Melanie Klein: The Paranoid-Schizoid and Depressive Position

Alina | Psychodynamic Psychology

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If you’ve ever tried to understand Melanie Klein’s theories, you likely felt overwhelmed by the onslaught of terms such as: the paranoid-schizoid position, depressive position, the good and bad breast, splitting, annihilation anxiety, life and death instinct… 😵‍💫

She didn’t make it easy to understand her theory.

But that’s a pity, because despite being controversial and weird, there is something interesting to her ideas. So, let’s simplify and clarify her theory to understand why ambivalence is a good thing, where creativity comes from, why someone’s exes may all be narcissists and how all of this applies to… Harry Potter.

You can read any old psychodynamic books looking for flaws (spoiler alert: you’ll find loads, there is a lot to criticise Klein and Kleinians for) or you can read them looking for interesting new ideas that spark your own curiosity. And today, we chose indulging in new weird ideas to see what we can get from them.

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