William Fairbairn's Object Relations Theory

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William Fairbairn is known for postulating that libido unlike what Freud said is object seeking and not pleasure seeking. He said our search for relationships is more primitive than the desire to gratify them. Fairbairn’s structural model proposes, “that the libido is not primarily aimed at pleasure, but at making relationships with others.” Fairbairn’s internal objects are formed directly from actual experiences with external objects. For Fairbairn, badness is the internalization of parents who are actually depriving or rejecting. His development theory describes how the infant works on his dependency to the mother through developmental stages. These are: Early infantile dependency where the child is psychologically merged with the …show more content…

GOALS OF OBJECT RELATIONS THERAPY Object relations therapy uses, “the therapist-patient relationship as a stepping stone to healthier object relationships and to promote positive changes in the patient’s sense of self.” The therapist becomes the ‘reparative object’ for the client to help him re experience more fulfilling object relations through transference and countertransference and help the client integrate his splits. Object relations therapy is incomplete without talking about the defenses the self employs against anxiety like ‘splitting’ which is a ‘way of seeing the self and objects prior to seeing them whole.” MELANIE KLEIN THERAPY WITH CLIENT ‘F’ From the moment the infant starts interacting with the outer world, he is engaged “in testing his phantasies in a reality …show more content…

How her circumstances forced her to become the adult prematurely and disown her vulnerability. F was luckily ‘emotionally linked’ to me and thus when confronted with the projection she felt assured that “the split off bad parts of the self are not grounds for abandonment.” As a therapist one has to be aware if the countertransference is habitual or induced by projective identification. Projective identification is a self-fulfilling prophecy and if therapist becomes aware of it, it can good insight in the client’s interpersonal relationships. In my married life I am now aware of how I was doing projective identification-power. As a child my helplessness in the face of my mother’s behavior taught me the injunction of ‘be strong’ and that helplessness is bad. I tried my best to project helplessness on my spouse and he responded the way I wanted to, so for many years I felt happy and satisfied. Anytime he would reject it, I would feel a familiar anxiety of my childhood. Through therapy I learned how to own up this disowned part of me and accept my vulnerable side. WILLIAM FAIRBAIRN THERAPY WITH CLIENT

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