Melanie Klein Revisited
Pioneer and Revolutionary in the Psychoanalysis of Young Children

Paper: 978 1 78220 333 9 / $49.95
Published: August 2017  

Publisher: Karnac Books
284 pp., 6" x 9"
Series: The Tavistock Clinic Series
While much writing has been devoted to the Kleinian and post-Kleinian development of Klein’s work, especially with regard to adult psychoanalysis, comparatively little has been written about the ongoing importance and character of Klein’s clinical work for contemporary psychoanalytic psychotherapy or analysis with very small children. In the twenty-first century, little attention has been paid to the revolutionary character of her work with this age group, or to her recognition of the importance of mother-infant relations.

This book is concerned primarily with Klein’s work with pre-latency children and aims to give these small children more of the voice today that Klein herself discovered. Among important new sources are the treatment notes published in Claudia Frank’s seminal book Melanie Klein in Berlin, a rare exception to the current trend of publication for those interested in Klein’s child work.

Melanie Klein Revisited is relevant to professionals working in a wide range of contexts from a range of professional bases, as well as child psychoanalytic psychotherapists and analysts. It will also be of interest to those concerned with the history and development of child psychoanalysis, and especially those interested in Melanie Klein’s work in the UK and abroad.

Table of Contents:
Series Editors’ Preface
About the Author
1) Early background
2) Controversy and challenges in pioneering the analysis of very young children in the 1920s
3) Klein’s early pre-school and young child cases: the invention and development of a technique for child analysis
4) Restoring Klein’s concept of reparation in her early work
5) The negative transference and young children in analysis: new dimensions
6) The early stages of young-child analysis: Grete on the couch
7) Rita: the first very young child in psychoanalysis
8) Erna and her siblings: young-child analysis in the consulting room
9) Klein’s work with parents
10) Endings and outcomes

Reviews & Endorsements:
"Melanie Klein Revisited focuses on Klein’s most revolutionary work, her bold inquiry into primitive states of mind in the infant and young child, those which are far beyond the reach of conscious memory. This book brings the reader’s attention back in close focus to Klein’s work with little children and the theoretical conclusions she drew from it. Here Susan Sherwin-White deploys her scholarly capacity on behalf of child analysts and child psychotherapists, as well as all those with an interest in psychoanalytic thinking. Her account of Klein’s thought is based upon investigation not only of Klein’s published work and what is known about Klein’s life, but also on the archive held at the Wellcome Library for the History of Medicine. Light from these original researches constantly illuminates the known ground of Klein’s most controversial works. This book helps us realise afresh the courage of Klein’s deductions and the fact that she looked at the baby and the small child as no-one had ever done before. While never losing her foothold in non-judgemental compassion, Klein’s gaze was unsqueamish and unflinching – as is the present author’s. It is also possible for Sherwin-White to bring a modern and revealing clinical perspective to Klein’s cases. Klein’s writing, alarming in the 1920s, is, even now, startling to the newcomer."
- Lisa Miller, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist, Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust
"This book addresses in a most compelling and readable way Melanie Klein’s groundbreaking work with very small children, setting this in a biographical and historical context within psychoanalysis. Klein’s recognition of the vital importance of the mother–infant relationship long predated mid–twentieth–century discoveries about attachment and loss, and her analyses of small children led to fundamental discoveries about the inner world which still inform contemporary psychoanalytic work. Sherwin-White uses both Klein’s published work and previously unseen archival material, drawing also on the seminal work of Claudia Frank, in what will be a valuable contribution to Klein scholarship."
- Jane Milton, Honorary Archivist, Melanie Klein Trust