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Michael Balint

(1896—1970) psychoanalyst


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(1896–1970) Hungarian psychoanalyst. Born in Budapest, the son of a Jewish physician, Balint initially studied medicine, but while he was at university he became interested in the work of Sigmund Freud and began attending the lectures of Sándor Ferenczi (at that time Freud's close friend). In 1920 he moved to Berlin to work on a doctorate in biochemistry, but he kept up his interest in psychoanalysis. He returned to Hungary in 1924, but the political situation there soon compelled him to leave again and he moved to Britain, where he remained for the rest of his life. In the UK he became influenced by the work of Melanie Klein, and is generally regarded as an object relations theorist like her. There, too, he was able to further his interest in psychoanalysis, eventually developing it into a full-time practice devoted to marital problems. His major works are Primary Love and Psycho-analytic Technique (1956) and Basic Fault (1967).

From A Dictionary of Critical Theory in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.


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