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Chapter 7 - Human Relations

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Marc A Fournier

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 people 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 separation  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 process  Developed stages through which the ego passes to become an individual  Separation-individuation 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 o Practicing- perfecting motor ability (physical independence) o Rapprochement- awareness of being separate from mother, realize mothers have good and bad aspects (split) o Consolidation - Unification of good and bad in the mother with her external image. Beginning of individuality, development of a self concept Heinz Kohut  Object relations theorist emphasize meeting early childhood needs  His theory was his self theory  Children need to be mirrored – to have their accomplishments and talk awknowldged and praised  Idealization allows them to develop goals  If parents fail to respond in appropriate ways, they will have low self work and spend rest of life looking for acceptance  Nuclear self is a core self made of ambitions and goals  Only with support can it grow leading to an autonomous self that has self esteem, and self confidence o Is flexible in many interpersonal situations  Psychopathology is the result of traumatic self-object relations from childhood o Dysfunctional behaviour is an attempt to resolve early trauma  Narcissism is exaggerated self importance that hides low self worth o Freud believed narcissism and borderline disorders could not be treated by psychoanalysis because they emerged before the patient was able to talk  Kohut believed disorders of the self come from lack of empathy and mirroring from parents  Stressed empathy and introspection intherapy o Patents develop idealizing and mirroring transferences which allows to rework traumatic relationship
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