chapter  4
19 Pages

Melanie Klein on the past

It is generally believed that contemporary Kleinian analysts interest themselves in a patient’s past mainly in so far as it is expressed in the immediate analyst-patient relationship, a view which is particularly associated with Betty Joseph’s work but which is shared by many other contemporary Kleinian analysts. It therefore comes as something of a surprise to discover that Klein, especially in her writings in the Archive, pays close attention to what the patient actually says about his past as well as to the way he expresses it in the transference. She also thinks, however, that a person’s unconscious phantasies are an important part of his thinking and feeling and influence his memories so that the relation between experiences and thoughts about the past and the present are never simple or straightforward.