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Introduction

In Part Three we describe the views held by members of several psychoanalytic schools of thought about the concept of projective identifi cation. Because it is somewhat unusual for a concept to be so widely known as the term ‘projective identifi cation’ has come to be, we have asked ourselves several questions about how this has come about. What is it about the concept that has aroused such interest? Are there any particular factors that contribute to a receptive attitude towards the adoption of the concept, and what factors mitigate against such receptiveness? Is it possible to ‘lift’ a concept from one psychoanalytic milieu and use it in another without altering the concept or the receiving psychoanalytic school of thought in the process? We have looked at these questions with the help of colleagues from four psychoanalytic cultures: fi rst, the Contemporary Freudian and Independent members of the British Psychoanalytical Society; second, the views about projective identifi cation held by three schools of thought in Europe – German psychoanalysts, Italian and Spanish psychoanalysts, and French-speaking psychoanalysts; third, we look at the attitude of American psychoanalysts towards the concept; and fi nally we examine the views of Latin American psychoanalysts.