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ۼ  simonshin ۼ  2017.11.14 12:27 ȸ 516 õ 0
  ڻ Ǿ: Klein's Thoory Elaborated  


: Kleins Theory Elaborated

: ڻ

: Ǿ

: Scharff, D. E. (1996). Object relations theory and practice: An introduction. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason, Inc.



1.    Introduction

1.1.  Isaacs, Segal, and Rosenfeld were part of Kleins group whose papers elaborating essential parts of her theory and practice have become cornerstones of Kleinian theory.

1.2.  While the word phantasy has the connotation of not real, what Klein and Isaacs meant was the unconscious thought or organization of feelings that give form to the underlying instincts.

1.3.  Susan Isaacss The Nature and Function of Phantasy (1948) gives the classic Kleinian formulation of unconscious phantasy as the link between instinct and object, closely bound up with the process of symbol formation as originally spelled out by Klein in her 1930 paper and as later elaborated by Segal.

1.4.  Isaacss paper and Hana Segals paper, Notes on Symbol Formation together capture the heart of Kleinian conceptualization of the development of thought, the growth in the process of symbolization and linkage as the mind develops.


2.    Susan Isaacss The Nature and Function of Phantasy (1948)

2.1.  Susan Isaacs was chosen by Klein to present the opening paper in the Controversial Discussions held by the British Psychoanalytic Society between 1941 and 1945.

2.2.  The original briefer paper was pre-circulated and presented to the British Psychoanalytic Society on January 27, 1943. It is at the same time a scientific psychoanalytic paper and a political position paper.

2.3.  Thomas Ogden provides an excellent introduction to the paper in his book, Creative Readings: Essays on Seminal Analytic Works (2012).


3.    Hana Segals Notes on Symbol Formation (1957)

3.1.  Overview

3.1.1.    This paper is an elaboration of Kleins 1930 contribution on symbol formation as an act of the ego essential for development.

3.1.2.    Its outstanding clarity makes it possible in summarizing:        the developmental sequence in move from the paranoid-schizoid to the depressive position; and        the change in the quality of the projective identification and communication that occurs in normality but fails to occur when growth is blocked.

3.2.  The understanding and interpretation of unconscious symbolism is one of the main tools of the psychologist. Often he is faced with the task of understanding of a particular symbol but also of the whole process of symbol formation.

3.3.  The main difference between the first and second patient quoted in their use of the violin as the symbol for the male genital was not that in the one case the symbol was conscious and in the other unconscious, but that in the first case it was felt to be the genital, and in the second to represent it.

3.4.  In 1930, Melanie Klein raised the problem of inhibition in symbol formation. She described an autistic boy of 4, Dick, who could not talk or play. There resulted a paralysis of his phantasy life and of symbol formation. He had not endowed the world around him with any symbolic meaning and therefore took no interest in it. Melanie Klein came to the conclusion that if symbolization does not occur, the whole development of the ego is arrested.

3.5.  I find it helpful to consider symbolizing as a three-term relation, i.e., a relation between the thing symbolized, the thing functioning as a symbol, and a person for whom the one represent the other. In psychological terms, symbolism would be a relationship between the ego, the object, and the symbol.

3.6.  Symbol formation is an activity of the ego attempting to deal with the anxiety stirred by its relation to the object. That is primarily the fear of bad objects and the fear of the loss or inaccessibility of good objects. Disturbances in the egos relation to objects are reflected in the disturbances in differentiation between the symbol and the object symbolized and therefore to concrete thinking characteristic of psychoses.

3.7.  If symbolism is seen as a three-term relation, problems of symbol formation must always be examined in the context of the egos relation with its object.

3.8.  The early symbols are not felt by the ego to be symbols, but to be the original object itself. They are so different from the symbols formed later that I think they deserve a name of its own (symbolic equation).

3.9.  The symbolic equation between the original object and the symbol in the internal and external world is, I think, the basis of the schizophrenics concrete thinking where substitutes of the original objects, or parts of the self, can be used freely, but they are hardly different from the original object: they are felt and treated as though they were identical with it.

3.10.             This nondiffferentiation between the thing symbolized and the symbol is part of a disturbance between the ego and the object. Parts of the ego and internal objects are projected into an object and identified with it. The differentiation between the self and the object is obscured. Then, since a part of the ego confused with the object, the symbol – which is a creation and a function of the ego – becomes, in turn, confused with the object which is symbolized.

3.11.             Where such symbolic equations are formed in relation to bad objects, an attempt is made to deal with them as with the original object, that is by total annihilation and scotomizaion.

3.12.             The development of the ego and the changes in the egos relation to its objects are gradual, and so is the change from the early symbols, which I called symbolic equations, to the fully formed symbols in the depressive position.

3.13.             Ego in the depressive position is struggling with its ambivalence and in relation to the object is characterized by guilt, fear of loss or actual experience of loss and mourning, and striving to re-create the object. At the same time, processes of introjection become more pronounced than those of projection, in keeping with the striving to retain the object inside as well as repair, restore, and recreate it.

3.14.             With the recognition that the good and the bad objects are one, both these instinctual aims are gradually modified. The ego is increasingly concerned with saving the object from its aggression and possessiveness. And this implies a certain degree of inhibition of the direct instinctual aims, both aggressive and libidinal.

3.15.             This situation is powerful stimulus for the creation of symbols, and symbols acquire new functions which change their character.

3.15.1. The symbol is needed to displace aggression from the original object, and in that way to lessen the guilt and fear of loss.

3.15.2. The symbol is here not an equivalent of the original object, since the aim of displacement is to save the object, and the guilt experienced in relation to it is far less than that due to an attack on the original object.

3.15.3. The symbols are also created in the internal world as a means of restoring, re-creating, and owning again the original object.

3.15.4. But in keeping with the increased reality sense, they are now felt as created by the ego and therefore never completely equated with the original object.

3.16.             The capacity to experience loss and the wish to re-create the object within oneself gives the individual   the unconscious freedom in the use of symbols. And the symbol is acknowledged as a creation of the subject, unlike the symbolic equation, it can be freely used by the subject.

3.17.             When a substitute in the external world is used as a symbol it may be used more freely than the original object, since it is not fully identified with it. Its own properties are recognized, respected, and used, because no confusion with the original object blurs the characteristics of the new object used as a symbol.

3.18.             When this symbolic relation  faeces and other body products has been established a projection can occur on to substances in the external world such as paint, plasticine, clay, etc., which can then be used for sublimation.

3.19.             When this stage of development has been achieved, it is of course not irreversible.

3.20.             Summary

3.20.1. In the symbolic equation, the symbol substitute is felt to be the original object. The substitutes own properties are not recognized or admitted. The symbolic equation is used to deny the absence of the ideal object, or to control a persecuting one. It belongs to the earliest stages of development.

3.20.2. The symbol proper, available for sublimation and furthering the development of the ego, is felt to represent the object; its own characteristics are recognized, respected, and used. It arises when depressive feelings predominate over the paranoid-schizoid ones, when separation from the object, ambivalence guilt, and loss can be experience and tolerated. The symbol is used not to deny but to overcome the loss.

3.21.             Symbol formation governs the capacity to communicate, since all communication is made by means of symbols.

3.22.             Symbols are need not only in communication with the external world, but also in internal communication.

3.23.             A new achievement belonging to the depressive position, the capacity to symbolize and in that way to lessen anxiety and resolve conflict is used in order to deal with earlier unresolved conflicts by symbolizing them.

3.24.             The word symbol comes from the Greek term for throwing together, bringing together, integrating. The process of symbol formation is, I think, a continuous process of bringing together and integrating the internal with the external, the subject with the object, and the earlier experiences with the later ones.


<a name="_GoBack">4.    Herbert Rosenfelds A Clinical Approach to the Psychoanalytic Theory of the Life and Death Instincts: An Investigation into the Aggressive Aspects of Narcissism (1971)</a>

4.1.  Rosenfelds early work concentrated on the elucidation of Kleins ideas on primitive mental mechanisms in the severely disturbed patient, including hospitalized for psychosis.

4.2.  The 1971 paper contains his contribution on destructive narcissism. This paper explores a theme many Kleinians have pursued concerning defensive or pathological organizations. 




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