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W. R. D. Fairbairn (1889-1964) challenged the dominance of Freud's drive theory with a psychoanalytic theory based on the internalization of human relationships. Fairbairn assumed that the unconscious develops in childhood and contains dissociated memories of parental neglect, insensitivity, and outright abuse that are impossible the children to tolerate consciously. In Fairbairn's model, these dissociated memories protect developing children from recognizing how badly they are being treated and allow them to remain attached even to physically abusive parents. Attachment is paramount in Fairbairn's model, as he recognized that children are absolutely and unconditionally dependent on their parents. Kidnapped children who remain attached to their abusive captors despite opportunities to escape illustrate this intense dependency, even into adolescence. At the heart of Fairbairn's model is a structural theory that organizes actual relational events into three self-and-object pairs: one conscious pair (the central ego, which relates exclusively to the ideal object in the external world) and two mostly unconscious pairs (the child's antilibidinal ego, which relates exclusively to the rejecting parts of the object, and the child's libidinal ego, which relates exclusively to the exciting parts of the object). The two dissociated self-and-object pairs remain in the unconscious but can emerge and suddenly take over the individual's central ego. When they emerge, the "other" is misperceived as either an exciting or a rejecting object, thus turning these internal structures into a source of transferences and reenactments. Fairbairn's central defense mechanism, splitting, is the fast shift from central ego dominance to either the libidinal ego or the antilibidinal ego-a near perfect model of the borderline personality disorder. In this book, David Celani reviews Fairbairn's five foundational papers and outlines their application in the clinical setting. He discusses the four unconscious structures and offers the clinician concrete suggestions on how to recognize and respond to them effectively in the heat of the clinical interview. Incorporating decades of experience into his analysis, Celani emphasizes the internalization of the therapist as a new "good" object and devotes entire sections to the treatment of histrionic, obsessive, and borderline personality disorders.
Reviews the theoretical work of W.R.D. Fairbairn and describes a pragmatic approach based on that theoretical foundation. Annotation copyright by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Relinquishing family attachments that failed to meet childhood needs is the most difficult task individuals can undertake as they grow into adulthood.Leaving Home not only emphasizes the life-saving benefits of separating from toxic parents but also offers a viable program for personal emancipation. David P. Celani centers his program on Object Relations Theory, a branch of psychoanalysis developed by Scottish analyst Ronald Fairbairn. The human personality, Fairbairn argued, is not the result of inherited (and thus immutable) instincts. Rather, the developing child builds internal relational templates rooted in conscious and unconscious memories he internalized in childhood, and these guide his future interactions with others. While an attachment to neglectful or even abusive parents is not uncommon, there is a way out. Eloquent, relatable, and filled with rich examples taken from more than two decades of clinical practice, Leaving Home outlines the practical steps necessary to become a healthy adult.
First published in 1952, W.R.D. Fairbairn's Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality re-oriented psychoanalysis by centering human development on the infant's innate need for relationships, describing the process of splitting and the internal dynamic relationship between ego and object. His elegant theory is still a vital framework of psychoanalytic theory and practice, infant research, group relations and family therapy. This classic collection of papers, available for the first time in paperback, has a new introduction by David Scharff and Elinor Fairbairn Birtles which sets Fairbairn's highly original work in context, provides an overview of object relations theory, and traces modern developments, launched by Fairbairn's discoveries.
One of the most significant psychoanalytic theorists in the past 50 years, W. Ronald D. Fairbairn has had a profound influence in almost every area of contemporary theory and practice. Filling a gap in the literature, this important new work features chapters by major analytic thinkers and clinicians who explore Fairbairn's contributions and the influence his thinking has had upon their work. The book opens with an introduction by the editors, a review of Fairbairn's achievements in the context of modern psychoanalytic theory by John D. Sutherland, and a synopsis of object relations theory written by Fairbairn himself. The second part of the book, which provides an overview of object relations theory and an in-depth look at Fairbairn's endopsychic structure, includes chapters by major theorists. Otto F. Kernberg discusses the theory and challenge of Fairbairn's basic concepts; Stephen A. Mitchell compares Fairbairn's "object" to that of Melanie Klein; Thomas H. Ogden elucidates the concept of internal object relations; and James S. Grotstein comments on Fairbairn's metapsychology. Similarly, Fairbairn's endopsychic structure is examined by Richard L. Rubens, Grotstein, and Arnold H. Modell, who comment, respectively, on the nature of the structural theory, the relationship between endopsychic structure and the cartography of the internal world, and the communication of affects. Bridging theory with practice, the third part presents four clinical formulations of Fairbairnian theory by Neville Symington, Eleanore M. Armstrong-Perlman, Victoria Hamilton, and Judith M. Hughes and the fourth part provides a discussion of Fairbairn's contributions to understanding disorders of the self,illustrated with specific case material. Included is a reconsideration of Fairbairn's "original object" and "original ego" in relation to borderline and other self disorders by Donald B. Rinsley, a commentary on "narcissism" in Fairbairn's theory of personality structure by John Padel, and a Fairbairnian object relations perspective on self psychology by Michael Robbins. Finally, Grotstein provides a unique summary that focuses on the legacy of Fairbairn and the implications of his theory for current and future study. Of special note are the book's extensive appendices, which include a list of Fairbairn's main papers, contributions related to Fairbairn, and a glossary of Fairbairn's concepts and terminology. This volume will be valued by psychoanalysts, students of psychoanalytic theory, psychiatric residents, clinical psychologists, psychiatric social workers, and other professionals in the mental health field. It serves both as a primary text for courses on object relations theory and as a supplementary text for recommended reading.
This unique book makes object relations and self psychology accessible to readers not familiar with recent psychoanalytical literature. The theories presented illuminate areas of childhood experiences such as ''relational'' problems and narcissistic and borderline personality disorders. Readers will find clinical insights about object relations and self psychology. The issues, ideas, and controversies of these models of the person are clearly presented and readable.
Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory offers a conceptual map of the most difficult terrain in psychoanalysis as well as a history of its most complex disputes. In exploring the counterpoint between different psychoanalytic traditions, it provides a synthetic perspective that is a major contribution to psychoanalytic thought. The focal point of clinical psychoanalysis has always been the patient’s relationships with others. How do these relationships come about? How do they operate? How are they transformed? How are relationships with others to be understood within the framework of psychoanalytic theory? Jay Greenberg and Stephen Mitchell argue that there have been two basic solutions to the problem of locating relationships within psychoanalytic theory: the drive model, in which relations with others are generated and shaped by the need for drive gratification; and various relational models, in which relationships themselves are taken as primary and irreducible. The authors provide a masterful overview of the history of psychoanalytic ideas, in which they trace the divergences and the interplay between the two models and the intricate strategies adopted by the major theorists in their efforts to position themselves with respect to these models. They demonstrate further that many of the controversies and fashions in diagnosis and psychoanalytic technique can be fully understood only in the context of the dialectic between the drive model and the relational models.

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