The troublesome babies of Klein and Bion

Journal title PSICOANALISI
Author/s Robert Oelsner
Publishing Year 2019 Issue 2018/2 Language Italian
Pages 18 P. 5-22 File size 187 KB
DOI 10.3280/PSI2018-002001
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This article centers on the comparison and discrepancies between Kleinian/Bionian analysts and their Winnicottian and Self-psychological American counterparts. The major difference lies in the way Klein and Bion acknowledged the existence of the death instinct and its corollary, destructiveness and envy. This results in two models of babies: the more rewarding Winnicottian ones (which applies to Kohutian babies as well) and the troublesome Kleinian/Bionian ones, leading to very different clinical practices when it comes to patients. An elaboration follows on the Kleinian concepts of envy and destructiveness and its relation to Freud’s death instinct though not identical to it. For Kleinian/Bionian babies, their baggage of impulses and anti-impulses - Bion’s positive and negative links - another way to conceptualize life and death instincts - are decisive in the ways they will relate to and view their environment. In this model, some babies are able to make the "best of a bad job" while others unfortunately will make the "worst of a good job". A clinical case illustrates the theoretical outline. The patient reported an official story in which he featured as the victim of his parents, his partners and his former analyst. The unfolding of the transference showed a different version where the weight of the patient’s constitution, his passivity and deadness contributed to drain all life and creativity of himself and his objects which severely hampered his personality and his life altogether.

Keywords: Kleinian/Bionian, babies, death instinct, destructiveness, envy, environment, pas-sivity

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Robert Oelsner, Il bambino problematico di Klein e Bion in "PSICOANALISI" 2/2018, pp 5-22, DOI: 10.3280/PSI2018-002001