OBJECT RELATIONS THEORIES AND SELF PSYCHOLOGY

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Object Relations and Self Psychology. Object relations refers to interpersonal relationsObject refers to that which will satisfy a need. significant person or thing that is target of another's feelings (drives).In combination with relations, object refers to interpersonal relations and suggests in

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OBJECT RELATIONS THEORIES AND SELF PSYCHOLOGY

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1. OBJECT RELATIONS THEORIES AND SELF PSYCHOLOGY

2. Object Relations and Self Psychology Object relations refers to interpersonal relations Object refers to that which will satisfy a need. significant person or thing that is target of another's feelings (drives). In combination with relations, object refers to interpersonal relations and suggests inner residues of past relations shaping present relations

3. Object relations theorists investigate the early formulation and differentiation of psychological structure and how these inner structures are manifested in interpersonal situations Theorists focus on relationships of early life that leave lasting impression within the psyche of the individual.

4. Residues…inner object relations shape the perceptions of individual and relationship with other individuals. Individuals interact not only with an actual other but the an internal other…a psychic representation that might be distorted version of social actual person. Self psychologists give more emphasis to the self than to the ego, or self representations or instincts.

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

6. Self psychology – would focus on transference relations which might reveal an impoverished self in need of a powerful object.. A need to be affirmed by fairy godmother, prince, therapist. Freud’s model speaks to how the personality is put together.. Object relations and self psychology focus on preoedipal development…see mental illness/problems in terms of developmental arrests rather than structural conflicts

7. Developmental arrests result in unfinished and unintegrative structure of personality Damage to object relationships or structure of the personality All psychoanalytic theories attempt to explain how the past influences the present and the inner world d distorts and influences external experience. All theorist are interested in the inner world

8. Terms 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

9. Representation - refers to how the person has or possesses an introject; how the person psychically represents an object. External – observable objects (the real person) Internal mental representations of objects (mental image... subjective experiences) Inner world of mental representations occupies the interest of psychoanalyst ...enable a therapist to understand the subjects behavior and motivation

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

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

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

13. 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 place between the self and object.

14. Splitting Includes normal processes in ordering psychic life Helps the immature infant hold both feelings together…with maturity can integrate feelings…infant uses splitting to keep apart the conflicting feelings toward the good and bad aspects of mothering

15. Object Relations Theorist Share a common concern about the primacy of relationships over innate instinctual drives Shifts from instinct to early relationships Emphasizes environmental influences. Weight is given to how the infant develops a ‘self’ through relationships within family and how this self relates toward others Study disorders in relationships –(personality disorders)

16. Self Psychology Emphasis on certain aspects of object relations Nature and kind of investment in the self Normal narcissism is part of traditional theory Kohut refers to narcissism: persons deal with objects as if objects were part of self and that objects performs critical functions for the self

17. Core Issues Nature of objects and shift from emphasis on drives. Nature and formation of psychic structures Developmental stages viewed in terms of relationships with objects Different views of conflict and consequences for therapy

18. Nature of Objects Freud – the object is the creation of drives; object relations are the function of drives Klein gave greater weigh to the interpersonal environment; interested in drives as viewed in transactions between infant and caregiver Fairbairn – main drive of a person is for a relationships; not the satisfaction of a drive

19. Fairbairn does away with the id...the ego has its own energy. The ego seeks relations with objects rather than just trying to control an unruly id. If relationship with parents is good, ego is whole; if bad the infant establishes compensating internal objects

20. Jacobson, Kernberg, and Kohut Develop models that integrate object relations without sacrificing instinctual drives in explaining development and motivation. Kohut develops the concept of narcissistic investment in objects. Sees objects in relation to self ----objects are part of self , performing functions of the self that self is not able to do

21. Kohut makes drives secondary and focuses on the self and early relations with selfobject – that is, an object perceived as omnipotent and carrying out crucial self-esteem functions for the self.

22. Structure Psychological organization and the constituent parts of self Deviate from Freud

23. Nature and Function of Psychic Structure Structure – the constituent part of the person Observer cannot see inner organization.. but a stable pattern and consistency of behavior can be seen Freud saw ego was dependent on the id for energy O.R. theorists look to the influence of external objects to build the internal structure

24. Structural formation involves aspects of the child’s world which has been abandoned as an external object and taken into the ego as a process of identification… becoming part of the child’s internal world Freud called it the superego…others see it as a part of the ego. Taking an object in implies establishing an agency within the psyche. an aspect of personality carrying on functions internally that where previously performed by external objects.

25. Units of object relations, organize the ego out of chaos, are images of the self in relation to object with each having a different feeling tone. Taking an object into the ego implies establishing an agency within the psyche…a aspect of the personality carries on function internally that were previously performed by external objects

26. Formation of cohesive… self gradually withdraws narcissistic investment from objects that performed function for the self that the self is now able to perform. Psychic functions include reality testing, regulating the self-esteem, and the like which earlier writers assigned to the ego

27. Freud's model centers on development stages and bodily zones. OJ theorists focus on development of child's movement from a stage of fusion and dependence on mothering person to state of increased self dependence and differentiation. Child fills emotional tank during fusion and symbiosis Disruptions can leave child depleted and empty

28. Emergence of self with increasing maturity of relationships with objects. Self is capable of different quality of relationships at specific stages of development ….becomes more independent as child differentiates and experiences separateness from mothering… as in Mahler’s theory Kohut see gradual establishment of a differentiated self representation.

29. Object relations therapists see aggression not so much as an instinct but a response to or reaction to pathological situation, and/or response tot relational frustration. OJ therapists tend to focus on problems in the structure of the personality that manifest themselves in relationships. The therapist will work on the here- and now- relationship with the patient in order to make inner changes that heal the then- and there- deficits in personality.

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