Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Next Tuesday I have a midterm exam that will give a case vingette and I will have to apply:
  1. social systems theory
  2. ecological perspectives theory
  3. psychoanalytic theory
  4. ego psychology
  5. object relations theory
  6. attachment theory

I am well versed in attachment theory, but I do need to brush up on it. I have been working on Object relations theory all day, and I have about 5 pages of typed notes thus far. I have further to go. However I really do dread the aspect of ego psychology and psychoanalytic theory.

Next Thursday I have a policy paper where I have to apply AB 490 to my field practicum. Easy enough, I'm just frustrated with my lack of resources - I'm so used to have too many references and citations that I feel rather lost on how to start this paper (I love literature reviews in journal articles).

Here's what object relations is (briefly, I promise!):

OBJECT RELATIONS is the process of internalizing the images of objects and understanding the impact this has on personality and interpersonal relationships. In other words, an infant internalizes the mother as a "good object" or a "bad object" (ie, good/bad breast), and then uses the internalized construct of the object to inform further relationships and personality.

Contemporary Object Relations“Object relations theory describes internal mental representations of relationships between self and other rather than actual external interpersonal relationships” (Applegate). The theory cannot ignore the importance of process and context. Two patterns emerge from the intrapsychic reality of process and experience: self-representations and object-representations; these are later formed into enduring relationships.Child must internalize the self and have reliable caregivers to allow the child to feel secure when the primary caregiver is absent. Object relations impacted by culture, family formation, race and ethnicity, and child rearing practices; may remove one or more particular of object relations theory (ie, transitional objects or separation anxiety).

Spitz thought that infants develop these pathologies from psychic disruptions in critical periods. Normally, infants are ambivalent towards the mother/object upon realizing that the bad object and good object are one entity; this unifying of the libidinal object is fusion, the lack of fusion leads to pathology.

On the other hand, Margaret Mahler worked with psychotic and autistic children. She rephrases object relations as the way an infant’s basic ego organizes during the first 3.5 years of life. Infant has to differentiate between the self and the (m)other (ie, “me” and “not me”).

ad infinitum (correct?)