Object Relations Theory

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OBJECT RELATIONS THEORIES AND SELF PSYCHOLOGY

Object Relations and Self Psychology
Object relations refers to interpersonal relations

2. Object refers to that which will satisfy a need. Significant person or thing that is target of another's feelings (drives).

3. In combination with relations, object refers to interpersonal relations and suggests inner residues of past relations shaping present relations

4. Object relations theorists investigate the early formulation and differentiation of psychological structure and how these inner structures are manifested in interpersonal situations

5. Theorists focus on relationships of early life that leave lasting impression within the psyche of the individual.

1. Residues…inner object relations shape the perceptions of individual and relationship with other individuals.

2. Individual interact not only with an actual other but the internal other…a psychic representation that might be distorted version of social actual person.

3. Self psychologists give more emphasis to the self than to the ego, or self representations or instincts.

Study of Cinderella:
7. Freudian purist might investigate her repressed sexual instincts; unresolved oedipal feeling for her parent; problems in terms of defense; conflicts between id and ego.

8. Object relations approach - defense of splitting…sees some women as bad and some as good...creates inner distortions of persons…therapy would center on her inner distortions

9. Self psychology – would focus on transference relations which might reveal an impoverished self in need of a powerful object... A need to affirms by fairy godmother, prince, therapist.

10. Freud’s model speaks to how the personality is put together. 11. object relations and self psychology focus on preoedipal development…see mental illness/problems in terms of developmental arrests rather than structural conflicts Developmental arrests result in unfinished and unintegrative structure of personality

Damage to object relationships or structure of the personality

14. All psychoanalytic theories attempt to explain how the past influences the present and the inner world distorts and influences external experience.

All theorist are interested in the inner world

Terms
16. Object - someone (occasionally a thing) toward whom desire or action is directed; that with which the subject relates Feelings and affects have objects
Human drives have objects: hunger – food; sex – attractive partner Infant – breast (or facsimile), then mother, herself, finally other who gratify infant 20. Representation - refers to how the person has or possesses an object; how the person psychically represents an object. 1. External – observable objects (the real person)

2. Internal mental representations of objects (mental image... subjective experiences) 3. Inner world of mental representations occupies the interest of psychoanalyst ...enable a therapist to understand the subjects behavior and motivation

21. Self representation – mental image of the self as experienced in relationships with objects and significant persons. 22. Develops as the infant separates self from other…child may see other as good and bad; self as good and bad. 23. Self representation shapes how a person relates to others and the world 24. Self representation may be linked to projections, internalization.

Part Objects and Whole Objects
25. Mental representation may be parts...bad mother and good mother… with maturity comes the ability to see both can be contained within same persons and understand whole objects both satisfies and frustrates

Structures
Id
Ego
Superego
How structures are built up are explained differently by different theorists

Self
Different from ego
As a whole subject in contrast to objects
Refers to organization and integration of psyche…including ego Can refer to basic experience; my experience of the person that I am Object relations take...
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