The views of Contemporary Freudians and Independents about the concept of projective identification

Edna O'Shaughnessy

Some of the reasons and some of the passions for using, or not using, the concept of projective identification are to be found in the history of the British Psychoanalytic Society. After the Controversial Discussions (finely chronicled by King and Steiner, 1991) held during the Second World War, the British Society divided itself into Classical Freudians, later known as the Contemporary Freudians; a Middle group, later called the Independents, and a Klein group, the Kleinians.

This division into three groups had its beginnings in a dispute over child analysis during the 1920s between Anna Freud in Vienna and Melanie Klein ...

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