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Melanie Klein and The Contemporary Kleinians: Beginning Theory and Technique (Lynne Zeavin, PsyD)

  • 5 Dec 2020
  • (CST)
  • 6 Dec 2020
  • (CST)
  • 2 sessions
  • 5 Dec 2020, 9:00 AM 4:30 PM (CST)
  • 6 Dec 2020, 9:00 AM 1:00 PM (CST)
  • via Zoom


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Lynne Zeavin, Psy.D

December 5-6, 2020

Lynne Zeavin, Psy.D  is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in full-time private practice in New York City.  She is a Supervising and Training Analyst at The New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association.  Dr. Zeavin has published widely on various subjects but she has a particular interest in Kleinian theory and the nature of the object in psychical experience.  She is currently co-editing the second volume of Hating in the First Person Plural, with Donald Moss.   In addition, with three colleagues, she has founded Green Gang, a group devoted to the study of psychoanalysis and our human relationship with the natural world.  The former chair of the Fellowship Program of the American Psychoanalytic Association, she also serves on the editorial boards of The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, and Division/Review.

Seminar Title: Melanie Klein and The Contemporary Kleinians:  Beginning Theory and Technique

Seminar description

Participants will be exposed to key elements of Melanie Klein’s theory of the mind.  Klein is a descendant of Freud and shares many views with him: Klein’s project is often an elaboration of an aspect of Freud’s own work.  A central conceit for Klein however is the status of the object.  For Freud the object is 'the means by which the instinct satisfies its aims'.  For Klein the object is present from birth—and as such is crucial to the development of the ego.  Klein’s central focus on anxiety will be the subject of the first part of our meeting—we will concentrate on the earliest anxiety, annihilation anxiety, and from there more to paranoid and depressive anxieties.  Clinical Material will be used to illustrate the distinctions between the two types of anxieties.  (Readings:  Betty Joseph, Two Types of Anxiety and their Handling in the Clinical Situation, Klein On Schizoid Mechanisms, and O’Shaughessy: The Absent Object); John Steiner, The Equilibrium between the Paranoid Schizoid and Depressive Positions.

The second part of our meeting on Saturday afternoon will take up early workings of the mind—how the manic defense is used to defend against both depressive and paranoid anxieties.  We will talk about both the manic defense and mourning as well as read some crucial papers on identification which can propel or impede the work of development, particularly the introjection of what Klein calls the ‘good object.’   (Reading:  Melanie Klein, Mourning and Its Relation to Mani Depressive States; Hanna Segal, Manic Reparation, Ignes Sodre, Non Vixit, Ignes Sodre, Who’s Who?)

On Sunday morning we will discuss Kleinian clinical technique, addressing the different levels of the personality and how they present in the clinical situation as well discuss some clinical papers that describe different presentations and their challenges to working clinically.  We will discuss projection, projective identification, and countertransference as crucial elements in working in the here and now.  Readings:  Priscilla Roth, Mapping the Landscape, Michael Feldman, Projective Identification: The Analyst’s Involvement; also The Dynamics of Reassurance, Elizabeth Spillius, CLnical Experiences of Projective Identification.

Selected Readings

Feldman, M (2009) Doubt and Conviction in the Analytic Process, Routledge

On the Dynamics of Reassurance (PEP WEB)

Joseph, B. (1989) Two Different Types of Anxiety and Their Handling in the Clinical Situation in Psychic Equilibrium and Psychic Change or on PEP WEB

Klein, M. (1946) Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms in The Writings of Melanie Klein, Vol 3, Hogarth Press

Klein, M. (1940) Mourning and its relation to manic - depressive states in The Writings of Melanie Klein, Vol 2, Hogarth Press

O’Shaughnessy, E. (2014)  The Collected Papers of Edna O’Shaughnessy, Rusbridger ed, The New Library of Psychoanalysis (1992) Enclaves and Excursions, International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 73:  603

The Absent Object  PEP WEB.

Where is here? When is Now?  PEP WEB

Roth, P. (1994) Being true to a false object;  Notes on Identification, Psychoanalytic Inquiry 14 (3) 393-405.  

Mapping the Landscape.Pep WEB

Segal, H. (1993) On the clinical usefulness of the death instinct: International Journal of Psychoanalysis: No 74: 55-61    

Manic Reparation in the Collected Works of Hanna Segal

Sodre, I.  (2015)  Non Vixit in Imaginary Existences:  a psychoanalytic exploration of phantasy, fiction, dreams and daydreams, The New Library of Psychoanalysis

Who’s Who:  Notes on Pathological Identifications (see above)


Spillius, E. Spillius, E.B. (1992). Clinical Experiences of Projective Identification. New Library of Psychoanalysis, 14:59-73

Steiner, J.  The Equilibrium between the Paranoid Schizoid and Depressive Positions in New Library of Psychoanalysis: 14:46

Steiner, J.  (1993)  Psychic Retreats:  Pathological Organizations in Psychotic, Neurotic and Borderline Patients, Routledge  

Betty Joseph,  Transference:  The total situation, PEP WEB

"Nothing human is alien to me"  --Terrence

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