Encounters with Melanie Klein: Selected Papers of Elizabeth Spillius, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Encounters with Melanie Klein

Selected Papers of Elizabeth Spillius, 1st Edition

By Elizabeth Spillius

Edited by Priscilla Roth, Richard Rusbridger


264 pages

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In Encounters with Melanie Klein: Selected Papers of Elizabeth Spillius the author argues that her two professions, anthropology and psychoanalysis, have much in common, and explains how her background in anthropology led her on to a profound involvement in psychoanalysis and her establishment as a leading figure amongst Kleinian analysts.

Spillius describes what she regards as the important features of Kleinian thought and discusses the research she has carried out in Melanie Klein's unpublished archive, including Klein's views on projective identification.

Spillius's own clinical ideas make up the last part of the book with papers on envy, phantasy, technique, the negative therapeutic reaction and otherness. Her writing has a clarity which is very particular to her; she conveys complicated ideas in a most straightforward manner, well illustrated with pertinent clinical material.

This book represents fifty years of the developing thought and scholarship of a talented and dedicated psychoanalyst.


"This is a fine book, both as a refreshing and illuminating account of Melanie Klein’s thinking, and as an expression of Elizabeth Spillius’s own attitudes to and work in psychoanalysis" – Michael Brearley, International Journal of Psychoanalysis, (2008) 89

"This fascinating, absorbing book is as much about how Elizabeth Spillius integrates her original discipline of anthropology into her thinking and practice as an analyst as it is about the theoretical contribution of Melanie Klein… I would recommend this book to any reader interested in the original works of Melanie Klein and the development of her theory, which would seem to confirm the richness of her original model." - Karen Stobart, Journal of Analytical Psychology, 53, 2008

Table of Contents

Roth, Rusbridger, Preface. Spillius, General Introduction. Part 1: From Anthropology to Psychoanalysis. Anthropology and Psychoanalysis: A Personal Concordance. Kleinian Thought: Overview and Personal View. Part 2: In Melanie Klein’s Archive. Introduction: The Archive. Melanie Klein Revisited: Her Unpublished Thoughts on Technique. Melanie Klein on the Past. Projective Identification: Back to the Future. Part 3: Interaction of Ideas and Clinical Work. Clinical Reflections on the Negative Therapeutic Reaction. Varieties of Envious Experience. Freud and Klein on the Concept of Phantasy. Developments in Kleinian Technique. Recognition of Separateness and Otherness.

About the Author/Editor

Elizabeth Spillius trained originally in psychology and anthropology and then at the British Institute of Psychoanalysis.

About the Series

The New Library of Psychoanalysis

The New Library of Psychoanalysis is published by Routledge Mental Health in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

Its purpose is to facilitate a greater and more widespread appreciation of psychoanalysis and to provide a forum for increasing mutual understanding between psychoanalysts and those in other disciplines. The series also aims to make some of the work of continental and other non-English speaking analysts more readily available to English-speaking readers, and to increase the interchange of ideas between British and American analysts.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis published its first book in 1987 under the editorship of David Tuckett, later followed by Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Susan Budd and Dana Birksted-Breen. A considerable number of Associate Editors and readers have assisted the editors.

Under the guidance of Foreign Rights Editors, a considerable number of the New Library books have been published abroad, particularly in Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Peru, Spain and Japan.

The aim of the New Library of Psychoanalysis is to maintain the high level of scholarship of the previous series, to provide a forum for increasing understanding between psychoanalysis and other disciplines and to increase the interest of the general book-reading public in psychoanalysis.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis also aims to help the various schools of psychoanalysis to better understand each other. It has published books representing all three schools of thought in British psychoanalysis, including a particularly important work edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner, expounding the intellectual and organisational controversies that developed in the British psychoanalytical Society between Kleinian, Viennese and 'middle group' analysts during the Second World War.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis has also translated and published several books by Continental psychoanalysts, and it plans in the future to continue the policy of publishing books that express as clearly as possible a variety of psychoanalytic points of view.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health