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> 연구소소개 > 대상관계이론

 

대상관계이론가들은 정통 프로이드 학파의 성격 모델과는 다른 방법으로 관계와 성격의 구조와 그 구조적 발달에 대해 연구해 왔다.
이들은 대상관계 이론가와 자기 심리학 이론가로 분류된다. 대상관계와 자기 심리학 이론가들은 모두 자신을 정신분석학의 주류내에 있는 것으로 간주하지만 그들의 중요한 이론적 부분에 있어서는 그 흐름을 달리한다.

 

대상관계이론가들은 초기의 정신구조와 심리기제의 형성과정에서 발현되는 감별(differentiation)을 연구하고 이러한 내적 구조들이 현실적인 대인관계 상황에서 어떻게 재현되는가를 조사한다. 이들 이론가들은 지속적인 인상 즉, 개인의 정신내에 존재하는 잔재(residue), 혹은 찌꺼기(remnant)를 남기는 생후 초기 관계에 초점을 맞춘다. 이러한 과거 관계의 잔재, 다른 말로 내적 대상관계가 개인의 인식과 다른 개인들과의 관계의 형태를 만들기 때문이다.
인간은 그가 거래하는 실제의 타인들과의 관계를 사실 그대로 혹은 사실을 왜곡해 해석 (설명)하는 내부의 타인, 즉 정신적인 표상이라고 칭하는 성장과정에서 영상화된 대상의 이미지와 관계하는 것이다.

 

대상관계이론은 클라인 (Melanie Klein)에 의해서 창시되었다. Klein은 항가리의 부다페스트에서 태어나 초등학교 교사를 지내다가 Frued의 정신분석학에 매료되어 빈으로 건너가 Frued의 제자가 되었다. 그후 그녀은 런던으로 이주하여 아동정신분석가 되었다.
1930년대와 40년대에 그녀는 스카틀랜드에 있는 에딘버러의
페어베언 (W. R. D. Fairbairn)과 생각을 교환하면서 서로간에 영향을 주었다. 그들은 같은 시기에 대상관계이론이라는 새로운 지평을 열었으나 페어베언에 의해 그 욍좌가 Klein에게 양도되었다.

런던의 소아과 의사인
위니코트 (D. W. Winnicott)는 아동심리치료를 하고 있었는데 다른 정신분석 저서와는 별로 관련성이 없는
독특하고 독창적인 저서들을 출판했다.


헝가리에서 태어나 비엔나에서 수업한 후 뉴욕으로 이주해 아동을 치료한
마흘러 (Margaret Mahler)는 1950년대부터 70년대까지
많은 영향력있는 글들과 저서들을 발표했다.

또한 독일에서 건너온 제이콥슨(Edith Jacobson)도 이 시기에 뉴욕에서 활동하고 글을 썼다.


역시 비엔나 출신인
컨버그 (Otto Kernberg)는 칠레에서 의사수업과 정신치료 훈련을 받고 캔사스의 메닝거 클리닉에서 계속
정신치료를 해 나갔다. 앞에서 언급했던 학자들의 개념을 기반으로 해서 저술한 그의 책과 논문들은 1970년대에 발표되기 시작했다.


비엔나에서 태어났고 정신분석에 있어서 흠잡을 데 없는 경력을 보유하고 있는
코호트(Heinz Kohut)는 시카고에서 대부분의 치료
활동을 했다.
그의 명성이 절정에 다달았던 1970년대에 그는 정신분석학계에 파문을 일으키고 정신분석 사고의 흐름를 변화시켰던 자기 심리학을 다룬 책들을 출판했다.

이들에 의해서 대상관계이론은 계속 발전하고 변모되어 왔으며 지금도 계속 발전되고 있는 과정에 있다.

 

looksmart에서 찾은 자료들

What is Object Relations?

상담관련단체 사이트 

 

Carl Bagnini가 운영하는 연구소의 프로그램

Michael Kaufman이 운영하는 연구소 프로그램

OBJECT RELATIONS COUPLE AND FAMILY THERAPY  프로그램 안내

Washington Institute of Psychiatry

 

Object Relations Theory emerges wholly from the profound impact of the work of Melanie Klein (1882-1960). Klein sought to elaborate on and extend Freud's original theory through her observations and clinical work with children. Indeed, Klein's work
as a whole is an extension of Freud's work, but also a transformation of Freud's original insights through her unique interpretive perspectives. Klein was also profoundly influenced by Sandor Ferenczi, her own psychoanalyst. Klein's insights were so transformative of Freud's work, in fact, that her theoretical work was rejected by many orthodox Freudians -- a clash best represented in the split between Klein's "London school" and the "Viennese school," most closely associated with the figure of Anna Freud. The initial class between Klein and Anna Freud, leading to this profound and lasting 'split,' involved differences in opinion regarding the treatment of children. Klein used play therapy and used interpretive techniques which were very similar to the techniques used with adults. Anna Freud, on the other hand, held that children's egos were not yet developed enough for classical analysis, and, instead, she advocated a more educative role for the analyst who works with children. The heated debates in WWII Britain -- within the British psychoanalytic society -- led to a profound schism in the psychoanalytic community which is still evident to this day. In fact, until recently, most American psychoanalysts, who were more closely aligned with Freudian ego psychology, held Klein and subsequent Object Relations Theory in contempt for this reason, and, vice versa, the Kleinian tradition generally demonized the ego psychology movement. Thankfully, today this schism is beginning to heal.

Working with children, Klein felt she had observed processes in pre-Oedipal children that were very similar to Oedipal conflicts in older children. Throughout her career, she attempted to theoretically justify these observations. In turn, Klein and her followers applied her practice and theory to work with psychotic adult patients. Klein generally saw similarities between young children's coping strategies in play and psychotic symptoms. In general, however, Klein imagined that all adults retain, at some level, such psychotic processes, involving a constant struggle to cope with paranoid anxiety and depressive anxiety. Klein was led, therefore, to apply her approach to adult neurotics, as well as psychotics and children. Klein's technique, in all cases, involved a method of using "deep" interpretations which she felt communicated directly to the unconscious of the client, thus by-passing ego defenses. In conclusion, Klein's theories, for example, of the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions, her conception of sexuality and envy, and her discovery of projective identification as a defense have all been highly influential contributions to the field which, regardless of Klein's intentions, opened up new possibilities for psychoanalysis which were quite different than Freud's classical psychoanalytic practice and theory. The term "object relations" ultimately derived from Klein, since she felt that the infant introjects the 'whole' other with the onset of the depressive position during the ontogenesis of the self.

Klein's student and analysand, Wilfred Bion (1897-1979), has been one of the most influential and gifted of Klein's followers. Bion's work is very complex and difficult to understand, even for one who is well-versed in Kleinian theory. Many of Bion's insights came from his work with schizophrenics, and these observations led him to significantly advance and re-conceptualize Klein's original thinking regarding envy and projective identification. As for envy, Bion felt it involved self-attacks which he called "attacks on linking" designed to sever problematic object relationships, but which, in the end, lead to a destruction of one's good objects. Most importantly, I would argue, Bion's contribution to Kleinian theory is an advancement which moves her theoretically conceived subject out of a solopsistic world of phantasy generated by instinctual drives. In the case of Bion, the mother has a significant impact on the child by the way she assists the child in coping with his or her anxiety. By 'containing' the anxiety of the child, Bion felt, the mother teaches the child to cope with the anxiety. Drawing on this fundamental insight, Bion felt that one of the central tasks of the psychoanalyst is to contain the anxiety of the client. And these process rely on the use of projective identification by which the child or patient projects intolerable anxiety onto the mother or analyst, who in turn 'contains' and gives back to the child the experience in a more manageable form.

British object relations theory, as already mentioned, is indebted to the work of Klein. Interestingly, however, the major figures of object relations theory, including Fairbairn, Winnicott, Balint, Bowlby and Guntrip, developed their positions without taking sides in the debates at the British Psychoanalytic Society. Although billing themselves as "independent" from the traditional Freudians of the "Viennese school" and the Kleinians of the "London school," they were deeply indebted to Klein's work, and, vice versa, Klein was often directly influenced by this "middle school," particularly by Fairbairn.

W. R. D. Fairbairn (1889-1964) dedicated himself to solving the theoretical problems inherent in Freud's hedonic drive theory, which he was never able to reconcile with his observations of the "repetition compulsion." In order to do this, Fairbairn had to reconceptualize Freud's theory of motivation -- thus, the libido. If the libido is primarily pleasure-seeking as Freud has argued, thought Fairbairn, why do people continually involve themselves in traumatic experiences? How can one explain, for example, nightmares, sexual masochism, and traumatic neurosis involving the repetition compulsion? Fairbairn's answer to this riddle is that the libido is not primarily pleasure-seeking, but object-seeking. In other words, intimacy and a connection to others is the primary motivation in human beings and pleasure is rather a secondary motivation derived from this more primary motivation. Also, unlike Klein, internal objects are not inevitable consequences of development, but rather the result of compensations for a real connection with others and stem from disruptions in early object relations with primary caregivers. These insights led Fairbairn to develop a new structure of the psyche which differed from Freud's original tripartite id, ego and superego structure. In particular, Fairbairn conceptualized a "splitting of the ego" into a libidinal and anti-libidinal ego to account for his observations.

D. W. Winnicott (1896-1971) began his career as a pediatrician and used his experience with children to develop his innovative ideas. Like Fairbairn, Winnicott conceptualized the psyche of the child as developing in relation to a real, influential parent. For a child to develop a healthy, genuine self, as opposed to a false self, Winnicott felt, the mother must be a "good-enough mother" who relates to the child with "primary maternal preoccupation." Anticipating the insights of Kohut and self psychology, Winnicott felt that a good-enough mother allows herself to be used by the infant so that he or she may develop a healthy sense of omnipotence which will naturally be frustrated as the child matures. Winnicott's theory is especially innovative regarding his conceptualization of the psychic space between the mother and infant, neither wholly psychological or physical, which he termed the "holding environment" and which allows for the child's transition to being more autonomous. This concept of the "holding environment" led Winnicott to develop his famous theory of the "transitional object." Winnicott felt that a failure of the mother -- the not-good-enough mother -- to provide a "holding environment" would result in a false self disorder, the kind of disorders which he saw in his practice. Winnicott's theory of "false self disorders" is uncannily similar to Laing's description of the schizoid personality in The Divided Self. Winnicott also felt that the therapist's task is to provide such a "holding environment" for the client so that the client might have the opportunity to meet neglected ego needs and allow the true self of the client to emerge.

Other important figures in the Object Relations tradition include Michael Balint, John Bowlby, and Harry Guntrip, as well as the following contributors: Susan Isaac, Hanna Segal, Herbert Rosenfeld, Paula Heimann, Heinrich Racker, Joseph Sandler, Betty Joseph, John Steiner, Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Esther Bick, Thomas Ogden, John D. Sutherland, James Grotstein, Jill Savage Scharff, Otto Kernberg, Nina Coltart, Patrick Casement, Neville Symington, Stephen Mitchell, Christopher Bollas, Henry Ezriel, Henry V. Dick, David E. Scharff, and Elliott Jaques.

For an in depth exploration of Object Relations Theory from an existential-phenomenological perspective, I highly recommend reading an article I've written:

The Paranoid-Schizoid and Depressive Positions in the Psychogenesis of the Self:A Phenomenological Investigation into the Ontological Foundations of Object Relations Theory