chapter  8
13 Pages

The recovery of the good object relationship: the conflict with the superego

In her 1937 paper ‘Love, guilt and reparation’, Melanie Klein stresses the power of hate and destruction.These forces are seen as fundamental and universal. Klein goes on to say that love and reparation are equally powerful. Her work is of course built on Freud’s views, which she extends to the earliest beginnings of life. Klein explored the basic internal struggle that occurs with primitive forces of love and hate; this Klein called the paranoid-schizoid position; attachment to an idealised object is sought and the destructive forces are split off and projected. Subsequently this paranoidschizoid position meets a more humanised realistic understanding, a state she called the depressive position, which in favourable circumstances moderates the primitive forces of splitting and projection.There is regret at the primitive damage done and a wish to initiate reparation.The moderation of the primitive forces is made possible by the establishment of an appreciative good object relationship, which comes to carry more weight than the primitive forces.