Talk:Projective identification

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Any case histories in reference?

[[It is not clear to this reader--a psychotherapist and anthropologist--how the processes described in the preceding paragraph differ from those of "ordinary" transference and counter-transference. Also, based on his clinical experience, it seems unlikely that projective identification can succeed if the "feelings or beliefs . . . were [truly] alien to" the therapist. That is, habitual users of this defense seem particularly adept at identifying persons who really do have issues with the quality they need to project--e..g., projecting rage into someone who is genuinely struggling to contain his or her own rage. Hence, the disruptiveness of a projective identification upon even a well-trained therapist.]] (moved from body of article ````)

Speaking as a case, I "projected" (created) my emotions in everyone I knew, not only therapists, and not only therapists vulnerable to a particular quality. I was as unaware that I was doing it as I was unaware of my own feelings. An example of counter-transference would be a therapist irritated by an innocuous patient who reminds him unconsciously of an annoying in-law. An example of projective identification would be a therapist who knows he is irritated but not why, by a patient who really is annoying, perhaps subtly, deliberately, and unconsciously, because the patient is himself annoyed but is unaware of it due to repression (not allowing yourself to think about it) or depersonalization (internal numbness). In specific, I transmitted frustration by "yes buts" when I honestly thought I was asking for help, anger by being provoking when I thought I was being earnest or humorous, and so on. I did it for years until someone long-suffering stopped interpreting it to me and pointed it out to me instead. That gave me the insight to begin to learn to control it and to try to question my feelings myself instead of spreading them by contagion. --Minerva354 22:17, 31 December 2006 (UTC)


Simply put, what the HELL does most of this page even mean? How can A, for any A, experience emotions that belong to B, for any B distinct from A? I'm not even sure this is psychology and not some kind of weird Continental philosophy or something, certainly it bears no resemblance to anything I've seen in a psych journal recently. 50.71.167.160 (talk) 06:49, 25 January 2012 (UTC)


Agreed. Who wrote this? Maybe the author(s) had troubles understanding the concept themselves. And maybe they are employing projective identification to the general public by making this article so obscure that it's impossible for any reader to understand and thereby projecting their inability to understand this process (which is not acceptable to them — who are presumably in the field of psychology) and making us identify with it. --Ffwm (talk) 13:50, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Believe it or not a few months ago i actually improved the readability from the way it was. It is an intrinsically difficult subject but it is also a powerful concept and it still needs to be explained better. It is an extra element bolted onto psychological projection which i do understand. --Penbat (talk) 17:21, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Have attempted to clarify the article in the (hellish!) light of the comments above; but would stress that PI is notoriously difficult for the Kleinian to convey, let alone a non-Kleinian like myself....There are at least a number of links built-in to sites where further (and often contrasting/complementary) views can be found by the curious on this complex but apparently fruitful concept.Jacobisq (talk) 10:25, 16 August 2013 (UTC)