Photograph of Robert Caper

Robert Caper

Caper is one of a small number of American psychoanalysts who has made original contributions to Kleinian theory. He is a graduate from Reed College and UCLA School of Medicine and trained at the Psychoanalytic Centre of California at that time very much influenced by the presence of Bion, Albert Mason and Jim Grotstein. He has written numerous papers, (see below) on psychoanalytic theory and technique and two important books. More recently he has moved to New York City.

In Immaterial Facts (1988) he gives an excellent outline of current Kleinian theory that is useful reading for the beginner and expert alike.

In A Mind of One’s Own (1999) he further develops his ideas and returns to many of the same themes 10 years later. (See Steiner, ‘Review of A Mind of One’s Own’ by Robert Caper’ (2000, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. 48, 637-643).

John Steiner, 2012

Key publications


1975 Caper, R. ‘Psychological Forces Supporting Totalitarian Systems‘. Contemporary Psychoanalysis. 11:161-174.

1992 Caper, R. ‘Does Psychoanalysis Heal? a Contribution to the Theory of Psychoanalytic Technique‘. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 73:283-292.

1994 Caper, R. ‘What is a Clinical Fact?‘. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75:903-913.

1995 Caper, R. ‘Comments on “Notes on Psychoanalytic Theory and Its Consequences for Technique”‘. Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 4:465-470.

1995 Caper, R. ‘On The Difficulty Of Making A Mutative Interpretation‘. International Journal of Psychoanalysis,76:91-101.

1996 Caper, R. ‘Play, Experimentation And Creativity‘. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 77:859-869.

1997 Caper, R. ‘Symbol Formation and Creativity: Hanna Segal’s Theoretical Contributions‘,  in D.Bell, ed., Reason and Passion: A Celebration of the Work of Hanna Segal. Duckworth: London.

1997 Caper, R. ‘A Mind Of One’s Own‘. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78:265-278.

1997 Caper, R. ‘Psychic Reality And The Interpretation Of Transference‘. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 66:018-033.

1998 Caper, R. ‘On Seduction: Chaired by Sandor Abend, New Haven‘. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 79:168-170.

1998 Caper, R. ‘Psychopathology and Primitive Mental States‘. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 79:539-551.

1998 Caper, R. ‘Response‘. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 79:390-391.

1998 Caper, R. ‘The Clinical Thinking of Wilfred Bion.’ By Joan and Neville Symington. London and New York: Routledge. 1996. Pp. 184. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 79:417-420.

2001 Caper, R. ‘The Goals of Clinical Psychoanalysis: Notes on Interpretation and Psychological Development‘. Psychoanalysis Quarterly, 70:99-116.

2001 Caper, R. ‘The Place of Affect in the Representational World: In Memory of Joseph Sandler‘. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 82:597-600.

2001 Caper, R. ‘Group Psychology and the Psychoanalytic Group‘  in On Freud’s ‘Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego’, pp. 61 – 86, Ethel Person, ed. The Analytic Press: Hillsdale and London.

2007 Caper, R. ‘Envy, Narcissism and the Destructive Instinct‘, in Envy and Gratitude: Contemporary Perspectives Ed by Lemma, A & Roth, P. IPA Publications.

2011 Caper, R. ‘Grace under fire‘. International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 20:97-99.


1988 Caper, R. Immaterial Facts. Jason Aronson: New York.

1999 Caper, R. A Mind of One’s Own. Routledge: London.

2008 Caper, R. Building Out into the Dark: Theory and Observation in Science and Psychoanalysis. Routledge: London and New York.

2020 Caper, R. Bion and Thoughts Too Deep for Words: Psychoanalysis, Suggestion and the Language of the Unconscious. Routledge, London.