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Melanie Klein Revisited: Pioneer and Revolutionary in the Psychoanalysis of Very Young and Young Children
Sherwin-White, Susan
Routledge / Karnac / Tavistock Clinic / Softcover / 2017-07-01 / 1782203338
Klein and the Kleinians
reg price: $63.50 our price: $ 53.98
448 pages
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While much writing has been devoted to the Kleinian and post-Kleinian development of Kleinís work, especially with regard to adult psychoanalysis, comparatively little has been written about the ongoing importance and character of Kleinís clinical work for contemporary psychoanalytic psychotherapy or analysis with very small children. In the twenty-first century, little attention has been paid to the revolutionary character of her work with this age group, or to her recognition of the importance of mother-infant relations.

This book is concerned primarily with Kleinís work with pre-latency children and aims to give these small children more of the voice today that Klein herself discovered. Among important new sources are the treatment notes published in Claudia Frankís seminal book Melanie Klein in Berlin, a rare exception to the current trend of publication for those interested in Kleinís child work.

Melanie Klein Revisited is relevant to professionals working in a wide range of contexts from a range of professional bases, as well as child psychoanalytic psychotherapists and analysts. It will also be of interest to those concerned with the history and development of child psychoanalysis, and especially those interested in Melanie Kleinís work in the UK and abroad.


"Melanie Klein Revisited focuses on Kleinís most revolutionary work, her bold inquiry into primitive states of mind in the infant and young child, those which are far beyond the reach of conscious memory. This book brings the readerís attention back in close focus to Kleinís work with little children and the theoretical conclusions she drew from it. Here Susan Sherwin-White deploys her scholarly capacity on behalf of child analysts and child psychotherapists, as well as all those with an interest in psychoanalytic thinking. Her account of Kleinís thought is based upon investigation not only of Kleinís published work and what is known about Kleinís life, but also on the archive held at the Wellcome Library for the History of Medicine. Light from these original researches constantly illuminates the known ground of Kleinís most controversial works. This book helps us realise afresh the courage of Kleinís deductions and the fact that she looked at the baby and the small child as no-one had ever done before. While never losing her foothold in non-judgemental compassion, Kleinís gaze was unsqueamish and unflinching Ė as is the present authorís. It is also possible for Sherwin-White to bring a modern and revealing clinical perspective to Kleinís cases. Kleinís writing, alarming in the 1920s, is, even now, startling to the newcomer."
- Lisa Miller, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist, Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust

"This book addresses in a most compelling and readable way Melanie Kleinís groundbreaking work with very small children, setting this in a biographical and historical context within psychoanalysis. Kleinís recognition of the vital importance of the motherĖinfant relationship long predated midĖtwentiethĖcentury discoveries about attachment and loss, and her analyses of small children led to fundamental discoveries about the inner world which still inform contemporary psychoanalytic work. Sherwin-White uses both Kleinís published work and previously unseen archival material, drawing also on the seminal work of Claudia Frank, in what will be a valuable contribution to Klein scholarship."
- Jane Milton, Honorary Archivist, Melanie Klein Trust

Table of Contents:

Series Editorsí Preface
About the Author
1) Early background
2) Controversy and challenges in pioneering the analysis of very young children in the 1920s
3) Kleinís early pre-school and young child cases: the invention and development of a technique for child analysis
4) Restoring Kleinís concept of reparation in her early work
5) The negative transference and young children in analysis: new dimensions
6) The early stages of young-child analysis: Grete on the couch
7) Rita: the first very young child in psychoanalysis
8) Erna and her siblings: young-child analysis in the consulting room
9) Kleinís work with parents
10) Endings and outcomes

About the Author:

Susan Sherwin-White is a Consultant and Adolescent Psychotherapist. She was Child Psychotherapy Lead CAMHS in the West London Mental Health NHS Trust. Among various offices, she has been Chair of the Association of Child Psychotherapists. She has many publications, including articles on Freud and child and adolescent issues.

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Klein and the Kleinians
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The Tavistock Clinic Series