Paranoia and the object of dread
During a 2011 workshop, the prominent Kleinian analyst Michael Feldman was discussing the importance of the here-and-now transference, the interpretation of the past as lived out in the present, the predictability of enactment in the counter-transference, and how close examination of mutual acting out can help further our understanding of the patient’s projective identifi cation efforts. These elements of technique make up the Modern Kleinian approach to psychoanalytic treatment. Responding to an audience member’s question about how these ways of practicing are applicable to all diagnostic levels or if they are helpful to patients only attending once or twice a week, Feldman was very clear in his response. He said that the Kleinian method, especially the way the contemporary Kleinians of London (Schafer 1997) practice, is meant to be a process of one human being willing to take on, take in, and attempt to understand another human being’s most volatile, diffi cult, and confusing internal states. That person attempts to make sense of those projective communications without playing them out in the same repetitious and destructive manner the other is so familiar with and prone to reducing things to. Then, in a series of ongoing trial and error interactions, the analyst offers interpretations and observations of how the patient is living out his or her life within the relationship to the analyst to see if there is a way to fi nd alternatives, change, and healing for what has been a confi ning and predictable pattern of anxiety, guilt, rage, loss, and fragmentation.