1943 Klein, M. ‘Memorandum on technique‘ in otherwords, my blog is about whatever the fuck I want it to be about
Below is a publication on the methods of therapy from Melanie Klein. She was a noteworth and not totally unrecognized contributor to psychology and contemporary of Freaud himself.
While she shared many of freauds mistanken but valuble for their era contributions on psychology it self and the goals of therapy. she is noted for her contributions to the mechanism of therapy itself. Freauds psycodynamic approch could have clients on the couch for hours discussing their mother and their dreams, Klein determined early that therapy must be structured and goal oriented. She defined consistency and the importance of setting in a theraputic context. She contributed regularity and precise frequency as influences on theraputic outcomes. She contributed to play therapy while the discipline was in its infancy. She did all of this and left a substantial mark on therapy in spite of never finishing her formal education at the university of vienna. In canada my psychlogy degrees left misses klein out entierly, it was not until I was visiting oxford that I ever heard her name.
While she is most commonly remembered for extending freaud's super ego to infancy and contributions to child psychology, her compassionte mothering approch adding humanity to the discipline in an era when psychology was shockingly berefit of it. Specifically; she added to understanding children receiving what would later be termed reinforcement by behaviourists, from the joy of parents watching the child's aolmplshments. In spite of this; Its my not so humble opinion that her most noteworthy contributions are in her structural contributions to therapy it self.
I cannot find it in myself to call her a great scientist. While her contributions are considerable, in some cases more longstanding that Freaud himself, she relied on intution and gut instinct in coming to answers that would not be validated for decades after her death in 1960. She was right about setting influencing therapy, But she would not have known about the Parahippocampal place area (first described 1998) nor could she have described the importance of state dependant memory (described 1975) or long term potentiation (described 1973). In this, her guesses must be averaged against her mistaken assertions. Perhaps most peculear is her contributions to the now entierly dismissed idea of the oedipus complex. Her contribtuo could have been much more easily respected had she simply called bullshit on this rather baseless contention. Instead she dove in head first. extending and elaborating on the metaphores, going as far as to describe some infant desires as forms of sadism.
When she was not accusing infants of peculear sexual proclivitites; she was wringing the forward on the next hundread years of therapy. Massively modified, expanded and reconsidered since that time, below is the best aproximation of her guide to the process of therapy.
without further adue: Memorandum on her technique by Melanie Klein—25th October 1943
In order to find out where differences in technique lie, we must discuss the way in which we apply the fundamental principle of analysis, that is to say the kind of approach each of us has in analysing unconscious mental processes, transference, resistance and repression, infantile sexuality, the Oedipus complex, etc. Since we have agreed that this first statement should be a short one, I am selecting only two characteristics of my technique; even so I shall have to do this in an epigrammatic way. From my work with young children I came to certain conclusions which have to some extent influenced my technique with adults. Take transference first. I found that with children the transference (positive or negative) is active from the beginning of the analysis, since for instance even an attitude of indifference cloaks anxiety and hostility. With adults too (mutatis mutandis) I found that the transference situation is present from the start in one way or another, and I came, therefore, to make use of transference interpretations early in the analysis.
In my experience, the transference situation permeates the whole actual life of the patient during the analysis. When the analytic situation has been established, the analyst takes the place of the original objects, and the patient, as we know, deals again with the feelings and conflicts which are being revived, with the very defences he used in the original situation. While repeating, therefore, in relation to the analyst some of his early feelings, phantasies, and sexual desires, he displaces others from the analyst to different people and situations. The result is that the transference phenomena are in part being diverted from the analysis. In other words, the patient is ‘acting out’ part of his transference feelings in a different setting outside the analysis. These facts have an important bearing on technique. In my view, what the patient
shows or expresses consciously about his relation to the analyst is only one small part of the feelings, thoughts, and phantasies which he experiences towards him. These have,
therefore, to be uncovered in the unconscious material of the patient by the analyst following up by means of interpretation the many ways of escape from the conflicts revived in the transference situation. By this widened application of the transference situation the analyst finds that he is playing a variety of parts in the patient’s mind, and that he is not only standing for actual people in the patient’s present and past, but also for the objects which the patient has internalized from his early days onwards, thus building up his superego. In this way we are able to understand and analyse the development of his ego and his superego, of his sexuality and his Oedipus complex from their inception. If during the course of the analysis we are constantly guided by the transference
situation, we are sure not to overlook the present and past actual experiences of the patient, because they are seen again and again through the medium of the transference
situation. Provided the interplay between reality and phantasy, and thus between the conscious and the unconscious, is consistently interpreted, the transference situation and feelings do not become blurred and obscured. This constant interaction between conscious and unconscious processes, between phantasy products and the perception of reality, finds full expression in the transference situation. Here we see at certain stages of the analysis how the ground shifts from real
experiences to phantasy situations and to internal situations—by which I mean the object world felt by the patient to be established inside—and again back to external situations,
which later may appear in either a realistic or phantastic aspect. This movement to and fro is connected with an interchange of figures, real and phantastic, external and internal, which the analyst represents. There is one more aspect of the transference situation which I should emphasize. The figures whom the analyst comes to represent in the patient’s mind always belong to specific situations, and it is only by considering those situations that we can understand
the nature and content of the feelings transferred on to the analyst. This means that we must understand what in the patient’s mind analysis unconsciously stands for at any
particular moment, in order to discover the phantasies and desires associated with those earlier situations—containing always elements of both actuality and phantasy—which
have provided the pattern for the later ones. Moreover, it is in the nature of these particular ‘situations’ that in the patient’s mind other people besides the analyst are included in the transference situation. This is to say, it is not just a one to one relation between patient and analyst, but something more
complex. For instance, the patient may experience sexual desires towards the analyst which at the same time bring up jealousy and hatred towards another person who is connected with the analyst (another patient, somebody in the analyst’s house, somebody met on the way to the analyst, etc.) who in the patient’s phantasy represents a favoured rival. Thus we discover the ways in which the patient’s earliest object relations, emotions, and conflicts have shaped and coloured the development of his Oedipus conflict, and we elucidate the various situations and relationships in the patient’s history against the background of which his sexuality, symptoms, character, and emotional attitudes have developed.
What I want to stress here is that it is by keeping the two things together in the transference—feelings and phantasies on the one hand and specific situations on the other—that we are able to bring home to the patient how he came to develop the particular patterns of his experiences. To turn now to my technique in analysing defence mechanisms (this obviously has a bearing on the analysis of resistance; but this is not my point here). I owe to the analysis of young children a fuller understanding of the earliest object relations, and a new insight into the origin of anxiety, guilt, and conflict. These findings enabled me to develop a technique by which children from two years onwards are being analysed. This technique
not only opened up a new and promising field for therapy and research, but had also a strong influence on the technique with adults. The view that it is the destructive impulses
directed against the loved object which give rise to anxiety and guilt, led me in my workThe Freud-Klein controversies 1941–45 with adults to take particular account of anxiety and guilt and to regard the defence mechanisms as primarily developed by the ego against anxiety from these sources. Every step in analysing anxiety and guilt and the defence mechanisms from this point of view leads in my experience to a fuller understanding of all other emotions as well. This implies an extensive analysis of the phantasy life and of the unconscious generally, as well as of the defence mechanism and the ego, that is to say of the whole personality. Not only is such an approach not incompatible with the full analysis of the libido—it is, in my experience, a condition for it. For the anxieties stirred by the destructive impulses constantly influence the libido—at times inhibiting, at times increasing the libidinal
desires—and thus the vicissitudes of libido are fully comprehensible only in relation to the early anxieties with which they are intimately bound up. With some adults there may be a lengthy period in which we can detect no manifest
anxiety, nor are able to make intent anxiety manifest. Then, in my experience, the analysis proceeds by uncovering in the material the defences against anxiety and guilt. The more we know about the early defence mechanisms, the more we are able to detect them and also to see the later ones at work in the material of our patients, and thus to find access to anxiety and guilt, depressive feelings, and all the other emotions. Needless to say, my technique varies in different types of cases and illnesses; though this particular approach to anxiety and guilt remains one guiding principle. I should wish to illustrate this here by instances but must limit myself to stating the general principle.