In the book The Dead Mother, edited by Gregorio Kohon,, Andre Green, the French psychoanalyst argues that what distinguishes present-day analyses is ‘the problems of mourning’ (1983,P.42) , but he is not going to be talking about ‘the real death of mother.’ The dead mother is a concept he refers to:
an imago that has been constructed in the child’s mind, following maternal depression, brutally transforming a living object, which was the source of vitality for the child, into a distant figure, toneless, practically inanimate, deeply impregnating the cathexes of certain patients……and weighing on the destiny of their object libidinal and narcissistic future…..(The) dead mother…. is a mother who remains alive but who is so to speak, psychically dead in the eyes of the young child in her care.
Green shares with other authors two central ideas, which form the basis of his theoretical grounding:
The first is that ‘object loss’ as a fundamental moment of the development of the human psyche….The second….idea is that of depressive position… a general situation referring to an unavoidable event in development.