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Copy of Melanie Klein on the Paranoid-schizoid and depressive position

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Rebecca Mayo-Jennings

on 9 December 2012

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Transcript of Copy of Melanie Klein on the Paranoid-schizoid and depressive position

Rina: struggling with decision to divorce.
Outward hostility = 'tip of the iceberg'
Klein's positions vs. Freud's stages Rina and the Paranoid-Schizoid and Depressive Position But there is a lot of unconscious internal conflict causing these paranoid schizoid and depressive positions What are the key elements of the paranoid-schizoid position and how do you think Rina's case illustrates this? Why could Rina not think about the positive aspects of her marriage? Splitting- Rina splits good and bad aspects of self, husband and marriage
Projection- Negative feelings projected onto husband
Idealisation- Rina sees herself as ideal wife and mother 'sensitive giving and undemanding'
Denial- Feelings of love, dependency and happy memories all denied
Paranoid Anxiety-persecutory ideas surrounding husbands reaction to request for divorce What unconscious defensive function does the splitting involved in the paranoid-schizoid position attempt to achieve? Envy stands as a barrier to the integrated process, and can lead to a desire to destroy the object causing the suffering.
Rina's husband has become a threat to her weak ego, to protect herself she cannot remember the good times. According to Klein our ego's cannot withstand contradictory ideas in the paranoid- schizoid position, thus Rina has attributed all of the bad traits to her husband
Accepting the good aspects of her husband would involve introjection of the object (her husband) and risk persecution
Death Instinct-she has annihilated all her happy memories as 'with each new experiences annihilating all previous experiences that do not accord with it.
Denial What are the indications that Rina had moved into a more depressive depressive position? Key Features of Klein's Depressive Position
Viewing other objects and the self as whole with both good and bad aspects
Replacing Destructive urges with concern for others and guilt, also known as depressive anxiety
To resolve depressive anxiety, restorative phantasies and actions which symbolize love and reparation are incorporated
External good objects can be introjected and a solid relationship can be established with good internal objects
The ego is strengthened and unified as a result Why is ambivalence in the psychoanalytic sense a sign of mental health? Klein (1960): mental health is an "interplay between impulses of love and hate...in which the capacity for love is dominant"
Rina able to cope with holding contradictory feelings towards her husband.
Baum (2006): in the context of divorce referred to as "tolerance of ambivalence" Conclusion:

Overview of the Kleinian concepts of paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions in the context of divorce.

How the impact of these positions can be worked through in therapy. Defence mechanism against anxiety.
Splitting of an object into it’s good and bad components.
Steiner (1992): "normal splitting is a progressive process". While "pathological fragmentation results in minute splitting and violent projection".
Reviere (1967): projection allows "all painful and unpleasant feelings in the mind" to be "automatically relegated outside oneself".
Splitting not fully effective Splitting - Rina splits good and bad aspects of self, husband and marriage
Projection - negative feelings projected onto husband
Idealisation - Rina sees herself as ideal wife and mother. "sensitive, giving and undemanding"
Denial - Feelings of love, dependency and happy memories all denied
Paranoid anxiety - Persecutory ideas surrounding husband's reaction to request for divorce Conscious "I don't remember" Envy
Envy of her husbands career and her perceived indifference to herself and their children
Unconscious desire to annihilate him, to overcome the anxiety
Defense mechanisms such as splitting placing of the bad on Dan
Inability to remember the good in their marriage Unconscious Rina References Klein, M and Reverie, J. (1964). Love, hate and reparation, WW Norton and Company

Steiner, J. (1992). 'The equilibrium between the paranoid-schizoid and the depressive positions',in Robin Anderson ed., Clinical lectures on Klein and Bion, London; The Institute of Psychoanalysis

Stonebridge, L. and Phillips, J. (1998). Reading Melanie Klein. Routledge. What are the key elements of the paranoid schizoid position and how do we think Rina's case illustrates this?
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