Kleinians is a compelling account of the extraordinary revolution in psychology pioneered by the psychoanalyst Melanie Klein and nine of her colleagues and followers, including Susan Isaacs, Joan Riviere, Wilfred Bion, Frances Tustin and Hanna Segal. Drawing on her experience as a professor, writer and therapist, Janet Sayers tells the story of this revolution through an account of the personal and public lives of its main architects, their families and patients. The result is a lively mixture of biography, psychoanalytic theory and individual case studies. The author begins with Klein's pioneering extension of Freud's theories to the analysis of very young children. This led to her claim that from birth onwards children internalize figures from their outer world, resulting in an interaction of inner and outer factors which then govern our psychology. Sayers shows how, sometimes with bitter controversy, this radical insight was variously developed, and is still being developed by Klein's followers, thereby enormously enhancing our understanding of the creative and destructive factors shaping our everyday lives.
Kleinians continues the engaging biographical approach of Sayers's previous successful collections, Mothering Psychoanalysis and Freudian Tales, and will be appealing and informative to all those interested in psychology -- to students and specialists (in psychiatry, psychotherapy, counselling and social work), and to general readers alike.
Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychology, University of Kent.