Melanie Klein, The Mother Of Object Relations

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She is a drive theorist who influenced child psychology and is known as the mother of Object Relations. Melanie Klein believed that drives are object seeking, relational in their essence and not just meant for resolutions of tensions as Freud suggested.

Klein postulated that internal object formation is integral to the psychic life of the infant and is based on powerful struggle between the internal forces of ‘life’ and death instincts’, child’s ‘phantasy’, ‘innate envy’ and ‘gratification and lack of ‘ with the prime object (mother).

Klein believed that the mother is most important and infants have an “innate mother’ an unconscious inner knowing by the child of the primal maternal image of the mother,” .

She laid emphasis on ‘phantasy’; a state of
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The client for the therapist sometimes plays out this position also. Is he there to be good or bad?

‘Depressive position’ follows the paranoid schizoid position as the anxiety of being destroyed by the object gets replaced by fear of destroying the object. The infant then begins a cycle where some negativity is internalized in order to gain control of it, and some good is projected onto the mother so that she could protect the infant. These cycles of projection and introjection continue until the infant realizes that the good mother and the bad mother are one and the mother whom he phantasized of destroying is the same mother he loves.

This causes immense guilt for earlier persecutory feelings towards the object and the infant realizes that the mother cannot be blamed all the time and this explains the far away look children have sometimes in their eyes.

The infant suffers from depressive anxiety and this position is defined by ‘a loss of innocence’ . This is a healthy development and depressive word is misleading here because actually it’s a step forward and if this position is not resolved it can lead to
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