In this intelligent and insightful work, Meg Harris Williams presents a clear and readable introduction to the works of influential psychoanalyst Donald Meltzer. The book covers Meltzer’s ideas on key themes including sexuality, dreams, psychosis, perversion and aesthetics, and his work with both children and adults.

This book focuses especially on Meltzer’s views on the nature of psychoanalysis itself, as an investigative method conducted by the cooperation between two people. His intuitive understanding of dreams is underscored by a scholarly interest in philosophy and linguistics. The book will give readers a window into Meltzer’s clinical seminars and supervisions, as well as a comprehensive overview of his published work, all thoughtfully brought together by someone who worked with Meltzer for many years.

Bringing Meltzer’s ideas into contemporary context, this fresh approach to his work makes his rich and complex theories about our inner world accessible to all. Part of the Routledge Introductions to Contemporary Psychoanalysis series, this book will be of great importance to psychoanalysts, clinicians and scholars familiar with Meltzer’s ideas, as well as those seeking an introduction to his work.

chapter |4 pages


A picture of the inner world

part Part I|77 pages

The psychoanalytic model of the mind

chapter Chapter 1|14 pages

The Kleinian development

chapter Chapter 2|10 pages

Dream life and symbol formation

chapter Chapter 3|14 pages

An expanded view of identification

chapter Chapter 4|12 pages

Aesthetic conflict

chapter Chapter 5|13 pages

The Claustrum

chapter Chapter 6|12 pages

Sexuality and creativity

part Part II|68 pages

Life in the consulting room

chapter Chapter 7|17 pages

The aesthetics of the process

chapter Chapter 8|16 pages

Transference and countertransference

chapter Chapter 9|16 pages


chapter Chapter 10|17 pages

Beyond the consulting room