Manual Object Relations, Work and the Self

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The attitude to the outer world is the same: non-involvement and observation at a distance without any feeling, like that of a press reporter describing a social gathering of which he is not a part, in which he has no personal interest, and by which he is bored. Such activity as is carried on may appear to be mechanical. When a schizoid state supervenes, the conscious ego appears to be in a state of suspended animation in between two worlds, internal and external, and having no real relationships with either of them.

It has decreed an emotional and impulsive standstill, on the basis of keeping out of effective range and being unmoved. Welcome back.

Object relations theory and self psychology in social work practice (Book, ) [diskrochifocon.ml]

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. These chapters are entitled "fragile self-fused object," "defective self-protective object," and "unworthy self-bad object. It is interesting to note, as a historical aside, that Freud can be viewed as the original object relations theorist before he changed his mind about the role of trauma and developed his theory of fantasy determinants. Melanie Klein, in her subsequent work with children, returned to this earlier notion of trauma-based pathology and essentially became the mother of the object relations approach.

Another precursor of object relations took place in the later evolution of ego psychology.

The concept of internal object relations.

This included its multiple functions, including very prominently, the sense of self and others as well as object relations. Among the other functions often included are: reality testing, defensive, integrative, regulatory, thought, adaptive regression in the service of the ego, stimulus barrier, autonomy, judgment and mastery. Unfortunately, Summers, in criticizing ego psychology as exclusively drive-based, intrapsychic and solely interpretive is really referring to the earliest ego thinking with its primary function the defense against anxiety from intolerable drives.

Among the most intriguing parts of the book are the clinical revelations of his successful work with the various borderline patients. These are patients who have had their basic fusion needs thwarted leaving them with fragile, vulnerable, raging and depressed inner selves. Their attachment fusion needs remain hidden under a variety of defensive postures.

Object Relations Part I - Theories of Personality

Summers assumes the challenge of analytic work with the belief that only with the actual provision of a deeply sustained fusion experience in the context of an analytic framework, can growth with the capacity for intimacy occur. It is this second chance new object relationship that is seen as most mutative.

I would rather think, more specifically, it is the disconfirming shock and surprise that extinguishes the irrational negative expectations and the maladaptive defenses. Summers utilizes analytic interpretations to understand the urgency of the defensive anger to protect the meager structure of the self, and to promote the unfolding of the fusion longings. He also displays an unusual confidence in offering a continual emotional availability to his patients, which he describes as "affective bonding.

In reading the various descriptions of the fusion experience, I missed more precise verbatim reports of the specific interventions that cultivated and sustained these interactions.

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I was also curious how rage reactions from the inevitable empathic ruptures were treated. And furthermore, I wanted to know how object constancy translated itself into self-coherence so that that the self loss threats are only temporary recoverable disturbances. It is also somewhat unclear how the fusion experience is differentiated from the selfobject experience in the treatment of narcissistic pathology, and how the fragile self is different from the defective self.

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Both are deficit disorders of the self and developmentally less structured than the guilt-ridden and conflicted neurotic. Summers' chapter on the neurotic unworthy self and the bad object is more clearly defined than the differential theory and treatment about the borderline and the narcissistic.


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One virtue of a profound book is the number of ideas and questions raised in the mind of the reader. Clair has done a fine job of highlighting the evolution of psychoanalytic thought from classical Freudian to Object Relations and Self Psychology theories, and presenting complex material in a very palatable fashion.

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Object Relations Theory and the Mom Factor

Order inspection copy. Table of Contents. New to this edition. New chapter-ending discussion questions help instructors to facilitate class discussions in reference to each theorist presented in the book.

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Updated case studies illustrate the theories presented and provide students with examples of how a therapist might proceed. Revised chapters and bibliography to provide students with current references. The book provides a concise and easy-to-understand overview of the most well-known theorists and their work.

Each of the nine chapters covering a major theorist presents an introduction of the theory, core issues, therapy model, case illustration, and assessment and critique of the theory. Critique sections in each chapter examine how different theorists vary from both the classical Freudian model and from one another.