Klein, Melanie

Melanie Klein (1882–1960) created the early field of object relations theory and its play techniques for child psychoanalysis. Her original contribution to the psychoanalytic study of childhood emerges from a psychodynamic theory of infancy as object seeking and founded within the emotional situation of the drive to know. She understood earliest life as made from complex weaves of anxieties: The stirrings of the bodily mind originate with the taking in of its first object, the breast, immediately felt as loving and hating. By the 3rd month of life, the tiny infant is subject to gigantic feelings that constitute the inner world of object relations and serve as the roots of the adult mind. She revised Sigmund Freud’s theories of infancy as pleasure seeking with emphasis ...

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