good breast

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In psychoanalysis, a concept introduced by the British-based Austrian psychoanalyst Melanie Klein (1882–1960) to denote one aspect of the mother's breast as a part object in an infant's fantasies after splitting of the object into a good breast and a bad breast as a defence against ambivalence and consequent anxiety. Gratification of hunger tends to produce an imago (1) of a good breast, and withdrawal generates the bad breast through a vicious circle involving projection (1) in which the infant comes to believe that the breast is withdrawn because it is hated. In the theory of defensive techniques of the Scottish psychoanalyst W. Ronald D. Fairbairn (1889–1964), the location of the good breast and the bad breast define the particular defensive technique adopted by a person with a mental disorder. See also good object.

Subjects: Psychology.

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