Reading list: Paranoid-schizoid position

Key papers by Klein

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

The early period

1921 Klein, M. ‘The development of a child‘. Suggestion that the child protectively splits off an unwanted part of the mother.

1926 Klein, M. ‘The psychological principles of early analysis‘. This paper and the one above describe the child’s oral and anal sadistic attacks on the mother as resulting in a persecutory superego (internal mother imago).

1929 Klein, M. ‘Personification in the play of children.’

1930 Klein, M. ‘The importance of symbol formation in the development of the ego‘. This paper and the one above explore the child’s use of splitting into good and bad and the use of projection as a defence and as a means of working through internal conflicts and anxieties.

1932 Klein, M. The Psychoanalysis of Children. Klein adopts Freud’s concepts of the life and death instincts, the deflection of the death instinct and introduces the idea of splitting the id.

1933 Klein, M. ‘The early development of conscience in the child‘. The splitting of the id is elaborated (later to become splitting of the ego).

The middle period

1935 Klein, M. ‘A contribution to the psychogenesis of manic-depressive states‘. The framework of ‘positions’ is introduced, the depressive position is contrasted with the earlier paranoic phase and a differentiation made between part- and whole-object relating.

1940 Klein, M. ‘Mourning and its relation to manic-depressive states.’ Manic defences of idealisation and denial are elaborated.

The later period

1946 Klein, M. ‘Notes on some schizoid mechanisms‘. The definitive paper in which the ‘paranoid-schizoid’ position is introduced and its anxieties and the defences against them are set out.

1952 Klein, M. ‘Some theoretical conclusions regarding the emotional life of the infant‘. Good summary of both paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions. Increasing emphasis on importance of securely established good object.

1955 Klein, M. ‘On identification‘. Continued emphasis placed on the importance of a securely established good object. Projective identification is illustrated.

1957 Klein, M. ‘Envy and gratitude‘. An expanded description of both the depressive and the paranoid-schizoid positions; envy is introduced as the expression of the death instinct.

Further exploration

Abraham, K. (1924) ‘A short study of the development of the libido, viewed in the light of the mental disorders’, in K. Abraham (ed.) The Selected Papers of Karl Abraham. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 418-501.

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

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 thinking’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 43: 306-310.

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

Bion, W. (1963) Elements of Psycho-Analysis. London: Heinemann.

Bion, W. (1967) Second Thoughts. London: Heinemann.

Bion, W. (1970) Attention and Interpretation. London: Karnac.

Britton, R. (1998) ‘Before and after the depressive position; Ps(n)–>D(n)–>Ps(n+1)‘, in R. Britton (ed.) Belief and Imagination. London: Routledge, pp. 69-81.  

Fairbairn, R. (1944) ‘Endopsychic structure considered in terms of object-relationships’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 25: 70-92.

Ferenczi, S. (1913) ‘Stages in the development of a sense of reality’, in First Contributions to the Theory and Technique of Psycho-Analysis. London: Hogarth Press (1952), pp. 213-239.

Freud, S. (1920) ‘Beyond the pleasure principle’. S.E. 18. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 3-64.

Freud, S. (1923) ‘The ego and the id’. S.E. 19. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 3-66.

Freud, S. (1924) ‘The dissolution of the Oedipus complex’. S.E. 19. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 173-179.

Freud, S. (1926) ‘Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety’. S.E. 20. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 75-176.

Greenberg, J. and Mitchell, S. (1983) Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Joseph, B. (1987) ‘Projective identification – some clinical aspects’, in J. Sandler (ed.) Projection, Identification, Projective Identification. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, pp. 65-76.

Meltzer, D. (1966) ‘The relation of anal masturbation to projective identification’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 47: 335-342.

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

Riesenberg-Malcolm, R. (1990) ‘As if: the phenomenon of not learning’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 71: 385-392.

Riviere, J. (1936) ‘A contribution to the analysis of the negative therapeutic reaction.’ International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 17: 304-320.

Rosenfeld, H. (1947) ‘Analysis of a schizophrenic state with depersonalization’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 28: 130-139.

Rosenfeld, H. (1949) ‘Remarks on the relation of male homosexuality to paranoia, paranoid anxiety and narcissism’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 30: 36-47.

Rosenfeld, H. (1950) ‘Notes on the psychopathology of confusional states in chronic schizophrenia’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 31: 132-137.

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. (1965) Psychotic States. London: Hogarth Press.

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.

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

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. (1981) The Work of Hanna Segal. New York: Jason Aronson.

Segal, H. (1997) ‘Psychic structure and psychic change – changing models of the mind’, in N. Abel-Hirsch (ed.) Hanna Segal: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. London: Routledge (2007), pp. 83-91.

Segal, H. (2001) ‘September 11’, in N. Abel-Hirsch (ed.) Hanna Segal: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. London: Routledge (2007), pp. 37-45.

Sohn, L. (1995) ‘Unprovoked assaults – making sense of apparently random violence’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 76: 565-575.

Spillius, E. (1989) ‘On Kleinian language’. Free Associations. 18: 90-110.

Steiner, J. (1987) ‘The interplay between pathological organisations and the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions‘. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 68: 69-80.

Steiner, J. (1979) ‘The border between the paranoid-schizoid and the depressive positions in the borderline patient’. British Journal of Medical Psychology. 52: 385-391.

Tustin, F. (1981) Autistic States in Children. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Winnicott, D.W. (1945) ‘Primitive emotional development’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 26: 137-142.