Projective identification in the USA

An overview

Roy Schafer

I do not find a center to the uses of projective identification (PI) in the USA. The concept is being used as though it fits into whatever happens to be one's established theory and mode of practice. Variations extend from Grotstein's close adherence to Klein, Bion, and Meltzer to informal or improvisational applications in specific clinical instances. Some are not clearly different from Freud's projection or from attribution, imitation, manipulation and persuasion.

I will organize this scattered material around a listing of what I consider the conceptual issues encountered or created by recent authors. Some of these issues are new versions of age-old epistemological controversies. ...

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