536 Chapters
Medium 9781855756199

X. Dream-exploration and Dream-analysis

Meltzer, Donald Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

As a science, psycho-analysis is committed to the discovery of the truth about the events in our own minds and also the truth about our own actions. To make public either of these clearly requires the overcoming of an immense anxiety, both persecutory and depressive. What we reveal to the “group” is probably the most terrifying; what hostage we give to our “enemies” is the most intimidating; but what we reveal to our “siblings” threatens to demonstrate the disparity of our internal objects and thus that we are “foster-” brothers and sisters at best. The loneliness consequent upon this realization is surely one of the great deterrents to revelation to colleagues of our actual behaviour in our consulting rooms. But first of all it deters us from discovering what we in fact do, as against what we think we do, wish we did, feel we ought to do or aspire to do. What follows is an attempt to report the monitoring of my work with my patients’ dreams and cannot be taken as a recommended method for anyone else. Its crudeness as a statement when compared with the great intricacy of what actually happens will immediately be apparent, but it is the best I can do at the moment. It may help other analysts to monitor and discover what they in fact do; it is of no importance whether this turns out to be similar or different from what I am able to report.

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Medium 9781912567607


Bion, Wilfred R. Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

Question: I have been wondering why taking a history during an interview is important to me. I don't think I could give that up yet.

Bion: The first thing you have to consider is yourself and your way of working. If it is convenient to you to start off in some particular way you should do so. You can readjust it if you run up against a case in which it seems unsuitable. Patients are often used to this routine of giving a history, and you may as well let them feel at home by allowing them to do exactly that – otherwise it is so strange to them. If you start off by saying, ‘Now, what do you want?’ or ‘What can I do for you?’, the patient may reply, ‘That's what I came here to find out’, and will not move from that point. You are straight away in the middle of a story without knowing anything of its beginning. The essential thing is to give patients as much help in that way as you can, because they are the people who don't know what they are up to. If it can ease the situation for them to follow the sort of routine they are used to that's a good idea.

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Medium 9781912567546

Appendix: The Paranoid-Schizoid and Depressive Positions

Meltzer, Donald Harris Meltzer Trust ePub


The paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions1

The subject I have been asked to talk about today is for many the most central of the psychoanalytic developments linked with the name of Melanie Klein. As with all psychoanalytic concepts it seems to me that, to understand their significance, we have to put them in the context of their history. And studying the history of Mrs Klein's ideas is different from studying that of Freud, owing to the fact that Freud is both a clinician and a theoretician, whilst Mrs Klein is almost exclusively a clinician who describes far more than she theorizes.

The evolution of Freud's thought is like a country that underwent two revolutions: the first being the fall of the theory of hysteria, and the second being the overthrow of the theory of the libido in the 1920s and its substitution by the structural theory. The work of Melanie Klein on the other hand has grown in a way more analogous to the peaceful transformation that is characteristic of English political institutions. It seems to me that Melanie Klein, not having a particularly theoretical mentality, did not particularly take account of the changes that were taking place in her use of terminology, and the theoretical implications that she was putting forward.

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Medium 9781780491394

CHAPTER ONE Mário and his stories

Melega, Marisa Pelella Harris Meltzer Trust PDF


Mário and his stories


ário was referred to me aged eleven years and nine months, and his treatment lasted around seven years, monitored over most of that time by Donald

Meltzer, with a review of the case eighteen years later. The following narrative will demonstrate the steps taken toward building an analytical relationship with the boy, and testify to the analyst’s emotions in the face of the difficulty of establishing a link that could evolve into a growth relationship. When

Mário came to me for analysis, I knew that he had severe difficulties in getting in touch with reality and a strong learning disorder and, when he was almost two years old, presented with autistic behaviour, according to a clinical assessment made by a neurologist at the time.

Mário’s developmental history

From the very beginning of his life Mário’s fragility in his object relations was clear: he had difficulty in taking his mother’s nipple, took too long to suck; his mother had the impression that he didn’t like feeding until at two years of age, he started to


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CHAPTER SIX: The delusion of clarity of insight

Meltzer, Donald Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

Introduction by Tomas Plänkers

The Claustrum (in which this paper is reprinted) is a compendium of Meltzer's inspiring theoretical and clinical thinking. One of his late works, it demonstrates yet again his creative capacity to bring into fower the germinal Kleinian concepts.

Melanie Klein in her paper on schizoid mechanisms (1946) linked paranoid anxieties with the oral sadistic impulses in little children, which deprive the mother's body of its good contents and deposit the child's faeces inside her in order to control her internally. Insofar as mother now contains the bad parts of the baby, she is no longer experienced as a separate object: she is now the bad self. Based on these findings about projective identification and on Abraham's papers on the anal character (1923), Meltzer in his paper on the relationship of anal masturbation and projective identification (1966) mapped out a special Kleinian contribution to the concepts of narcissism and autoerotism. His central idea circled around projective identification with internal objects: masturbatory activities stimulate phantasies of intruding into the object, destroying what is assumed to be the cause of psychic pain and controlling it.

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