One might think of projective identification
as something which one person creates unconsciously, and attempts to pass to another person, as one might pass a hot potato, the painful heat of which symbolizes the uncomfortable feelings in the vulnerable, dependent, rejected, or degraded self/ baby.
While introducing psychodynamic material in the context of pharmacotherapy addresses issues of practical importance and interest to the resident, it also serves a more general purpose: to familiarize him or her with such concepts as resistance, conflict, transference, countertransference, projective identification
, and transitional objects.
Bion's ideas about the container evolved from extensions he made to Klein's use of the term projective identification
. He makes the analyst's containing function an 'essential feature' of Melanie Klein's conception of projective identification
(Bion, 1962a, p.3).
Lee's trust in Selby's love is based on projective identification
, on an illusion: Selby is not capable of love, not at her age, not when her personality is so unformed.
Finally, Carol Long reviews Elizabeth Spillius and Edna O'Shaughnessy's new book, Projective Identification
: The Fate of a Concept.
To an adolescent who has been neglected, her own baby provides an opportunity for projective identification
: It is she who is being nurtured.
: The Fate of a Concept edited by Elizabeth Spillius and Edna O'Shaughnessy London: Routledge, 2012.
In the context of psychoanalysis or therapy, enactment occurs when the therapist unwittingly colludes with the patient in the process of a mutual and complementary projective identification
organized around significant past events from the lives of both participants, he explained.
The case material in this paper suggests that this linking of previous relational trauma to the object, complicating the grieving process, involves projective identification
(Silverman and Lieberman, 1999; Steiner, 1993) and narcissistic identification (Freud, 1917) with the lost object, both of which influence the cognitive representation of the lost object that is held in mind.
What this 'pull' to omnipotence may reflect is a particular projective identification
that reflects the patient's need for the therapist to be an omnipotent caregiver, and their active efforts to 'make' their therapist omnipotent.
Despite its origins in Melanie Klein's theory of projective identification
, it burst the latter's conceptual limits to become a new model of mind, a new way of viewing the interaction between minds, and a new way of understanding how psychoanalysis impacts positively on disturbed states of mind.
They offer a simple yet adequately detailed picture of concepts such as containment and projective identification
, holding and playing.