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PSYB30H3 Lecture Notes - Heinz Kohut, Melanie Klein, Object Relations Theory

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Marc A Fournier

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Chapter 7 Human Relations
Object relations emphasize the intRApsychic experience of relationships
Relational cultural theory emphasizes the intERpsychic experience connections/disconnections
o Example-stone center women
Object Relations Theory
Freud had a drive based model of the human psyche
o Seek objects to satisfy our drives
Object relations is a relational model, in which the drive to form relationships is the basic need
o The object is the aim of relational needs
o Example-teddy bears
Melanie Klein
Freud studied biological instics, she studied relations
She adhered to the drive theory, but saw people as the objects
In dealing with drives children construct internal representations and project them onto real
o Use experiences to confirm or disconfirm these representations
o Children split objects into good and bad, while they keep the good, they project the bad
onto others
Splitting an object image allows them to internalize it as clearly good or clearly bad, while loving
the actual external person who is a combination of both (although integration happens later)
Splitting of the good (arises from nurture) and bad (arises from frustration) allows the child to
from a good-me and bad-me
o The bad-me is important in that it allows child to move towards individuations and
Our early object relations are the building blocks for which our future interpersonal
relationships are based on
Margret Mahler
Saw biological birth as a distinct event, and psychological birth of an individual as a gradual
Developed stages through which the ego passes to become an individual
o Separation physical differentiation
o Individuation-psychological differentiation
This all precedes the Oedipus complex
Composed of four stages:
o Differentiation body image separate from mother
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