Melanie Klein, 1882–1960, British psychoanalyst, b. Vienna. She became a psychoanalyst after seeking therapy from Sandor Ferenczi, a colleague of Sigmund Freud, who encouraged her to pursue her own studies with young children. She served as a member (1921–26) of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute, using psychoanalytic techniques with emotionally disturbed children. She moved to London in 1926, on the invitation of psychoanalyst Ernest Jones, to continue her practice and to expand on areas of psychoanalysis such as the death instinct and the Oedipus complex. In her later work, Klein's theories came into conflict with those of other psychoanalysts, particularly Anna Freud. Kleinian theory is still influential as a distinctive strain of psychoanalytic theory. Her writings include The Psychoanalysis of Children (1932) and Narrative of a Child Analysis (1961).
See biography by P. Grosskurth (1987).