Object Relations Theory

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OBJECT RELATIONS THEORY

Instructor: Michael J. Gerson, PhD

Copyright © 1996 by the Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a data base or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Introduction The following presentation is aimed at explicating the basic principles of psychoanalytic theory and presenting the various descriptive models or paradigms used. I also hope to clarify some misconceptions about psychoanalysis and provide a basis for the logical extension of psychoanalytic thought into psychotherapeutic work. Since about 1900 psychoanalytic thinking has been influential in defining a branch of psychology, a method for investigating and describing human behavior, and a treatment modality for mental disorders. Some critics might further add that psychoanalysis has also formed a quasi-religious culture. This course is not intended to create "believers," "converts," or to proselytize a belief system. In fact, any thorough reading of Freud would clearly suggest the mind of a critical, pragmatic, eclectic, and scholarly intellectual who was constantly questioning and challenging his own and other peoples ' beliefs. We cannot escape, however, the historical legacy of science, medicine, and psychology which is often traced to magical and/or religious predecessors (Fenichel, 1945). While psychoanalysis is also fraught with a good deal of jargon that further supports an esoteric mysterious context, I will make every effort to reduce the jargon to relatively simple definitions that are actually in keeping with Freud 's own tradition. For those students who have not read much of the original writings of Freud, I would strongly urge you to do so. Not only is there a great breadth of material covered in the 24 volumes of the Standard



Bibliography: Arlow, J. A., & Brenner, C. (1964). Psychoanalytic concepts and the structural theory. New York: International Universities Press. Cameron, N. (1963). Personality development and psychopathology. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Freud, S. (1961). The interpretation of dreams. In J. Strachy (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 4). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1900) Freud, S. (1961). The psychopathology of everyday life. In J. Strachy (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 6). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1901) Freud, S. (1961). A case of hysteria: Three essays on sexuality and other works. In J. Strachy (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 7). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1901-1905) Freud, S. (1961). Jokes and their relation to the unconscious. In J. Strachy (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 8). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1905) Freud, S. (1961). Introductory lectures on psycho-analysis. In J. Strachy (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 15). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1915-1916) Freud, S. (1961). Beyond the pleasure principle, group psychology and other works. In J. Strachy (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 18). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1920-1922) Freud, S. (1961). Ego and the id. In J. Strachy (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 19). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1923) Freud, S. (1961). Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety. In J. Strachy (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 20). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1926) Freud, S. (1961). Civilization and its discontents. In J. Strachy (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 21). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1930) Freud, S. (1961). An outline of psycho-analysis. In J. Strachy (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 23). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1940) Feist, J. (1990). Theories of personality. Fort Worth: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Fenichel, O. (1945). The psychoanalytic theory of neurosis. New York: W. W. Norton. Hartmann, H. (1958). Ego psychology and the problem of adaptation. New York: International Universities Press. Monroe, R. (1955). Schools of psychoanalytic thought. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Moore, B. E., & Fine, B. D. (1968). A glossary of psychoanalytic terms and concepts. New York: American Psychoanalytic Association. Rapoport, D. (1960). The structure of psychoanalytic theory. Psychological Issues, 2 (2).

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