Winnicot And Klein

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The impact of Melanie Klein and Donald Winnicott to Object Relations Theory. "Give me the first six years of a child's life and you can have the rest." Jesuit Maxim Object relation theory is a psychology of the mind developed by a number of Sigmund Freud’s successors. I will be particularly following the theories developed in Britain by Melanie Klein and Donald Winnicott who with Harry Guntrip and John Bowlby and Ronald Fairbairn are considered to be the core theorists within the ‘British School’. About Object Relation Theory the psychoanalysts Joseph Sandler and Anne Marie Sandler, state in their paper ‘On the development of object relationships and affects’ that ‘The topic is not an easy one to discuss because the psychoanalytical theory of object Relationships is far from satisfactory, and our theory of affect is, at best, in a state of healthy and constructive chaos’. (Sandler, 1978, p. 285-96) Object relation theory is concerned with the consequences of an individual’s relationships with the external world through their internal psychic world. Klein believed that the psyche and personality of an individual develops as a direct result of the relationships made with people, which are then internalised unconsciously as ‘Object relationships’ or ‘Phantasies’ within the mind. ‘…the child’s earliest reality is wholly phantastical’. (Klein M , 1930 p.238) That is to say, it is a theory that explains why and how childhood experience and relationships affect all relationships in the present. ’From the moment the infant starts interacting with the outer world, he is engaged in testing his phantasies in a reality setting. It wasn’t to suggest that the origin of thought lies in this process of phantasy against reality; that is, that thought is not only contracted with phantasy, but based on it and derived from it.’ (Segal, 1981, p. 45) As
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