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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 Object Relations Theory

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3400
Professor
William Sharp
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 5 Klein: Object Relations Theory • Melanie Klein – Born march 30, 1882 in Vienna, Austria – Youngest of four – Felt neglected by father and suffocated by mother – Older sister died when MK was 4 – Father died when MK was 18 – Brother died when MK was 20 • Object Relations Theory – Emphasis on interpersonal relationships – More maternal – Human contact and relatedness motivation of behavior – Internal psychic representations of early significant objects are introjected  and then projected – Phantasies – Infant possesses active phantasy life – Psychic representations of unconscious id instincts – Shaped by both reality and inherited predispositions • Objects – Related to drives – Infants introject external objects of drives • Positions – Conflict between life and death instinct – Position is way of dealing with internal and external objects • Paranoid­Schizoid Position – Good vs. bad breast – Splitting internal and external objects into good and bad – Developed during first 3 or 4 months • Depressive Position – Begins at 5 or 6  month – See external objects as whole, and that good and bad can exist together – Develops more realistic image of mother – Recognize loved object and hated object are the same – Desire to make reparation and develop empathy • Defense Mechanisms • Introjection – Objects are not accurate representations of real objects • Projection – Project unmanageable impulses onto external objects – Allows us to believe that our own subjective opinions are true • Splitting – Keep apart incompatible impulses • Projective Identification – Split off unacceptable parts and project them into another object, and then  introject them back in a distorted form • Internalizations [Type text] [Type text] [Type text] • A process in which the person takes in aspects of the external world and organizes  those introjections in a psychologically meaningful way. • Ego • One’s sense of self • Begins to evolve with first feeding • Introjects both good and bad breast • This first object relation becomes the prototype for the ego’s future development  and later interpersonal relations • Must split into good and bad me • Superego • Emerges earlier in life • Produces terror in young children • Harsh and cruel • By age 5 or 6, arouses little anxiety, but a great deal of guilt • Oedipus Complex • Begins at earliest months of life until age 3 or 4 • Fear of retaliation from parent • Establish positive attitude with good or gratifying object and avoid bad or  terrifying object • Can direct love either alternately or simultaneously toward each parent • Female vs. male oedipal development • Margaret Mahler • Child becomes an individual, separate from caregiver, leading to sense of identity • Three developmental stages – Normal autism – 0 to 4 weeks • Absolute primary narcissism • Objectless stage
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