The ACP continues its ABC of Children's mental health with K for Klein, celebrating the work of Melanie Klein whose birthday was last week. Born in Vienna of Jewish heritage, Klein first sought psychoanalysis for herself from Sándor Ferenczi during World War I. There she became a psychoanalyst and began analysing children in 1919. In 1921 she moved to Berlin where she studied with and was analysed by Karl Abraham. British psychoanalyst Ernest Jones invited Klein to come to London in 1926, where she worked until her death in 1960.
Klein had a major influence on the theory and technique of psychoanalysis, particularly in Great Britain and in her understanding of children.
ACP member, Margaret Rustin and her husband Michael Rustin have written a book called, Reading Klein, which was commissioned by the Melanie Klein Trust as part of the New Library of Psychoanalysis Teaching Series. The book could become a vital text for all those studying psychoanalysis and particularly for those who plan to work with children, as it makes Melanie Klein’s works highly accessible, providing both substantial extracts from her writings, and material by the Rustins, exploring their significance.
Each chapter corresponds to a major field of Klein’s work outlining its development over almost 40 years. The first part is concerned with her theoretical and clinical contributions. It shows Klein to be a sensitive clinician deeply concerned for her patients, and with a remarkable capacity to understand their unconscious anxieties and to revise our understanding of the mind. The second part sets out the contribution of her ideas to morality, to aesthetics, and to the understanding of society, introducing writing by her associates as well as herself. You can order a copy of book here