Saturday 9 January 2010

Melanie Klein: Narrative of a Child Analysis. Inner Circle Seminar 155 (19 September 2010)

Melanie Klein
Melanie Klein

Narrative of a Child Analysis (1961)
An examination of Mrs Klein’s most comprehensive case study
for the 50th anniversary of her death

Anthony Stadlen

Inner Circle Seminar No. 155
Sunday 19 September 2010
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Melanie Klein (30 March 1882 – 22 September 1960) is renowned as a pioneer of the psychoanalysis of both adults and children. Her theories of unconscious phantasy as a fundamental modality of experience from birth onwards radically transformed psychoanalytic thinking, though not without controversy. She died fifty years ago. Today, we examine her monumental case study, Narrative of a Child Analysis, published the year after her death. It gives a session-by-session account of her psychoanalytic work with a ten-year-old boy, ‘Richard’, during the second world war. We shall study critically Mrs Klein’s way of making interpretations: how she derives their content from the available data, and how she imparts them to the little boy. But we shall also ask what is involved existentially and ethically in the psychotherapy of children, which is a flourishing industry today. Can children below the age of consent enter into such a contract? Is child psychotherapy a form of child exploitation, even if the child enjoys it or benefits from it? Does the new information which this seminar will (without disclosing his identity) reveal about the later life and relationships of the boy throw light on this question? Your contribution to the discussion will be most welcome.

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (
Cost: Students £108, others £135; some bursaries; mineral water, coffee, tea, biscuits, liquorice allsorts included
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail:

For further information on seminars, visit:

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

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