18 May 19

Date: 18 May 19

Time: 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Location: Outside London

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The Structure and Function of Part Objects

Richard Rusbridger

Structure & Function
Courtesy of Melanie Klein Trust

A distinctive feature of Kleinian approaches in psychoanalysis is their interest, which developed from Melanie Klein’s work with children, in primitive states of mind.  These frequently involve part object relating, in which a person relates, not to whole people, but to parts of the self and of others.  I will talk about the structure and function of part object relating.  Babies begin life relating to parts of their mother or caretaker – a face, breast, arm, etc – rather than to a whole person.  These physical parts are rapidly invested with psychological significance.  Gradually a baby’s awareness widens – a development which leads over the first six months or so to an integration of the part objects towards making a whole self, relating to whole objects.  But this earliest mode of relating remains available to be used when it is needed.  How and when this happens, including in clinical work, is the subject of this paper.

Richard Rusbridger is a training analyst and a child analyst with the British Psychoanalytical Society in private practice in London. He was a social worker in psychiatry and trained as a child psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic before training at the Institute of Psychoanalysis.  He is an Honorary Reader at University College London, and Hon Sec of the Melanie Klein Trust.  He has written papers on psychoanalytic theory and on psychoanalysis and music, and has edited the collected papers of Edna O’Shaughnessy and (with Priscilla Roth) Elizabeth Spillius.

Chair: Hilary Pounsett

This is a 2-hour CPD credit event.