Edna O'Shaughnessy

Edna O'Shaughnessy (born 1924) is a Kleinian psychoanalyst, born in South Africa and living and working in England.


O'Shaughnessy trained in philosophy, which she taught at Oxford, before re-training as a child psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic.[1] She subsequently became an analyst and training analyst with the British Psychoanalytical Society.[2]

Theoretical contributionsEdit

O'Shaughnessy explored the role of projections in the psychotic, noting how they can "loaded with enormous hostility; they are weapons - boomerangs which destroy the foundations for intuitive knowledge of the self and object".[3]

In the tradition of W. R. Bion, she emphasized the importance of thinking in forming object relations, noting how failure to integrate observation and experience (due to fear of loss of omnipotence) can prevent the formation of, and working through of the Oedipal triangle.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ O'Shaughnessy
  2. ^ L. R. De La Sierra, Child Analysis Today (2004) 'Contributors'
  3. ^ Quoted R. Anderson ed., Clinical Lectures on Klein and Bion (1992) in p. 92-3
  4. ^ J. Naismith, Seminars in the Psychotherapies (2004) p. 85

Further readingEdit

  • Edna O'Shaughessy, 'Words and working through' International Journal of Psycho-Analysis (1983) 64:281-9
  • Richard Rusbridger ed., Inquiries in Psychoanalysis: Collected Papers of Edna O'Shaughnessyy (2014)

External linksEdit