Psychoanalysis and Object Relations

Topics: Psychoanalysis, Object relations theory, Interpersonal relationship Pages: 11 (2277 words) Published: May 19, 2014


Object Relations Case Study of Kelly
Conceptualization and Treatment Plan 1
Kathy L. Moore
Indiana-Wesleyan University

Abstract
The object relations approach in counseling deals with the client, in this case Kelly, and how he seeks objects; other people, not as a means to satisfying instinctual drives by classic psychoanalytical beliefs, but because the object-seeking process begins very early in life in the early developmental stages, and the mother-child relationship ( Murdock, N., 2009, p.82). Kelly’s trust issues seem to stem from his sense of emotional abandonment from his mother at a young age. It is the hope of this counselor to provide Kelly with a therapeutic environment, where he will feel a sense of openness and provide him with a relationship that he feels that he has missed in his earlier years.

Object Relations Case Study of Kelly
A Conceptualization and Treatment Plan
According to Westen, D., 1991 although psychoanalytic theory originally focused primarily on the vicissitudes of the hypothesized sexual and aggressive drives, the clinical practice has been oriented toward the individual’s thoughts and feelings about people; social and sexual “objects” in psychoanalytic parlance, hence the term object relations. According to Murdock, N., (2009) the object relations theorists generally reject classic drive theory and instead argue that we seek objects in and of themselves, not as a means to satisfying instinctual drives. It is with this pretext that we assist our client to gain insight into his feelings of inadequacy, his distorted perception of self, and his trust or lack of issues. Presenting Concerns

Kelly presents himself with feelings of terrible anger. He states that recently he has had to quit his graduate program and his job at a children’s home due to financial difficulties. He started driving a tractor trailer so that he would be able to pay off his already acquired student loans; and while driving truck, he has no cost of living issues. When he does have down time from driving, he stays at his mother and stepfather’s house. It is at this point that Kelly feels the most anger. He discusses the fact that when he was one or two years old, his biological father committed suicide, then approximately three years later his mother remarried to his current stepfather. No one in Kelly’s family would ever discuss his father’s suicide, and Kelly states that he has feelings of abandonment of never knowing his father. He also states that when he was eleven or twelve, his mother started drinking quite heavily, and this too seems to bring out a great deal of anger. He has never felt like he could commit or have complete trust in any relationship, but truly longs to have a relationship. The one woman who Kelly even mentions in the counseling session, lived three states away, and neither Kelly nor she wanted to relocate. During the course of the interview Kelly discussed his mother’s alcohol problem while he was growing up, and stated that his mother did in fact quit drinking approximately twenty years ago. He is very proud that she has made such progress, however, he feels very angry about different events during his adolescent years while his mother was drinking, and feels that now she tries to smother him out of guilt. Kelly also voices that the only job he has ever stayed for any length of time was his job as a case worker at the children’s home, but even there, he felt as if the rules were unjust, and he felt as if he were always treated unfairly. Case Conceptualization

During the counseling session, Kelly seemed to focus greatly on the fact that his father committed suicide, and that his mother was not there for him during her drinking days and now she seems to over-compensate. Due to Kelly’s lack of forming an appropriate attachment bond with his mother and father, Kelly seems to have developed a distortion in...
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