Skip to main content
Select Source:

Klein, Melanie

Klein, Melanie

WORKS BY KLEIN

SUPPLEMENTARY BIBLIOGRAPHY

The psychoanalyst Melanie Klein (1882–1960), nee Reizes, was born in Vienna. Her father, brought up in a strictly orthodox Jewish family and originally trained to be a student of the Talmud, broke away from this tradition at the age of 37, studied medicine, and later practiced as a dentist. Her mother was the daughter of a rabbi. Melanie was the youngest of four children. Her only brother, five years her senior and an intelligent and gifted young man, had a deep influence on her, but he died when he was only 25.

At the age of 14, Melanie decided to study medicine, but she became engaged at 17 and gave up her plans for a medical career. She never lost her interest in medicine, however, and always regretted that she had not become qualified as a doctor. When she was 21, she married Arthur Klein, an industrial chemist; the marriage was not a happy one. They had three children, a daughter and two sons. A few years before World War I, the family moved to Budapest; there Melanie Klein came across one of Freud’s books, which immediately interested her greatly. Later, she started a personal analysis with Sándor Ferenczi, the principal Hungarian analyst at that time, and, encouraged by him, she began to think about the application of psychoanalysis to young children. In July 1919 she read her first paper, entitled “The Development of a Child” (1921), before the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society. Two years later, invited by Karl Abraham, the president of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Society, she settled in Berlin with her children; her husband’s business interests took him to Sweden, and their separation eventually led to divorce.

From the time she moved to Berlin Melanie Klein devoted herself fully to psychoanalytical practice and research. She was deeply impressed and influenced by the work of Abraham—perhaps most notably by his work on the early stages of infantile development. Early in 1924 she went into analysis with him, but the analysis was terminated by his fatal illness in the summer of 1925. After his death she carried on regular daily self-analysis.

Soon after her arrival in Berlin she began to develop her technique of analyzing children. Her first contributions to the Berlin society aroused considerable interest as well as considerable controtroversy there and abroad, and in 1925 Ernest Jones, the president of the British Psycho-analytic Society, invited her to give a course of lectures in London. In 1926 she accepted an invitation from the British society to settle permanently in London. There her work developed, and her clinical and theoretical approach was widely accepted by other analysts. Indeed, the members of the British society were often referred to by analysts outside England as the “British school of psychoanalysis” to differentiate the work that was developing in London under Melanie Klein’s influence from that in other centers, particularly in Vienna.

The differences arose mainly from the significance for all later development that the British analysts attributed to early infantile anxieties and unconscious fantasies occurring in the first year of life and from their contention that these anxieties and fantasies can be explored in the transference situation. These differences were acknowledged by the British and the Viennese groups of analysts, and in 1936 exchange lectures (Riviere 1936; Waelder 1937) were arranged in order to clarify the different points of view. When in 1938 many Viennese analysts settled in London, the conflicts of opinion became more marked and threatened to cause a split within the British society. However, unity was preserved by the creation of two separate streams of training within the main teaching course. As the awareness of the importance of Melanie Klein’s work developed, an increasing number of students and analysts turned to her for training analyses and supervision, and there grew up round her a group of analysts who became close colleagues. Her views have greatly influenced psychoanalytic thinking both within and outside Great Britain, and in several countries groups have formed that have attempted to base their work on her views.

Child analysis. During the years from 1921 to 1934 Melanie Klein developed her technique of analyzing children (1955 a). Her aim was to create a psychoanalytic setting for children similar to that created by Freud for the treatment of adult patients, a setting in which the patient is free to develop a transference relationship to the analyst and to use free association, so that the therapeutic result depends purely on interpretative work. To achieve this she provided the child with a simply furnished room containing a box of small toys and other play materials. Since the child expresses him-self in play more than in words, she analyzed free play (1929), treating it as free association, and showed that one can achieve an analytical relationship with the child, using neither re-education nor reassurance. This approach distinguishes Melanie Klein’s work from other attempts at child analysis in which re-education and reassurance play an important part.

From the beginning her interest focused on the child’s anxieties and his defenses against them. This emphasis on anxiety led her ever deeper into the unconscious fantasy life of the child. She also insisted not only on interpreting the child’s positive transference but on uncovering and interpreting the negative transference which was hidden behind his anxieties. Her emphasis ran counter to the then current psychoanalytic tenet that interpretations should not go very deep and should not be given frequently (1955 a). Some of the main differences in approach were expressed in a symposium on child analysis held in 1927 (see 1927). Her technique led to the understanding of early infantile fantasies, anxieties, and defenses, all of which were at that time still largely unexplored.

When she was analyzing small children she found that many of the processes and structures described by Freud had their roots in much earlier periods of life than he had postulated. For instance, a little girl patient, only two years and nine months old, was found to have a strong superego, a structure that Freud believed was not built up until about the fifth year; and the same child had a complicated and long-standing triangular relationship to her parents (Oedipus complex), whereas Freud believed that the Oedipus complex did not come into being until about three or four years of age. In trying to understand anxiety Melanie Klein came to recognize that aggression and cruelty play a much greater role in the child’s mind than had been assumed by Freud. She found that the infant’s fantasies of sadistic attacks on the mother’s breasts and the inside of her body and the resultant paranoid fears of retaliation seem to dominate the infant’s relation to the mother during the first year. Her discoveries in this period culminated in the publication in 1932 of The Psycho-analysis of Children, in which she described her technique with three different age groups of children and elaborated her findings on the early anxiety situations of infancy and their effects on the development of the ego and superego, on the sexual development of boy and girl, and on other aspects of normal growth and neurotic illness.

Manic-depressive states. Beginning in 1934, Melanie Klein’s contributions were increasingly influenced by her work with adult patients. Her views on early anxiety situations were clarified and extended. She made an important contribution to the psychopathology and treatment of manic-depressive states by elaborating on the nature of depression and the relation of manic defenses to the depressive conflict (see 1937). In addition, she presented a detailed reconstruction of infantile phases of development in the first year, an under-standing of which she regarded as basic for the comprehension of psychotic illnesses in adult life. She introduced the concept of the paranoid and of the depressive position. In the paranoid position, extending over the first three to four months, the infant perceives his mother mainly as a part object (breast) that is either very good or very bad, and the anxiety situations have a paranoid character. The depressive position begins to develop in the fourth or fifth month. During the depressive position the whole relationship to the mother undergoes significant changes that are important for normal development: the infant begins to recognize that the good, satisfying mother and the bad, frustrating mother are the same person. He also sees her as a whole object on whom he can depend. When he experiences anger in situations of frustration, he becomes afraid of destroying and losing her as a good object. Therefore, the anxiety experienced has a depressive character. Guilt feelings for harm done to the love object make their appearance and assist the drive for reparation. Normally, most of the anxieties and mechanisms of the early paranoid phase become modified during the depressive position. Melanie Klein believed that the development of the capacity to love and establish normal object relations depends on the ability to reach and work through the depressive position. These ideas were further elaborated on and related to the subject of mourning in a paper of 1940, in which she also extended her research into manic states and manic defenses. In 1945, in a detailed clinical and theoretical paper, she related her work on the paranoid and depressive positions to the Oedipal conflicts of both the boy and girl.

Projective identification. The discovery of the depressive position as a phase on which normal development depends increased Melanie Klein’s interest in studying in greater detail the factors in very early development that may lead to a failure to work through the depressive position. In 1946 she read a paper, “Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms,” before the British Psycho-analytic Society, an important milestone in her work. She presented there a detailed investigation of the earliest infantile position, which she now renamed the paranoid-schizoid position. She confirmed her previous observations that paranoid anxieties and the splitting of objects are characteristics of this phase, but she also introduced the concepts of ego splitting and projective identification. Projective identification, a more complicated mechanism than projection as described by Freud, is a process by which good or bad parts of the self are split off and projected into an object, initially the mother, who then be-comes identified with these parts of the self. This results not only in the ridding by the self of un-wanted parts but also in a sense of depletion of the personality. It is likely to lead to paranoid anxieties about being invaded by the object into whom the projection had taken place. Excessive projective identification can lead to severe difficulties in establishing both one’s own identity and normal relations with others. The concepts of ego splitting and projective identification have thrown new light on the understanding of the psychoses, particularly schizophrenia, and have profoundly stimulated psychoanalytic research into these conditions. Melanie Klein described the mechanism of projective identification in some detail in 1955, using a novel by Julian Green to illustrate its operation (see 1955 b).

Melanie Klein was always concerned with the origin of the conscience, or superego, maintaining that it is built up from the beginning of life by the introjection of objects into the ego. As these internal objects are colored by the child’s projection of his impulses, particularly his destructive ones, the superego has at first mainly a persecutory character. Melanie Klein’s work on the depressive position showed how guilt feelings develop because of a change in the character of the internal objects representing the superego, namely a lessening of their persecutory quality. In 1948 she wrote a paper, “On the Theory of Anxiety and Guilt” (see 1948 a), in which she linked the views of Freud and Abraham on the superego with her own investigation into paranoid and depressive anxieties and their relation to guilt. In 1952 she published an account of her work on the emotional life of the infant, in which she described the two infantile positions and their relation to one another, and a further paper on infant observation.

Envy. In 1955 Melanie Klein read a paper, “Envy and Gratitude,” to the International Congress of Psycho-analysis in Geneva; she later published this in an enlarged version as a book (see 1957). She had always emphasized the importance of the sadistic, envious feelings in the relationship of the infant toward his parents. However, in 1955 she deepened and widened her original concept of envy as the primary source of aggression, directed initially against the mother and her breast. She now stressed that aggressive envy is capable of interfering from the beginning in the development of good and satisfying object relations and may severely inhibit the development of the capacity to love, which in turn is linked with the capacity to feel gratitude. The concept of envy has important theoretical and clinical implications in that it illuminates infantile states of confusion and increases our understanding of splitting processes, particularly projective identification. In addition, Melanie Klein illustrated how excessive envy interferes in the therapeutic process: primary envy is one of the main causes of the negative therapeutic reaction—the tendency to relapse repeatedly after some progress in treatment has been made.

Her conception of envy has become one of the major controversial aspects of her work, even though many analysts see it as making severe mental conditions accessible to the psychoanalytic approach.

During the last years of her life she concentrated largely on reconstructing, from detailed notes taken after each session, the analysis of a child whom she had treated in 1941 for four months. Although this narrative (1961) does not make use of some of her later discoveries, it is a unique ex-ample of her work as a practicing analyst.

Melanie Klein’s contributions on infantile development have thrown a new light on the understanding of normal and abnormal mental states and so have made a major contribution to psycho-analytic theory and therapy. Apart from her revolutionizing influence on psychoanalysis, her work has directly and indirectly exerted a profound influence on psychiatry, psychology, child upbringing, and infant care, and, more remotely, on such disciplines as sociology, anthropology, and art criticism.

Herbert A. rosenfeld

[For the historical context of Klein’s work, see the biographies ofAbraham; Ferenczi; Freud; for discussion of the subsequent development of her ideas, seeDepressive disorders; Developmental psychology; infancy; Mental disorders, article onchildhood mental disorders; Paranoid reactions; Psychoanalysis, article onego psychology.]

WORKS BY KLEIN

(1921) 1948 The Development of a Child. Pages 13–67 in Melanie Klein, Contributions to Psycho-analysis: 1921–1945. London: Hogarth. → First published in Volume 1 of Imago.

(1927) 1948 Symposium on Child-analysis. Pages 152–184 in Melanie Klein, Contributions to Psycho-analysis: 1921–1945. London: Hogarth. → First published in Volume 8 of the International Journal of Psycho-analysis.

(1928) 1948 Early Stages of the Oedipus Conflict. Pages 202–214 in Melanie Klein, Contributions to Psychoanalysis: 1921–1945. London: Hogarth. → First published in Volume 9 of the International Journal of Psycho-analysis.

(1929) 1948 Personification in the Play of Children. Pages 215–226 in Melanie Klein, Contributions to Psycho-analysis: 1921–1945. London: Hogarth. → First published in Volume 10 of the International Journal of Psycho-analysis.

(1930 a) 1948 The Importance of Symbol-formation in the Development of the Ego. Pages 236–250 in Melanie Klein, Contributions to Psycho-analysis: 1921–1945. London: Hogarth. → First published in Volume 11 of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis.

(1930 b) 1948 The Psychotherapy of the Psychoses. Pages 251–253 in Melanie Klein, Contributions to Psycho-analysis: 1921–1945. London: Hogarth. → First published in Volume 10 of the British Journal of Medical Psychology.

(1932) 1959 The Psycho-analysis of Children. 3d ed. London: Hogarth. → First published as Psychoanalyse des Kindes.

(1933) 1944 The Early Development of Conscience in the Child. Pages 64–74 in Sandor Lorand (editor), Psychoanalysis Today. New York: International Universities Press.

(1937) 1948 A Contribution to the Psychogenesis of Manic–Depressive States. Pages 282–310 in Melanie Klein, Contributions to Psycho-analysis: 1921–1945. London: Hogarth. → First published in Volume 16 of the International Journal of Psycho-analysis.

(1940) 1948 Mourning and Its Relation to Manic–Depressive States. Pages 311–338 in Melanie Klein, Contributions to Psycho-analysis: 1921–1945. London: Hogarth. → First published in Volume 21 of the International Journal of Psycho-analysis.

(1945) 1948 The Oedipus Complex in the Light of Early Anxieties. Pages 339–390 in Melanie Klein, Contributions to Psycho-analysis: 1921–1945. London: Hogarth. → First published in Volume 26 of the International Journal of Psycho-analysis.

(1946) 1952 Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms. Pages 292–320 in Developments in Psycho-analysis, by Melanie Klein et al. Edited by Joan Riviere. London: Hogarth. → First published in Volume 27 of the International Journal of Psycho-analysis.

(1948 a) 1952 On the Theory of Anxiety and Guilt. Pages 271–291 in Developments in Psycho-analysis, by Melanie Klein et al. Edited by Joan Riviere. London: Hogarth. → First published in Volume 29 of the International Journal of Psycho-analysis.

1948 b Contributions to Psycho-analysis: 1921–1945. International Psycho-analytic Library, No. 34. London: Hogarth.

1952 a Some Theoretical Conclusions Regarding the Emotional Life of the Infant. Pages 198–236 in Developments in Psycho-analysis, by Melanie Klein et al. Edited by Joan Riviere. London: Hogarth.

1952 b On Observing the Behavior of Young Infants. Pages 237–270 in Developments in Psycho-analysis, by Melanie Klein et al. Edited by Joan Riviere. London: Hogarth.

1955 a The Psycho-analytic Play Technique: Its History and Significance. Pages 3–22 in Melanie Klein, Paula Heimann, and R. E. Money-Kyrle (editors), New Directions in Psycho-analysis. London: Tavistock.

1955 b On Identification. Pages 309–345 in Melanie Klein, Paula Heimann, and R. E. Money-Kyrle (editors), New Directions in Psycho-analysis. London: Tavistock.

1957 Envy and Gratitude. New York: Basic Books.

1961 Narrative of a Child Analysis. London: Hogarth. → Published posthumously.

SUPPLEMENTARY BIBLIOGRAPHY

Riviere, Joan (1936) 1952 On the Genesis of Psychical Conflict in Earliest Infancy. Pages 37–66 in Developments in Psycho-analysis, by Melanie Klein et al. Edited by Joan Riviere. London: Hogarth. → First published in Volume 17 of the International Journal of Psycho-analysis.

Waelder, Robert 1937 The Problem of the Genesis of Psychical Conflict in Earliest Infancy. International Journal of Psycho-analysis 18:406–473.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Klein, Melanie." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Klein, Melanie." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/klein-melanie

"Klein, Melanie." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/klein-melanie

Klein, Melanie (1882–1960)

Klein, Melanie (18821960)


Born Melanie Reizes into a middle-class, Jewish family in Vienna, Austria, where she received a grammar-school education, Melanie Klein married Arthur Klein in 1903 and had three children before the family moved to Budapest in 1910. In 1914 she began treatment for depression with the Hungarian psychoanalyst Sandor Ferenczi, who encouraged her intellectual interest in psychoanalysis. Klein began by psychoanalyzing her own children, and she presented one of the earliest papers on child analysis to the Budapest Psychoanalytic Society in July 1919 when she became a member.

In 1921 Klein left her husband and took their children to Berlin, where she joined the Berlin Psychoanalytic Society. With the support of its president, Karl Abraham, Klein developed her method of child analysis: the psychoanalytic play technique, which treated children's play activity as symbolic of unconscious fantasies. When Abraham died suddenly in 1926, Klein lacked professional support in Berlin, so she moved to London to join the British Psychoanalytical Society. Its members were very enthusiastic about her play technique, and most took Klein's side in her 1927 debate about child analysis with Anna Freud, another pioneer in the field. In that debate, Klein and her followers advocated a deep analysis of Oedipal fantasies, while Anna Freud argued that analysis should instead seek to strengthen the child's ego.

Klein's psychoanalysis of children led her to develop theories that challenged the Freudian account of child development; for example, she proposed the existence of an early infantile superego and an innate aggressive drive. Her most important contribution, however, was the idea that an infant has a primary object relationship with its mother. Freud had asserted that the infant feels love for its mother only because she satisfies its basic physiological needs. On the other hand, Klein argued in her 1932 book The Psychoanalysis of Children that the infant is predisposed to seek a relationship with its caregiver independent of any other needs, and that this relationship is represented within the psyche as a complex world of objects. Klein and her followers developed this idea into object-relations theory, which emphasizes the importance of the mother-infant bond in shaping adult personality. These ideas later influenced the British developmental psychologist John Bowlby, who trained with Klein, to form his theory of infant attachment.

Klein also proposed the existence of two fundamental phases in child development: the paranoid-schizoid and the depressive positions. The concept of the paranoid-schizoid position, which suggests that the infant mind is dominated by psychotic defense mechanisms such as splitting, sparked a second debate with Anna Freud in the early 1940s who, as a new and powerful member of the British Psychoanalytical Society, argued that Klein's ideas were incompatible with traditional psychoanalysis. The so-called Controversial Discussions were resolved when the Freudians and Kleinians agreed to separate training programs for their groups. Klein's famous 1961 case study Narrative of a Child Analysis was published shortly after she died of cancer in 1960. Her papers were placed in the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London.

See also: Child Development, History of the Concept of; Child Psychology.

bibliography

Grosskurth, Phyllis. 1986. Melanie Klein: Her World and Her Work. New York: Knopf.

Hinshelwood, Robert D. 1989. Dictionary of Kleinian Thought. London: Free Association Books.

King, Pearl, and Ricardo Steiner, eds. 1991. The Freud-Klein Controversies 194145. London: Routledge.

Segal, Hanna. 1979. Klein. London: Karnac.

Gail Donaldson

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Klein, Melanie (1882–1960)." Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Klein, Melanie (1882–1960)." Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/klein-melanie-1882-1960

"Klein, Melanie (1882–1960)." Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/klein-melanie-1882-1960

Melanie Klein

Melanie Klein

The Austrian psychotherapist and child psychologist Melanie Klein (1882-1960) developed methods of play technique and play therapy in analyzing and treating child patients.

Melanie Klein was born in Vienna on March 30, 1882. Raised in a Jewish middle-class family, she lacked both the academic background and the medical training usually found in those who choose psychoanalysis for a profession. She was a married woman with children when she began undergoing analysis about 1912. During her analysis she began to observe the behavior of a disturbed child relative and to interpret this behavior in the light of her own psychoanalytic experience. Her analyst, recognizing his patient's aptitude, encouraged her in her efforts at child therapy, a hitherto neglected area.

Originally trained as a Freudian psychoanalyst, Klein made observations and conclusions regarding child behavior that led her to views differing from those held by orthodox Freudian psychoanalysts. She was one of the first to engage in child analysis, beginning in 1920. She evolved a system of play therapy to supplement the usual psychoanalytic procedure, perhaps because the age of her clients indicated more appropriate methods than the exclusively verbal free-association technique then used with adult patients. Gradually she evolved a technique more suitable for probing the deep-layered recesses of the child's mind. By providing the child with small toys representing father, mother, or siblings, she was able to elicit the child's subconscious feelings. Her technique also used the child's free play and his spontaneous communications.

Applying her intuitive perception to the behaviors elicited by these new techniques, Klein made discoveries, especially about what goes on in the subconscious of the 2-year-old and of even an earlier age, called by psychoanalysts the preoedipal phases. Freudian theory had left somewhat of a gap regarding these first 2 years. She found that aggression and sadism play an even greater part in the child's mind than had been assumed by Freud. Her first paper, "The Development of a Child," was presented to the Budapest Congress of Psychoanalysis in 1919, the year in which she became a member of the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society. In 1921 she went to the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute as the first child therapist.

In what has been called her second period, beginning in 1934, Klein theorized her previous observations on child behavior, arriving at conceptual conclusions based on them. She wrote now of her earlier findings, on the "depressive position" and the "schizoid-paranoid position," indicating possible ways in which these infancy states relate to psychotic processes in adults. In the 1930s she began to analyze adults as well as children. Her last child analysis terminated at the close of the 1940s. From then until her death on Sept. 22, 1960, she treated adults, analyzed students of psychoanalysis, taught, and wrote.

Further Reading

For further information on Melanie Klein's work and thought see Hanna Segal, Introduction to the Work of Melanie Klein (1964). Ives Hendrick treats Mrs. Klein's work briefly in "Child Analysis and Child Psychiatry" in his Facts and Theories of Psychoanalysis (1934; 3d rev. ed. 1958). A useful study which surveys the field from 1933 on is Dieter Wyss, Depth Psychology: A Critical History, Development, Problems, Crises (1961; trans. 1966).

Additional Sources

Segal, Julia, Melanie Klein, London; Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1992.

Grosskurth, Phyllis, Melanie Klein: her world and her work, Northvale, N.J.: J. Aronson, 1995. □

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Melanie Klein." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Melanie Klein." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/melanie-klein

"Melanie Klein." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/melanie-klein

Klein, Melanie

Klein, Melanie (1882–1960) An Austrian-born, second-generation psychoanalyst, trained under Sandor Ferenczi in Budapest and Karl Abraham in Berlin. She moved to London in 1926 and became a major figure in British and world psychoanalysis, the founder, within the British Psychoanalytic Society, of the Kleinian school.

Her innovations in technique were to analyse young children, substituting play for verbal free-association; to explore the importance of counter-transference—the analyst's feelings about the client; and to undertake the analysis of psychotics. She developed a more elaborate theory of the emotional life of the young baby than did Sigmund Freud. Her argument was that all infants progress through two positions: a paranoid-schizoid position, where bad feelings are projected into the external world, which is then felt to be threatening; and a depressive position, when these feelings are reintegrated into the personality. Thus everybody has the experience of, and at least the distant possibility of regressing to, madness. She gave a clinical meaning to Freud's concept of the death instinct, dealing with it as destructive envy (hatred), and emphasized the role of unconscious fantasy.

Over recent years her work has been drawn on for purposes of social criticism. For example, her analysis of the early stages of development can be used to understand characteristics of the modern personality (see C. Lasch , The Minimal Self, 1984
), and her concern with the play of love and hate has been used to supplement critical theory (see C. F. Alford , Melanie Klein and Critical Social Theory, 1989
). Her most important papers can be found in Juliet Mitchell ( ed.) , The Selected Melanie Klein (1986)
. See also OBJECT RELATIONS TEST.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Klein, Melanie." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Klein, Melanie." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/klein-melanie

"Klein, Melanie." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/klein-melanie

Klein, Melanie

Melanie Klein, 1882–1960, British psychoanalyst, b. Vienna. She became a psychoanalyst after seeking therapy from Sandor Ferenczi, a colleague of Sigmund Freud, who encouraged her to pursue her own studies with young children. She served as a member (1921–26) of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute, using psychoanalytic techniques with emotionally disturbed children. She moved to London in 1926, on the invitation of psychoanalyst Ernest Jones, to continue her practice and to expand on areas of psychoanalysis such as the death instinct and the Oedipus complex. In her later work, Klein's theories came into conflict with those of other psychoanalysts, particularly Anna Freud. Kleinian theory is still influential as a distinctive strain of psychoanalytic theory. Her writings include The Psychoanalysis of Children (1932) and Narrative of a Child Analysis (1961).

See biography by P. Grosskurth (1987).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Klein, Melanie." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Klein, Melanie." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/klein-melanie

"Klein, Melanie." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/klein-melanie

Klein, Melanie

Klein, Melanie (1882–1960) Austrian psychoanalyst who developed therapy for young children. In The Psychoanalysis of Children (1932), she presented her methods and ideas of child analysis; she believed play was a symbolic way of controlling anxiety and analysed it to gain insight into the psychological processes of early life.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Klein, Melanie." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Klein, Melanie." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/klein-melanie

"Klein, Melanie." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/klein-melanie