Melanie Klein Revisited: Pioneer and Revolutionary in the Psychoanalysis of Young Children

Author(s) : Susan Sherwin-White

Melanie Klein Revisited: Pioneer and Revolutionary in the Psychoanalysis of Young Children

Book Details

Reviews and Endorsements

Melanie Klein Revisited focuses on Klein’s most revolutionary work, her bold inquiry into primitive states of mind in the infant and young child, those which are far beyond the reach of conscious memory. This book brings the reader’s attention back in close focus to Klein’s work with little children and the theoretical conclusions she drew from it. Here Susan Sherwin-White deploys her scholarly capacity on behalf of child analysts and child psychotherapists, as well as all those with an interest in psychoanalytic thinking. Her account of Klein’s thought is based upon investigation not only of Klein’s published work and what is known about Klein’s life, but also on the archive held at the Wellcome Library for the History of Medicine. Light from these original researches constantly illuminates the known ground of Klein’s most controversial works. This book helps us realise afresh the courage of Klein’s deductions and the fact that she looked at the baby and the small child as no-one had ever done before. While never losing her foothold in non-judgemental compassion, Klein’s gaze was unsqueamish and unflinching – as is the present author’s. It is also possible for Sherwin-White to bring a modern and revealing clinical perspective to Klein’s cases. Klein’s writing, alarming in the 1920s, is, even now, startling to the newcomer.’
— Lisa Miller, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist, Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust

‘This book addresses in a most compelling and readable way Melanie Klein’s groundbreaking work with very small children, setting this in a biographical and historical context within psychoanalysis. Klein’s recognition of the vital importance of the mother–infant relationship long predated mid–twentieth– century discoveries about attachment and loss, and her analyses of small children led to fundamental discoveries about the inner world which still inform contemporary psychoanalytic work. Sherwin-White uses both Klein’s published work and previously unseen archival material, drawing also on the seminal work of Claudia Frank, in what will be a valuable contribution to Klein scholarship.’
—Jane Milton, Honorary Archivist, Melanie Klein Trust

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