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Melanie Klein Play Therapy Paper

Words: 1101, Paragraphs: 10, Pages: 4

Paper type: Essay , Subject: Human Nature

This sample essay on Melanie Klein Play Therapy offers an extensive list of facts and arguments related to it. The essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and the conclusion are provided below.

Melanie Klein (30 March 1882 – 22 September 1960) was an Austrian-born British psychoanalyst who devised novel therapeutic techniques for children and was particularly interested in the early psychological development that which had a significant impact on child psychology and contemporary psychoanalysis and is still used in present day therapeutic techniques. Klein was the first to use psychoanalysis on young children. She was unique by working with children using toys. Klein is named as one of the co-founders of Object Relations Theory. Anna Freud was researching ORT during the same time as Klein.

Freud’s ideas concerning children mostly came from working with adult patients; Klein was innovative in working directly with children, often as young as two years old. Klein saw children’s play as their primary mode of emotional communication. After observing troubled children play with toys such as dolls, animals, plasticine, pencil and paper, Klein attempted to interpret the specific meaning of play. Following Freud she emphasized the significant role that parental figures played the child’s phantasy life, and considered that the timing of Freud’s Oedipus complex was incorrect.

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Contradicting Freud, she concluded that the superego was present from birth ORT is a theory of relationships between people, such as the mother and her child. A basic belief is that we are driven to form relationships with others and that failure to form successful early relationships leads to later problems. It is also concerned with the relation between the subject and their internalized objects, as well as with external objects. Thus we have a relationship with the internal mother as well as an external one.

Melanie Klein Play Therapy

Example: As the child feeds, it feels gratified and satiated when the breast produces sufficient milk, in which case it is loved and cherished. When the child is prematurely withdrawn or the breast does not provide sufficient food, the child is frustrated and the breast is hated and the recipient of hostile thoughts. The mother thus receives love or destructive attack depending on this. The baby experiences extremes of feeling. When he is angry, it is total anger and rejects and thrusts away the mother. When he is happy, he loves and adores her. He projects his bad feeling and associates her with it.

In Klein’s concept, phantasy originates from within and imagines what is without, it offers an unconscious commentary on instinctual life and links feelings to objects and creates a new combination: the world of imagination. For Klein, unconscious phantasies underlie not only dreams but all thought and activity, both creative and destructive, including the expression of internal object relations. They modify external events, investing them with significance. While Freud’s ideas concerning children mostly came from working with adult patients, Klein was innovative in working directly with children, often as young as two years old.

Klein saw children’s play as their primary mode of emotional communication. After observing troubled children play with toys such as dolls, animals, pencil and paper, Klein attempted to interpret the specific meaning of play. Following Freud she emphasized the significant role that parental figures played the child’s phantasy life, and considered that the timing of Freud’s Oedipus complex was incorrect. Contradicting Freud, she concluded that the superego was present from birth. PHANTASIES: -satisfy instincts by converting them into ideas and images. Hunger leads to a phantasy of an object that can satisfy it. come from instincts that border physical and psychical activities and are thus experienced both physically and mentally. For example a child who sucks its thumb is enacting the phantasy of feeding. Satisfying experiences are re-enacted internally through phantasies. -enables the ego to perform its most basic function of establishing object relations. A world of good and bad objects are thus constructed through a process of projection and introjection between the external and internal worlds. Phantasy thus allows us to construct both our own identity and also, through projection, the construction of others. develop in and into play, and Klein used ‘play therapy’ to learn about the early development of infants as a more effective method than Freud’s use of free association. -continue through childhood and into adult life.

“Phantasies – becoming more elaborate and referring to a wider range of objects and situations – continue throughout development and accompany all activities; they never stop playing a great part in all mental life” (Klein:1997:251) -is a state of mind of an infant child during the early stages of development. stem from genetic needs, drives and instincts. They appear in symbolic form in dreams, play and neuroses. They are constructed from internal and external reality, modified by feelings, and emotions, and then projected into both real and imaginary objects. -are the means by which infants make sense of the external world and hence relate to it through Projection and Introjections. Infantile feelings and phantasies leave, as it were, their imprints on the mind, imprints that do not fade away but get stored up, remain active, and exert a continuous and powerful influence on the emotional and intellectual life of the individual” (Klein:1975:290) Depressive Position: After exploring ultra-aggressive phantasies of hate, envy, and greed in very young, very ill children, Melanie Klein proposed a model of the human psyche that linked significant fluctuation of state, with whether the postulated Eros or Thanatos instincts were in the fore.

She named the state of the psyche, when the sustaining principle of life is in domination, the depressive position. This is considered by many to be her great contribution to psychoanalytic thought. Klein argued that people who never succeed in working through the depressive position in their childhood will, as a result, continue to struggle with this problem in adult life. For example: the cause that a person may maintain suffering from intense guilt feelings over the death of a loved one, may be found in the un-worked- through depressive position.

The guilt is there because of a lack of separation between inside and outside and also as a defense mechanism to defend the self against unbearable feelings of intense sadness and sorrow and subsequently the internal object against the unbearable rage of the self, which can destroy the (internal) object forever. Klein saw the depressive position as an important developmental milestone that continues to mature throughout the life span. The splitting and part object relations that characterize the earlier phase are succeeded by the capacity to perceive that the other who frustrates is also the one who gratifies

Melanie Klein Play Therapy

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