Projective Identification in the Clinical Setting: The Kleinian Interpretation

By Robert Waska | Go to book overview

Chapter 2

The Kleinian interpretation of projective identification

The atypical and less usual interpretive stance

In the previous chapter I outlined the types of Kleinian interpretation that show up most regularly. Those examples were the most common reports of what Kleinians actually say to their patients in an effort to analyze PI dynamics. Now, I turn to the less common interpretive stances found in the literature. A smaller group of Kleinian analysts make most of their interpretations around issues of silence, interpersonal factors, modeling, voicing, body language, dreams, and motivation.


Silence

Some Kleinians feel silence is an important part of the dynamic sequence in constructing PI interpretations.

G. De Racker (1961) describes a very difficult case where the patient needed to reject interpretations. The young girl came in with an angry face and was silent. The analyst tried to make an interpretation about the silence but the patient yelled at her to leave her alone. De Racker tried

to interpret that she does not want to listen because she fears that I will force something very bad into her (through her ears). The patient tells her to be quiet again and the analyst attempts “to show her her phantasy of having herself forced her own 'bad' part (anger) into me, as the basis of her fear and rejection.”

(De Racker 1961:53)

The analyst felt stuck. If she remained silent, the patient would feel she has controlled and tamed the bad object and made it, omnipotently, into a tamed good object.

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