Donald Meltzer was a distinguished psychoanalyst and one of Klein’s most productive and prominent prodigies. He was a very influential teacher internationally and an extraordinary practitioner and theorist as well. He codified Kleinian technique, was innovative in the treatment of autistic children, and was the foremost metapsychologist for Klein’s and Bion’s works.
This selection from the writings of Donald Meltzer offers new readers a personal sampling of his ideas, and serves as a companion guide to those already familiar with his work. Each chapter is prefaced by an introduction written by one of his many former students and colleagues.
The book introduces to readers the scope and nature of Meltzer’s contribution, and suggests the wider social context in which he saw psychoanalysis. He believed it could contribute to nurturing the “lost children of the personality” and thereby the world in general – provided its practitioners could themselves discard its institutional tyrannies and instead, latch on to “the spirit of it”.
'Donald Meltzer was a distinguished psychoanalyst and one of Klein's most productive and prominent analysands. He was a very influential teacher internationally and an extraordinary practitioner and theorist as well. He codified Kleinian technique, was innovative in the treatment of autistic children, and was the foremost metapsychologist for Klein's and Bion's works. Of his many outstanding contributions, The Apprehension of Beauty, which he co-authored with Meg Harris Williams, heralded a new age in psychoanalysis by providing its aesthetic perspective in relation to that of infant development.'
- James Grotstein, Psychoanalyst, Los Angeles; author, A Beam of Intense Darkness: Wilfred Bion's Legacy to Psychoanalysis
'Donald Meltzer was one of the few genuinely original minds within the psychoanalytic community. His approach can inspire trainees, while his theoretical insights continue to enrich the most experienced practitioners. For those yet unacquainted with his work, this Reader provides an ideal introduction. It also shows why Meltzer’s contributions offer such fertile connections with allied fields, such as education, religion and art.'
- Christopher Mackenna, Director, St Marylebone Healing & Counselling Centre, London
'Donald Meltzer was one of the most original, innovative and inspired post-Kleinian psychoanalysts. His thinking, theorizing, writings, supervision and teaching inspired whole generations of child psychotherapists and others at the Tavistock Clinic and elsewhere all over the world over many years. This sample of his writings will contribute to keeping his ideas alive and ensure his massive contribution to child and adult psychoanalysis will continue to inspire future generations of psychotherapists and analysts.'
- Ricky Emanuel, Consultant Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychotherapist, Royal Free Hospital, London
About the Authors:
Meg Harris Williams, a writer and artist, studied English at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford and art at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, and has had a lifelong psychoanalytic education. She has written and lectured extensively in the UK and abroad on psychoanalysis and literature, and teaches at the Tavistock Centre in London, and the University of Surrey. She is married with four children and lives in Farnham, Surrey.
Donald Meltzer (1923–2004) is widely known as a psychoanalyst and teacher throughout Europe and South America. He is the author of many works on psychoanalytic theory and practice, including The Psychoanalytical Process, Sexual States of Mind, Explorations in Autism, The Kleinian Development, Dream Life, Studies in Extended Metapsychology, and The Claustrum, all published by Karnac Books.