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Modern Structural Theory
October 18, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 3:30 pm on Friday, repeating until November 22, 2019
Second Year Adult Psychoanalytic Training (APT)
2019-20, 1st Trimester — Fridays, 3:30-5:00pm
Donald Schimmel, PhD
Babs Glover, MA LMHC
Child Development and the Turn to Object Relations Theory
Contributions from infant research led to a belief in the indissoluble integration of drives and object relations; affects are not simply discharge manifestations of drives but sustained tension states that represent the drive derivatives embedded in the relationship between self and object. A greater focus on early pre-oedipal stages of development influences the beginning of object relation theorizing.
Joseph Sandler is viewed as one of the modernizers of structural theory. He was trained in Anna Freud’s Hampstead Clinic, and brought some core ideas from the Kleinians into contact with ego psychology. He focused on developing clinical theory, and on establishing a closer relationship between theory and clinical practice. He felt the idea of “object cathexis” (conceiving of an object relationship as the energic investment of an object), was inadequate, moving instead towards object relations theory. His reformulation of clinical theory made it easier to join together a variety of psychoanalytic ideas. He also looked at the motivational power of relationships with others, on the one hand, and of affective states, prototypically feelings of safety (and its absence) on the other. He calls for a place for object relations and affects in motivational theory.
Sandler, J. Rosenblatt, B. (1962). The Concept of the Representational World. PSC, 17:128-145.
Sandler, J. (1976). Countertransference and Role-Responsiveness. IRP, 3:43-47.
Sandler, J. (1985). Towards a Reconsideration of the Psychoanalytic Theory of Motivation. BAFC, 8(4):223-244.
Greenberg, J. and Mitchell, S. (1983). Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory, Harvard University Press, Chapter 9, Margaret Mahler, pp270-303.