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Event Series Event Series: Object Relations

Object Relations

February 27, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm, Wyman Classroom

2-Year Certificate Program (2YCP)
2022-23, 3rd Term — Mondays, 6:30-7:45pm

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February 27, 2023

[37 pages]

In this fifth class we will read a Chapter from Tom Ogden’s book The Primitive Edge of Experience.  Ogden, a prolific writer and thinker introduces us to a concept of stages of human psychological development originally developed by Melanie Klein called the Depressive position and Paranoid-Schizoid Position.  Through her observations and work with children, Klein described the nature of anxieties and how they emerge and are managed.    She believed the Paranoid-Schizoid position developed during 0 – 3 months while the Depressive Position originated during 3 – 6 months of life.  Klein asserted that movement from one mode to the other was a developmental achievement – a sign of a maturing mind.  Building on Klein’s original ideas, Ogden thinks about these stages in terms of modes of being or generating experience that fluctuate throughout our lives and are not sequential.  These various modes of being  (or you could call them states of mind) offer us a lens to understand how people are psychologically organized, the nature of their anxieties, the kinds of defenses they employ to cope, and subsequent manners of relating in life and in the transference relationship.

Drawing from the work of Tustin, Bick, and Meltzer, Ogden adds a third mode of generating experience, which he terms the Autistic Contiguous mode of being.  He describes this mode as sensory-dominated.

Ogden, T. (1989) Ch 2 “Structure of Experience” in The Primitive Edge of Experience, New Jersey & London: Aronson. pp 9-45.

Point of Focus:Pay attention to how these three modes are different in terms of defenses and ways of communicating.  Do you have patients who have characteristics of any of the three modes or experience?  What might it feel like to be working with someone who predominantly “lives” in a paranoid-schizoid versus autistic-contiguous versus depressive mode?


February 27, 2023
6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
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(206) 328-5315
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4020 E Madison St, #230
Seattle, WA 98112
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(206) 328-5315
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