good object

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In psychoanalysis, a concept introduced by the British-based Austrian psychoanalyst Melanie Klein (1882–1960) to denote a part object or whole object as it appears in an infant's fantasies. According to Klein, the splitting of the object into a good object and a bad object is a defence against ambivalence and the anxiety that it generates, the first object to undergo splitting being the mother's breast. A person's handling of the good object and the bad object defines the four defensive techniques in the theory of mental disorders of the Scottish psychoanalyst W. Ronald D. Fairbairn (1889–1964). See also good breast, imago (1).

Subjects: Psychology.

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