Together with the growing popularity of what is referred to as contemporary or post-Kleinian psychoanalysis, it may be seen that the term “Kleinian” has come to refer to a very broad and diverse set of approaches—some even diametrically opposed to each other. This highlights the question of what essentially makes analytic work “Kleinian”. In this lecture I will present my perspective on this controversial question and will argue for the importance of addressing it. At the heart of this perspective lies a certain view of the analytic task based on an approach to the nature of truth and its curative potential, which Klein shares with Freud but develops both conceptually and clinically. It stands opposed to many contemporary formulations of truth as intersubjective and co-constructed. This lecture will examine these developments, shedding new light on Kleinian concepts (e.g., phantasy and the death instinct) and placing a special emphasis on their implications for the specifics of analytic practice.
Rachel B. Blass is a member and Training Analyst at the Israel Psychoanalytic Society, a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society, and formerly a professor of psychoanalysis in leading universities both in the UK and in Israel. She is also on the Board of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis where she is the editor of the Controversies section. She has published a book and over 80 articles which elucidate the foundations of psychoanalysis and their role in contemporary analytic thinking and practice, offer close readings of Freud’s texts and the evolution of his ideas, and clarify how Kleinian psychoanalysis grounds and advances these ideas. In recent years a special focus of her writing and teaching has been on making what is unique to London Kleinian thinking and practice more accessible to analysts from other traditions. She has lectured, taught and offered clinical seminars in many countries and her writings have been translated into 15 languages.