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Essential Papers on Object Relations

Essential Papers on Object Relations

Peter Buckley Editor
Sigmund Freud
Melanie Klein
Arnold H. Modell
W. R. D. Fairbairn
Jacob A. Arlow
Annie Reich
John Bowlby
Margaret S. Mahler
Harry Guntrip
D. H. Winnicott
Joseph Sandler
Anne-Marie Sandler
Otto Kernberg
T. F. Main
Edith Jacobson
Hans W. Loewald
Copyright Date: 1986
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 502
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  • Book Info
    Essential Papers on Object Relations
    Book Description:

    Psychoanalysis and Woman collects for the first time in one volume the most important psychoanalytic writings on female sexuality and women from Freud's contemporaries through French feminisms to postmodernism and post-feminism. These primary texts introduce the reader to a broad spectrum of works by primarily women theorists writing within a number of different psychoanalytic traditions.Psychoanalysis and Woman makes available a number of fundamental, yet obscure and inaccessible early psychoanalytic documents by women and places them within the context of later women psychoanalytic theorists. Editor Shelley Saguaro provides a concise contextual introduction addressing some of the sexual political issues raised by psychoanalysis, while each section of the volume is prefaced with more specific biographical and cultural introductory material. Topics addressed include new reproductive and sexual technologies, cybernetics, androgyny, the "third sex," pornography, and psychoanalysis and contemporary media/film theory.Contributors include Sigmund Freud, Karen Horney, Helene Deutsch, Jeanne Lampl-de Groot, Joan Riviere, Maria Torok, Melanie Klein, Nancy Chodorow, Juliet Mitchell, Noreen O'Connor and Joanna Ryan, Carl G. Jung, Esther Harding, Maria von Franz, Marion Woodman, Jacques Lacan, H l ne Cixous, Luce Irigaray, Julie Kristeva, Mary Jane Sherfey, Monique Wittig, Jacqeline Rose, Camille Paglia, Judith Butler, and Jane Flax.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-2329-6
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xi-xxvi)

    The history of psychoanalysis has been punctuated by theoretical dissension but perhaps no debate has been as wide ranging and has had such profound implications as that involving object relations theory. It is the purpose of this book to bring together those papers which have been seminal to the development of this theory. Many different authors are represented and, as will quickly become apparent from reading them, they often hold radically different viewpoints concerning the importance, meaning, and functions of “objects” and, by extension, the environment in the psychological development and mental life of individuals. Questions of the relationships between...

  5. Part I. Instincts Versus Relationships:: The Emergence of Two Opposing Theories

    • [Part I. Introduction]
      (pp. 1-4)

      Freud’s “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality” is a revolutionary work rivalling in magnitude hisInterpretation of Dreams. It is hard to imagine today the impact caused by his presentation of the unfolding of infantile sexuality and the relationship of the child’s polymorphous perversity to the sexual aberrations and normal sexuality. His conception has become so much a part of the fabric of psychoanalytic thought and our surrounding intellectual culture that the radical and explosive nature of his theories, which overturned certain cherished beliefs in the society of the time, is often forgotten.

      The first of the three essays...

    • 1. Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality: I: The Sexual Aberrations
      (pp. 5-39)
      Sigmund Freud

      The fact of the existence of sexual needs in human beings and animals is expressed in biology by the assumption of a ‘sexual instinct’, on the analogy of the instinct of nutrition, that is of hunger. Everyday language possesses no counterpart to the word ‘hunger’, but science makes use of the of the word ‘libido’ for that purpose.²

      Popular opinion has quite definite ideas about the nature and characteristics of this sexual instinct. It is generally understood to be absent in childhood, to set in at the time of puberty in connection with the process of coming to maturity and...

    • 2. A Contribution to the Psychogenesis of Manic-Depressive States
      (pp. 40-70)
      Melanie Klein

      My earlier writings contain the account of a phase of sadism at its zenith, through which children pass during the first year of life.¹ In the very first months of the baby’s existence it has sadistic impulses directed, not only against its mother’s breast, but also against the inside of her body: scooping it out, devouring the contents, destroying it by every means which sadism can suggest. The development of the infant is governed by the mechanisms of introjection and projection. From the beginning the ego introjects objects ‘good’ and ‘bad’, for both of which its mother’s breast is the...

    • 3. A Revised Psychopathology of the Psychoses and Psychoneuroses
      (pp. 71-101)
      W. R. D. Fairbairn

      Within recent years I have become increasingly interested in the problems presented by schizophrenic and schizoid patients and have devoted special attention to these problems. The result has been the emergence of a point of view which, if it proves to be well-founded, must necessarily have far-reaching implications both for psychiatry in general and for psycho-analysis in particular. My various findings and the conclusions to which they lead involve not only a considerable revision of prevailing ideas regarding the nature and ætiology of schiziod conditions, but also a considerable revision of ideas regarding the prevalence of schizoid processes and a...

    • 4. The Repression and the Return of Bad Objects (with Special Reference to the ‘War Neuroses’)
      (pp. 102-126)
      W. R. D. Fairbairn

      In the earlier phases of his psycho-analytical thought Freud was chiefly concerned with the nature and the fate of impulse—a fact to which the formulation of his famous libido theory bears eloquent witness. Thus it came about that modern psychopathology was founded essentially upon a psychology of impulse: and Freud’s libido theory has remained one of the corner-stones in the edifice of psycho-analytical thought, albeit this theory is now generally accepted only with such modifications as were introduced by Abraham in deference to developmental considerations. It was always foreign to Freud’s intention, however, to convey the impression that all...

    • 5. Object Concept and Object Choice
      (pp. 127-146)
      Jacob A. Arlow

      More perplexing than trying to understand the way of a man with a maid is formulating a psychoanalytic theory about it. This is the reason, perhaps, why most analysts writing on the subject of love do as I just did—they tum to quotations from literature. When we use as primary sources not our own clinical data but the experience and insights of other fields, we betray a sense of our unease. Such behavior indicates that our understanding of the clinical phenomena or of the analytic theory that we adduce to interpret them is not as firmly based as we...

  6. Part II. Object Relations and the Development of the Child

    • [Part II. Introduction]
      (pp. 147-152)

      The papers in this section examine aspects of the development of object relationships in the child. Drawing on ethology as well as psychoanalysis, Bowlby’s paper develops a theory of ‘attachment behaviour’ to explain the formation of early object relations. The work of Konrad Lorenz (1950) on imprinting had indicated that, in some species of birds, bonds developed between the newly hatched bird and a mother figure entirely as a consequence of exposure to the presence of the mother and not as an outgrowth of feeding behavior. These ethological findings, together with his work on maternal deprivation (1951), deeply influenced Bowlby...

    • 6. The Nature of the Child’s Tie to His Mother
      (pp. 153-199)
      John Bowlby

      Psycho-Analysts are at one in recognizing the child’s first object relations as the foundation stone of his personality: yet there is no agreement on the nature and dynamics of this relationship. No doubt because of its very importance, differences are sharp and feelings often run high. In this paper I am taking it for granted that today we are all agreed on the empirical fact that within 12 months the infant has developed a strong libidinal tie to a mother-figure¹ and that our differences lie in how this has come about. What in fact are the dynamics which promote and...

    • 7. On Human Symbiosis and the Vicissitudes of Individuation
      (pp. 200-221)
      Margaret S. Mahler

      The term symbiosis is borrowed from biology, where it is used to refer to a close functional association of two organisms to their mutual advantage.

      In the weeks preceding the evolution to symbiosis, the newborn and very young infant’s sleeplike states far outweigh in proportion the states of arousal. They are reminiscent of that primal state of libido distribution that prevailed in intrauterine life, which resembles the model of a closed monadic system, self-sufficient in its hallucinatory wish fulfillment.

      Freud’s (12) use of the bird’s egg as a model of a closed psychological system comes to mind. He said: “A...

    • 8. On the First Three Subphases of the Separation-Individuation Process
      (pp. 222-232)
      Margaret S. Mahler

      I have based this presentation upon two thoughts of Freud—two pillars of psychoanalytic metapsychology. The first is that, at the time of his biological birth, the human being is brought into the world in an immature state. (This is due to the fact that the over-development of his CNS requires a large cranial cage.) Hence he is atfirst absolutely,and remains later on—even ‘unto the grave’—relativelydependent on a mother.

      The second Freudian tenet, which is probably a result of the first, is his emphasis thatobject relationship—i.e. one person’s endowing another with object libido—...

    • 9. The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship
      (pp. 233-253)
      D. W. Winnicott

      The main point of this paper can perhaps best be brought out through a comparison of the study of infancy with the study of the psychoanalytic transference. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that my statement is about infancy, and not primarily about psycho-analysis. The reason why this must be understood reaches to the root of the matter. If this paper does not contribute constructively, then it can only add to the existing confusion about the relative importance of personal and environmental influences in the development of the individual.

      In psycho-analysis as we know it there is no trauma that...

    • 10. Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena: A Study of the First Not-Me Possession
      (pp. 254-271)
      D. W. Winnicott

      It is well known that infants as soon as they are born tend to use fist, fingers, thumbs in stimulation of the oral erotogenic zone, in satisfaction of the instincts at that zone, and also in quiet union. It is also well know that after a few months infants of either sex become fond of playing with dolls, and that most mothers allow their infants some special object and expect them to become, as it were, addicted to such objects.

      There is a relationship between these two sets of phenomena that are separated by a time interval, and a study...

    • 11. On the Development of Object Relationships and Affects
      (pp. 272-292)
      Joseph Sandler and Anne-Marie Sandler

      This paper is about the development of object relationships, with special reference to the role of affect in that development. The topic is not an easy one to discuss because the psychoanalytic theory of object relationships is far from satisfactory, and our theory of affect is, at best, in a state of healthy and constructive chaos. When we think about object relationships we have to cope in our minds with such concepts as relationships to part and whole objects, to objects which are only need-satisfying or which possess object-constancy. We have objects to whom there is an anaclitic relationship, towards...

  7. Part III. Object Relations, Psychopathology, and the Clinical Situation

    • [Part III. Introduction]
      (pp. 293-296)

      The papers in this section illustrate the application of object relations theory to an understanding of both psychopathology and the psychoanalytic situation. Annie Reich examines two pathological forms of narcissistic object choice in women resulting from disturbances in the development of object relations. In the more severe form, the “as if” personality, fixation at an early state of object relations development dominated by primary identification via imitation is the basis of pathological object choice. In the other, the mechanism of regression to a primitive form of object relationship is at work. Reich’s insightful understanding of these particular types of pathology...

    • 12. Narcissistic Object Choice in Women
      (pp. 297-317)
      Annie Reich

      Freud’s paper “On Narcissism: An Introduction” (4) has a special place within the frame of his work: it is the forerunner of ego psychology. A number of problems which later are dealt with from the point of view of ego psychology are treated here on the basis of libido theory.

      Freud distinguishes the choice of objects resembling the feeding mother or the protecting father, the so-called anaclitic type, from the choice of objects which resemble the own self: the narcissistic type. In the above-cited paper, he gives four possibilities. A person may love: (1) what he is himself; (2) what...

    • 13. Transference Problems in the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Severely Depressive Patients
      (pp. 318-328)
      Edith Jacobson

      I have been invited to stimulate our discussion today by a brief communication on my analytic experiences with severe cases of depression. I was very reluctant to accept this suggestion because I feel that what I have to say and can say in the available time is not substantial enough to deserve being presented.

      May I first briefly define the type of cases which I want to discuss. Of course, almost all neurotics tend to develop temporary depressive reactions. But the patients to whom I shall refer were persons whose whole life problems hinged on their predisposition for severe depressive...

    • 14. Primitive Object Relationships and the Predisposition to Schizophrenia
      (pp. 329-349)
      Arnold H. Modell

      One of Freud’s proudest achievements was the transformation of the therapeutic relationship which takes place in psycho-analysis into a tool of scientific investigation. Freud also believed that ‘the future will probably attribute far greater importance to psycho-analysis as the science of the unconscious than as a therapeutic procedure’ (Freud, 1926). Nevertheless in recent years the importance of clinical research has been underestimated and a growing cleavage has developed between the researcher and the clinician. Scientific investigation, in common with all other forms of human group endeavors, is subject to moods as well as to the whim of fashion, and this...

    • 15. Structural Derivatives of Object Relationships
      (pp. 350-384)
      Otto Kernberg

      This paper began with the observation of some peculiar defensive operations in patients suffering from severe character disorders and so called ‘borderline’ conditions (Knight, 1954). There is a kind of ‘selective’ impulsivity shown by many borderline patients, especially those suffering from ‘acting out’ character disorders with some borderline features. I am referring here to the observation that the apparent lack of impulse control of these patients is often of a particular, selective kind. Some patients may present very good impulse control in all but one area. In this one area, there may exist rather than lack of impulse control, alternative...

    • 16. On the Therapeutic Action of Psycho-Analysis
      (pp. 385-418)
      Hans W. Loewald

      Advances in our understanding of the therapeutic action of psycho-analysis should be based on deeper insight into the psycho-analytic process. By ‘psycho-analytic process’ I mean the significant interactions between patient and anaylst which ultimately lead to structural changes in the patient’s personality. Today, after more than fifty years of psycho-analytic investigation and practice, we are in a position to appreciate, if not to understand better, the role which interaction with environment plays in the formation, development, and continued integrity of the psychic apparatus. Psycho-analytic ego-psychology, based on a variety of investigations concerned with ego-development, has given us some tools to...

    • 17. The Ailment
      (pp. 419-446)
      T. F. Main

      When a patient gets better it is a most reassuring event for his doctor or nurse. The nature of this reassurance could be examined at different levels, beginning with that of personal potency and ending perhaps with that of the creative as against the primitive sadistic wishes of the therapist; but without any such survey it might be granted that cured patients do great service to their attendants.

      The best kind of patient for this purpose is one who from great suffering and danger of life or sanity responds quickly to a treatment that interests his doctor and therafter remains...

    • 18. My Experience of Analysis with Fairbairn and Winnicott (How Complete a Result Does Psycho-Analytic Therapy Achieve?)
      (pp. 447-468)
      Harry Guntrip

      It does not seem to me useful to attempt a purely theoretical answer to the question forming the sub-title. Theory does not seem to me to be the major concern. It is a useful servant but a bad master. Liable to produce orthodox defenders of every variety of the faith. We ought always to set light to theory and be on the look-out for ways of improving it in the light of therapeutic practice. It is therapeutic practice that is the real heart of the matter. In the last resort good therapists are born not trained, and they make the...

  8. Index
    (pp. 469-477)