Seminar Leaders: Dr. C. Dunbar, Dr. T. Gofine, M. K. O’Neil, PhD and Dr. G. Yanchyshyn
This course of 10 seminars will teach candidates further developments in core clinical Object Relations’ concepts and theories, first elaborated in England and then in the US. New clinical approaches were developed by Sandler and others in England, and by Jacobson, Mahler, Kernberg in America. These elaborations of Object Relations theory differ substantially from the Object Relations theories of Kleinians and of the Middle Group in England.
The Course will teach clinical usefulness of the newly elaborated understandings of the nature of “drive” and “defense”, both of which are central in these object relations’ theories of development and pathology. The candidates will be taught to integrate a significant focus on the preoedipal situation into the structural theory with its emphasis on the Oedipus complex. The Course also teaches candidates how to apply core theories of the unconscious, unconscious fantasies, and the theory of conflict and compromise formation within the new elaborations of Sandler and the American Object Relations theorists.
The Course will teach important theories about the internal world, self and object representations and the implications of these ideas for understanding psychopathology and applying in analytic treatment. In this course, conditions such as character disorders, borderline personality disorders, and psychosis are explored. Developmental challenges and linked psychopathologies are shown to candidates through the lens of the work of these theorists, and clinical implications are clarified.
The American Object Relations’ emphasis on theories of early child development, normal and pathological, are clarified, and the many implications for the conduct of psychoanalytic therapy and psychoanalysis are demonstrated, through the clinical vignettes in the papers and through case vignettes brought by the candidates into the discussion. (Objectives listed with seminars).
Joseph Sandler: Internal Object Relations and the Concept of the Representational World
This seminar lays out Sandler’s approach of combining Object Relations Theory and Freudian theory. Important concepts covered here include the concept of the internal world with self and object representations, the role of phantasy and actualization, identification and self esteem development. Implications of these theoretical concepts for therapy and the therapeutic relationship are explored.
- To integrate how representations of self and others are formed in the child’s early experience. (1.1) Teach human development at various stages), (1.2) Integrate knowledge of how human problems develop
- To integrate Sandler’s expanded definition of the superego with its approving and permissive as well as its prohibitive aspects, and its crucial role in self regulation and sense of well being. (1.1) Integrate knowledge of contextual and systemic factors that facilitate or impair human functioning
Sandler, J. & Rosenblatt, N. (1962). The Concept of the representational world. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 17, 128-145.
Sandler, J. & Sandler, A.M. (1990). A theory of internal object relations. In Internal Objects Revisited (pp. 121-140). London: Karnac Books (1998).
Fonagy, P. (2005). An overview of Joseph Sandler’s key contributions to theoretical and clinical psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 25, 120-147.
Transitional Theories: Edith Jacobson
This seminar teaches an overview of the psychoanalytic theories of Edith Jacobson on depression and on the self and the object world, and will demonstrates the technical implications for psychoanalytic treatment. The Course will show candidates how to integrate Jacobson’s elaboration of core concepts, developmental theories, and theories of change with group discussion and case material.
- To integrate Jacobson’s theories on depression, the self, and the object world in order to understand and to treat severe depression and object relational trauma. (1.2) Integrate knowledge of how human problems develop, from the viewpoint of the therapist’s theoretical orientation.
- To apply these theories in contemporary clinical practice, in exploring current cases. (1.2) Integrate knowledge of the impact of trauma.
Jacobson, E. (1971). “Chapter 8” (pp. 204-227); “Chapter 12” (pp. 284-301). In Depression: Comparative Studies of Normal, Neurotic and Psychotic Conditions. New York: International Universities Press.
Kernberg, O. (1979). The contributions of Edith Jacobson: An overview. Journal Of American Psychoanalytic Association, 27(4), 793-818.
Jacobson, E. (1964). The Self and the Object World. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.
Kernberg, O. (2013). Edith Jacobson and Otto Kernberg: Thirty years later. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 49, 73-81.
Seminars 3 and 4
Separation and Individuation
These seminars will focus on an overview of the psychoanalytic theories of Margaret Mahler on separation and individuation, and on the technical implications for psychoanalytic treatment.
- To apply the concept of Mahler’s “Separation-Individuation Process” to Borderline Phenomena in the clinical situation. (1.2) Establish a therapeutic relationship informed by the theoretical framework.
- To explore concepts of recognition, sexual differences, and destructiveness in the theory of lntersubjectivity. (1.1) Integrate knowledge of the psychological significance of spiritual, moral, social, emotional, cognitive, behavioural, sexual, gender, and biological development. (4.2) Demonstrate awareness of the impact of the client’s context on the therapeutic process.
- To understand the developmental context of internalized preoedipal object relations and to apply this understanding in analytic treatments. (1.1) Integrate knowledge of human development across the lifespan. (4.2) Demonstrate awareness of the impact of the client’s context on the therapeutic process.
- To use the theory of object constancy as observed in adult psychopathology in assessment and in setting the direction of the analytic therapy. (1.1) Integrate knowledge of contextual and systemic factors that facilitate or impair human functioning. (1.1) Integrate knowledge of the psychological significance of spiritual moral, social, emotional, cognitive, behavioural, sexual, gender, and biological development.
Required Readings (Seminar 3)
Mahler, M. (1971). A study of the separation-individuation process and its possible application to borderline phenomena in the psychoanalytic situation. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 26, 403-424.
Benjamin, J. (1995). Recognition and destructiveness: an outline of intersubjectivity . In Like Subjects, Love Objects: Essays on Recognition and Sexual Differences (pp. 27-48). New Haven & London: Yale University Press.
Coates. S.W. (2004). John Bowlby and Margaret Mahler: Their Lives and Theories. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 52, 571-801.
Required Readings (Seminar 4)
Kramer, S. & Akhtar, S. (1988). The developmental context of internalized preoedipal object relations. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 57, 547-576.
Kramer, S. & Akhtar, S. (1994). Object constancy and adult psychopathology. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75, 441-455.
Gergergly, G. (2000). Re-approaching Mahler; New perspectives on normal autism, symbiosis, splitting and libidinal object constancy. Journal Of American Psychoanalytic Association, 48, 1197-1228.
Seminars 5 and 6
These two seminars provide an introductory outline of some of Loewald’s main theoretical and clinical concepts, a unique integration of object relations and ego psychology (see Auchincloss and Samberg below). We will discuss two of his important papers and contemporary commentaries on them; and the implications for current clinical technique, particularly the transference/countertransference as an inter-subjective encounter (see Auchincloss and Samberg, below).
- To integrate new elaborations of core concepts: object relations, ego psychology, inter-subjective, internalization, Oedipus complex and to apply these concepts to assessment and the direction of the treatment. (1.2) Integrate knowledge of how human problems develop, from the viewpoint of the therapist theoretical orientation. (4.2) Demonstrate awareness of the impact of the client’s context on the therapeutic process.
- To integrate Loewald’s theory of the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis as an important addition to theories of therapeutic change. (1.2) Integrate a theory of change consistent with the therapist’s theoretical orientation.
Required Readings (Seminar 5)
Auchincloss, E. & Samberg, E. (Eds.). (2012). “Object relations” (p.177); “Ego psychology” (pp. 71-72); “Inter-subjective” (p.123); “Internalization” (pp. 115-16); Oedipus complex (p.182). In Psychoanalytic Terms and Concepts, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Loewald, H.W. (1960). On the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 41, 16-33.
Schafer, R. (1991). Internalizing Loewald. In The Work of Hans Loewald: An Introduction and Commentary (pp. 77-89). G. Fogel (Ed.). Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.
Friedman, L. (1986). On the therapeutic action of Loewald’s theory, ibid.pp. 91-104.
Required Readings (Seminar 6)
Loewald, H.W. (1979). The waning of the oedipus complex. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 27, 751-775.
Ogden, T.H. (2006). Reading Loewald: Oedipus reconceived. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 87, 651-666.
Motivation: Kernberg and Sandler
This seminar covers motivation and important feeling states that lead to it, such as the need for a sense of safety, and feeling loved. Also the ways in which drives, affects (emotions) and object relations are intimately linked are discussed.
- To integrate the knowledge of how affects (emotions) and drives influence motivation. (1.1) contextual and systemic factors that facilitate or impair human functioning.
- To apply the knowledge of how early relationships especially that with mother determine the infant’s sense of self and self-in-relation. (1.1) Teach human development at various stages.
Kernberg, O. (2001). Object relations, affects, drives: towards a new synthesis. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 21, 604-619.
Sandler, J. & Sandler, A.M. (1992). On the theory of motivation. In Internal Objects Revisited (pp. 1-26). London: Karnac Books (1998).
Sandler, J. & Sandler, A.M. (1998). Chapter 4: On object relations and affects. In Internal Objects Revisited (pp. 57-77). London: Karnac Books.
Blum, Harold P. (2010). Object relations in contemporary psychoanalysis: contrasting views. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 46, 32-47.
Clinical Application of theories of motivation
In these papers of Kernberg we examine how the Ego Psychology-Object Relations theory approach influences the practice of psychoanalytic therapy and analysis, especially in the examination and analysis of the transference in the clinical setting. Different channels of communication are described and the ways in which they are employed in the transference by patients of varying degrees of psychopathology and regression.
- To recognize various levels of pathology based on the different channels of communication in the transference and also in the countertransference. (1.3) Knowledge of psychopathology, (4.2) Develop skills in observation of self, the client and the therapeutic process.
- To apply the idea that transference is never a simple repetition of the patient’s actual past experiences but is a combination of real and fantasized experiences of the past and defenses against both. Also that the therapist must acknowledge the reality of his/her behavior if the patient is triggered by it. (1.4) Impact of the therapist’s self.
Kernberg, O. (1987). An ego-psychology-object relations theory approach to the transference. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56, 197-221.
Kernberg, O. (1988). Object relations theory in clinical practice. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 57, 481-504.
Erickell, H. (2007). The psychoanalytic theory of motivation: drive or affect. Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 30, 64-75.
Kernberg and Sandler theorize about this defense mechanism, which often is expressed in the transference and thereby in the countertransference. The historical definitions of the term are reviewed and its course through the child’s earliest development and its role in helping the infant establish a boundary between self and object (others). Then we discuss the effect of projective identification on the countertransference and its usefulness in helping the therapist understand what is happening in the patient’s unconscious.
- To understand and apply the concept of projective identification in development and in interactions both inside the therapy situation and in the patient’s life. (1.1) Teach human development at various stages.
- To observe themselves, the client and the therapeutic process (4.2) and Impact of the therapist’s self. (1.4)
Sandler, J. (1989). Chapter 2: The concept of projective identification. In Projection, Identification, Projective Identification (pp. 13-26). London: Karnac Books.
Young, Robert M. (2013). Projective identification. Free Associations, 13, 66-82.
This seminar looks at the place of Ego Psychology-Object Relations theory within in the canon of psychoanalytic thought and theory. We look at what develops from this theory and its impact on relational theory and feminist object relations theory.
- To use this theory to integrate conceptual bridges between American Ego Psychology and British Object Relations and bridges to psychoanalytic relational theory. (1.2) Integrate the theory or theories upon which the therapist’s practice is based.
- To use the implications of this theory for clinical understanding and management of the patient and the therapeutic relationship (1.1) Integrate knowledge of the psychological significance of spiritual, moral, social, emotional, cognitive, behavioural, sexual, gender and biological development; (1.4) recognize the cognitive, emotional, and behavioural patterns of the therapist which may influence therapeutic relationship.
Ellman, S. & Carsky, M. (2010). Chapter 14: Kernberg: Integrating object relations and ego psychology. In When Theories Touch (pp. 491-520). London: Karnac Books.
Mitchell, S. (1988). Chapter 1: The relational matrix. In Relational Concepts in Psychoanalysis: An Integration (pp. 17-40). Cambridge, MA & London: Harvard University Press.
Chodorow, N. (1989). Chapter 6: Beyond drive theory: object relations and the limits of lndividualism. In Feminism and Psychoanalytic Theory (pp. 114-153). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.