The Claustrum: An Investigation of Claustrophobic Phenomena

Author(s) : Donald Meltzer

The Claustrum: An Investigation of Claustrophobic Phenomena

Book Details

  • Publisher : Harris Meltzer Trust
  • Published : 2008
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 208
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 27507
  • ISBN 13 : 9781855756298
  • ISBN 10 : 1855756293
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Using the Kleinian concept of projective-identification, with special reference to intrusive identification with internal objects, this work examines claustrophobic phenomena and its relations to the treatment of borderline and adolescent patients

Reviews and Endorsements

'It is impressive how much Meltzer extended and enriched Melanie Klein's concepts in The Claustrum. He considers the claustrum dweller's projective identification into an internal object to be not "massive" (a quantitative concept), but rather, "intrusive" (a qualitative concept), hence its malignancy. He also discovered that not only the uterus, but also other spaces of the internal mother figure, are susceptible to becoming a "maternal claustrum", each giving rise to distinct pathologies.'
- REBECA GRINBERG, Training Analyst and Child Analyst, Asociación Psicoanalítica de Madrid, IPA

'In this book Meltzer both develops and brings into direct clinical use the later aesthetic vertex of Bion, in a radical post-Kleinian and, I would say, systems-oriented understanding of severe personality disorders, more illuminating than life and death instincts at work. Meltzer shows that however dynamic a person's life may seem to be, his inner world may be dominated by stagnant, narcissistic, closed systems with no vital interchange. No real commitment to others and no true relation to his inner self will then be permitted, and his inner life will eventually disintegrate if he does not change. In a clear-cut but not simplistic way Meltzer shows how to identify these patterns, and the omnipotence and claustrophobic fears that accompany them.'
- LENNART RAMBERG, Training Analyst, Swedish Psychoanalytical Association, IPA and IFPS

'Perhaps it can be seen as a diptych together with The Apprehension of Beauty. For the claustrum dweller in intrusive identification, no freedom is given to the object and so the riches and beauty of the host turn sour...the claustrum in its deepest unconscious mentality is a world of misconceptions,
misrepresentations, failed recognition and delusion.'
- JON MORGAN STOKKELAND, Stavanger, Norway & LARS THORGAARD, Aarhus, Denmark, Adult Psychotherapists and Psychiatrists

'Living unconsciously in head/breast, genital or anal compartments has severe psychopathological consequences. Meltzer's investigations in these narcissistic worlds profoundly enlarge our understanding of schizophrenia, borderline states, perversions, addictions and claustrophobic
- TOMAS PLAENKERS, Training Analyst, German Psychoanalytical Association, Sigmund-Freud Institut, Frankfurt

'I find this a wonderful book. Meltzer has a light touch in talking about very serious problems of mental growth, without belittling them. He also gives a picture, with tenderness and his ever-present wry humour, of how we can find something better, more alive for ourselves and for our patients. His work is inspirational for students and experienced practitioners alike.'
- KATHERINE ARNOLD, Child and Adult Psychotherapist, UK

About the Author(s)

Donald Meltzer (1923-2004) is widely known as a psychoanalyst and teacher throughout Europe and South America. He is the author of many works on psychoanalytic theory and practice, including The Psychoanalytical Process, Sexual States of Mind, Explorations in Autism, The Kleinian Development, Dream Life, Studies in Extended Metapsychology, and The Claustrum, all published by the Harris Meltzer Trust.

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