‘Imago’ differentiated from the original object.

1929 Klein, M. ‘Personification in the play of children‘. Psychosexual stage influences character of imago. Extreme characteristics of imagos described.

1932 Klein, M. The Psychoanalysis of Children. Life and death instincts influence the character of the introjected (part) object.

1935 Klein, M. ‘A contribution to the psychogenesis of manic-depressive states‘. Move from part- to whole-object relating provokes fear of loss of good objects and concern for its preservation. Increasing understanding of the complexity of the relationship between the external and internal object.

1940 Klein, M. ‘Mourning and its relation to manic-depressive states‘. Mobilisation of defences against the loss of the good object. Mourning involves loss of internal as well as internal object.

1946 Klein, M. ‘Notes on some schizoid mechanisms‘. Binary splitting of objects necessary for successful establishment of the good object and essential for healthy development. Binary splitting differentiated from fragmentation.

1957 Klein, M. ‘Envy and gratitude‘. Envy leads to the internalisation of a destructive internal object.

1958 Klein, M. ‘On the development of mental functioning‘. Restatement of theory with modification in which extreme primitive internal objects are located in ‘deep unconscious’ where they remain undisturbed.

Further exploration

Abraham, K. (1911) ‘Notes on the psycho-analytic investigation and treatment of manic-depressive insanity and allied conditions’, in K Abraham (ed.) Selected Papers on Psycho-Analysis. London: Hogarth Press (1972), pp. 137-156.

Barrows, K. (1999) ‘Ghosts in the swamp: Some aspects of splitting and their relationship to parental losses’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 80: 549-561.

Bick, E. (1964) ‘Notes on infant observation in psycho-analytic training’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 45: 558-566.

Bick, E. (1968) ‘The experience of the skin in early object relations’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 49: 484-486.

Bick, E. (1986) ‘Further considerations on the function of the skin in early object relations: Findings from infant observation integrated into child and adult analysis’. British Journal of Psychotherapy. 2: 292-299.

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

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

Brenman, E. (1985) ‘Cruelty and narrow-mindedness’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 66: 273-281.

Brenman, E. (2006) Recovery of the Lost Good Object. Hove: Routledge.

Brierley, M. (1939) ‘A prefatory note on “internalized objects” and depression’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 20: 241-245.

Britton, R. (2003) ‘Narcissism and narcissistic disorders’, Chapter 10 in R. Britton (ed.) Sex, Death and the Superego. London: Karnac, pp. 151-164.

Bronstein, C. (2001) ‘What are internal objects?’, in C. Bronstein (ed.) Kleinain Theory: A Contemporary Perspective. London: Whurr, pp. 108-124.

Fairbairn, R. (1941) ‘A revised psychopathology of the psychoses and psycho-neuroses’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 22: 250-279.

Fairbairn, R. (1944) ‘Endopsychic structure considered in terms of object-relationships’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 27: 30-37.

Fairbairn, R. (1946) ‘Object-relationships and dynamic structure’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 27: 30-37.

Fairbairn, R. (1952) Psycho-Analytic Studies of the Personality. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Ferenczi, S. (1909) ‘Introjection and transference’, in First Contributions to Psycho-Analysis. London: Hogarth Press (1952), pp. 35-93.

Ferenczi, S. (1912) ‘On the definition of introjection’, in Final Contributions to the Problems and Methods of Psychoanalysis. London: Hogarth Press (1955), pp. 316-318.

Fuchs (Foulkes), S.H. (1937) ‘On introjection’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 18: 269-290.

Glover, E. (1932) ‘A psycho-analytical approach to the classification of mental disorders’. Journal of Mental Science. 78: 819-842.

Heimann, P. (1942) ‘A contribution to the problem of sublimation and its relation to processes of internalization’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 23: 8-17.

Heimann, P. (1949) ‘Some notes on the psycho-analytic concept of introjected objects’. British Journal of Medical Psychology. 22: 8-15.

Hinshelwood, R.D. (1991) ‘Internal objects’, in A Dictionary of Kleinian Thought, 2nd edition. London: Free Association Books, pp. 68-83.

Isaacs, S. (1940) ‘Temper tantrums in early childhood in their relation to internal objects’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 21: 280-293.

Joseph, B. (1971) ‘A clinical contribution to the analysis of a perversion’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 52: 441-449.

Kernberg, O. (1976) Object Relations Theory and Clinical Psychoanalysis. New York: Aronson.

Matte-Blanco, I. (1941) ‘On introjection and the processes of psychic metabolism’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 22: 17-36.

Meltzer, D. (1968) ‘Terror, persecution, dread – a dissection of paranoid anxieties’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 49: 396-400.

Money-Kyrle, R. (1968) ‘Cognitive development’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 49: 691-698.

O’Shaughnessy, E. (1981) ‘A clinical study of a defensive organization’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 62: 359-369.

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

Perlow, M. Understanding Mental Objects. London: Routledge.

Petot, J-M. (1990) Melanie Klein: Vol. 1: First Discoveries and First System 1919-1932. Madison CT: International Universities Press.

Rosenfeld, H. (1952) ‘Notes on the psycho-analysis of the superego conflict in an acute schizophrenic patient’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 33: 111-131.

Rosenfeld, H. (1964) ‘On the psychopathology of narcissism: A clinical approach’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 45: 332-337.

Rosenfeld, H. (1971) ‘A clinical approach to the psychoanalytic theory of the life and death instincts: an investigation into the aggressive aspects of narcissism.’ International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 52: 169-178.

Rosenfeld, H. (1983) ‘Primitive object relations and mechanisms’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 64: 261-267.

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

Sandler, J. (1990) ‘Internal objects and internal object relationships’. Psychoanalytic Inquiry. 10: 163-181.

Schmideberg, M. (1930) ‘The role of psychotic mechanisms in cultural development’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 11: 387-418.

Schmideberg, M. (1934) ‘The play-analysis of a three-year-old girl’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 15: 245-264.

Searl, M.N. (1932) ‘A note on depersonalization’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 13: 329-347.

Searl, M.N. (1933) ‘Play, reality and aggression’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 14: 310-320.

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. (1972) ‘A delusional system as a defence against the re-emergence of a catastrophic situation.’ International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 53: 393-401.

Segal, H. (2007) Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. London, Routledge, (2007), pp. 230-234.

Sodré, I. (2004) ‘Who’s Who? Notes on pathological identifications’, in E. Hargreaves and A. Varchevker (eds.) In Pursuit of Psychic Change: The Betty Joseph Workshop. London: Brunner-Routledge, pp. 53-68.

Sohn, L. (1985) ‘Narcissistic organization, projective identification and the formation of the identificate’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 66: 201-213.

Steiner, J. (1982) ‘Perverse relationships between parts of the self: A clinical illustration’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 63: 241-251.

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

Strachey, A. (1941) ‘A note on the use of the word “internal”’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 22: 27-43.

Strachey, J. (1934) ‘The nature of the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 15: 127-159.