Klein Melanie


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Klein Melanie

(1882-1950) an Austrian psychoanalyst who regarded the early experience of the child within the primary ATTACHMENT relationship as fundamental to personality development. Influenced by Karl Abraham's theory of ‘object relations’, she identified the mother as the primary object, at first experienced as merged with the baby, but gradually seen as separate. This changing relationship is regarded as the source of anxiety and depression by Klein, whose emphasis is on innate forces originating in the child. This contrasts with the position of the NEO-FREUDIANS. Melanie Klein developed a technique for psychoanalysing children as young as two years old through interpreting their play with special toys provided in the clinic setting. See also NARCISSISM, OBJECT RELATIONS SCHOOL, WINNICOTT.
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