The American Journal of Psychoanalysis

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 375-382

First online:

Projection, Introjection, and Projective Identification: A Reformulation

  • Joseph M. MalancharuvilAffiliated withAcademy of Clinical Psychology, Patton State Hospital Email author 

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In this essay, the author recommends a reformulation of the psychoanalytic concept of pojection. The author proposes that projective processes are not merely defensive maneuvers that interfere with perception, but rather an essential means by which human perception is rendered possible. It is the manner in which human beings test and-evaluate reality in terms of their experiential structure, and their needs for survival and nourishment. Projection is the early phase of introjection.


projection introjection projective identification unconscious phantasy experiential structure