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대상관계이론의 역사
작성자  simonshin 작성일  2017.12.12 18:23 조회수 355 추천 0
 신현근 박사 강의안: The Independent Group  

과목대상관계이론의 역사

주제: The Independent Group

교수신현근 박사


교재Scharff, D. E. (1996). Object relations theory and practice: An introduction. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason, Inc.


The Independent Group


1)      Introduction

a)       The “independent “ of “middle group” of British Psychoanalytic Society consisted of those analysts who wished to be identified with neither Anna Freud’s nor Melanie Klein’s positions during and following the so called controversial discussions that took place in the Society in the 1940s.

b)      Their principal shared feature has continued to be their independence from other groups and, most often, from each other.

c)       Fairbairn and Winnicott are considered ideologically as members of this nongroup as Balint, Bowlby, and Guntrip.

d)      Prominent later contributors considered to be part of what has more lately and officially been called the “group of independent analysts” are John D. Sutherland, Nina Coltart, Christopher Bollas, and Neville Symington, Enid Balint, Masud Kahn, John Padel, Charles Rycroft, Margaret Little, Eric Rayner, Harold Stewart John Klauber, Juliet Mitchel, and Adam Limentani.


2)      Michael Balint’s Basic Fault

a)       Overview of Michael Balint’s life and works

i)        Balint was one of the major early contributors to analytic theory and therapy.

ii)       In addition, his application of analytic understanding to psychosomatic diseases, to the practice of medicine, and to the work of the practicing doctor has been widely used in medical education.

iii)     He and his wife Enid Balint were interested in the application of analytic understanding to the institution of marriage, which resulted in her founding the Family Discussion Bureau at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, still in operation as the Tavistock Marital Studies Group.

iv)     Balint wrote that under certain circumstances of severe pathology, treatment should promote a regression that could, late in the thoroughgoing treatment, provide for “new beginning” supported by developmental provisions previously unavailable to the patient.

v)       Emotional basic fault

(1)    Balint describes a process of development beginning in the area of the “basic fault” – an area akin to a geographical fault running to the core.

(2)    The emotional basic fault begins with a primary mix-up between self and environment, which Balint felt existed in the beginning.

(3)    It continues as a two-person relationship with strains between self and others that have their origins before their oedipal development. Here he was exploring territory close to Winnicott’s description of the mother-infant relationship in the beginning that leads later a creative capacity to be alone.

(4)    Balint describes this as the “the area of creation,” the capacity to be alone that parallels the later capacity to enter there-person oedipal relationships. It is the area of formation of the self that also concerned Guntrip in his extension of Fairbairn’s work.

(5)    Most recently, these concerns about the formation of the self come back into focus in Kohut’s self psychology and  in the work of object relations theorists Ogden, Bollas, and Sutherland.

vi)     Ocnophilism and philobatism

(1)    The ocnophil values primary objects and ignores or fears the spaces between them.

(2)    The philobat values spaces between and devalues or fears the object.


b)      The level of the basic fault

i)        Analytic work proceeds on at least two different levels, one familiar and less problematic, called oedipal level, and the other, for description of which terms like preoedipal, pregenital, ad preverbal are in use.

ii)       I propose to call it [the other level different from the oedipal one] the level of the basic fault, and  I wish to stress that it is described as a fault, not as a situation, position, conflict, or complex.

iii)     The chief characteristics of the level of the basic fault are

(1)    All the events that happen in it belong to an exclusively two-person relationship;

(2)    This two person relationship is of a particular nature;

(3)    The nature of dynamic force operating at this level is not that of a conflict; and

(4)    Adult language is often useless or misleading in describing events at this level, because words have not always an agreed conventional meaning.

iv)     The nature of the primitive two-person relationship.

(1)    This can be considered as an instance of primary object relationship or of primary love.

(2)    Any third party interfering with this relationship is experienced as a heavy burden or as an intolerable strain.

(3)    Whereas satisfaction – the “fitting in” of the object with the subject - brings about a feeling of quiet tranquil well-being which can be observed only with difficulty as it is so natural and soft, frustration – the lack of fitting in of the object – evokes highly vehement and loud symptoms.


c)       The area of the basic fault

i)        Interpretations given by the analysts are not experienced any longer by the patient as interpretations. Instead he may feel them as an attack, a demand, a base insinuation, an uncalled-for rudeness or insult, unfair treatment, injustice, or at least as a completer lack of consideration, and so on; on the other hand, it is equally possible that the analyst’s interpretations may be experienced as something highly pleasing and gratifying, exciting or soothing, or as a seduction; in general as an irrefutable sign of consideration, affection, and love.

ii)       It may also happen that common words become immensely important and powerful, either in a good or a bad sense. At such times, in fact, the analyst’s every casual remark, every gesture or movement, may matter enormously and may assume an importance far beyond anything that could be realistically intended.


d)      The area of creation

i)        Whereas the area of the Oedipus conflict is characterized by the presence of at least two objects, apart from the self, and the area of the basic fault by a very peculiar, exclusively two-person relationship, the third area is characterized by the fact that there is no external object present.

ii)       The subject is on his own and his main concern is to produce something out of himself; this something to be produced may be an object, but it is not necessarily so. I propose to call his the level or area of creation.

iii)     There are no ‘objects’ in the area of creation but we know also that for most – or some – of the time the subject is not entirely alone there.

iv)     In order to talk about them (‘somethings’ that are there when the subject is not completely alone) I propose to use term ‘pre-object’.

v)       The ‘pre-objects’ existing in the area of creation must be so primitive that they cannot be considered ‘organized or ‘whole’. Only after the work of creation has succeeded in making them ‘organized’ or ‘whole’, can a proper , ‘verbal’, or ‘Oedipal’ interaction between them and external objects take place.

vi)     The only thing we know is that the processing of creation – transforming the ‘pre-object’ into a proper object – is unpredictable.

vii)   It is thinkable that the earliest level might be that of primary love and with it the level of the basic default, out of which, on the one hand, the level of Oedipus conflict develops in differentiation, and, on the other hand, the level of creation by symplication.


e)      Primary love

i)        According to my theory, the individual is born in a state of intense relatedness to his environment, both biologically and libidinally. Prior to birth, self and environment are harmoniously “mixed-up,” in fact, they interpenetrate each other. In this world, there are as yet no objects only limitless substances or expanses.

ii)       Birth is a trauma that upsets this equilibrium by changing the environment radically and enforces – under a real threat of death - a new form of adaptation.

iii)     Whenever the developing relationship to a part of the environment or to an object is in painful contrast to the earlier undisturbed harmony, libido may be withdrawn to the ego, which starts or accelerates developing in an attempt to regain the previous feeling of “oneness” of the first stage.

iv)     The libidinal cathexes observed in early infancy would be of four sorts:

(1)    Remnants of the original environment cathexis transferred to the emerging objects;

(2)    Other remnants of the original environmental cathexis withdrawn to the ego as secondary comforters against frustration, i.e., narcissistic and autoerotic cathexes;

(3)    Re-cathexes emanating from the secondary narcissism of the ego; and

(4)    The fourth form of cathexis which results from ocnophilic and philobatic structures of the world.

(a)    In ocnophilic world the primary cathexes, though mixed with a great deal of anxiety, seems to adhere to the emerging objects; these are felt to be safe and comforting while spaces between them are threatening and horrid.

(b)    In the philobatic world the objectless expanses retain the original primary cathexis and are experienced as safe and friendly, while objects are felt as treacherous hazard.

v)       The oconophil’s reaction to the emergence of objects is to cling to them, to introject them; apparently he chooses to over-cathect his object relationships. The other type, the philobat, over-cathects his own ego-functions and develops skills in this way, in order to maintain himself alone with very little, or even no, help from the objects.

vi)     We must expect to come across all the three types of object relationships – the most primitive harmonious interpenetrating mix-up, the ocnophilic clinging to objects, and the philabatic preference for objectless expanses – in every analytic treatment that is allowed to regress beyond a certain point.



3)      Harry Guntrip’s “The Schizoid Problem, Regression, and the Struggle to Preserve an Ego” (1961)

a)       Overview

i)        Harry Guntrip was a minister, a psychotherapist, and a disciple of Fairbairn and Winnicott who investigated territory similar to Balint’s basic fault and new beginning.

ii)       He was not a member of the Psycho-Analytical Society at all, having trained originally as a minister.

iii)     Unlike the idiosyncratic originality of Balint, Guntrip’s new ideas grew out of close, reasoned study of the contributions of Freud, Fairbairn, Klein, and Winnicott and of the scientific tradition.

iv)     Consequently, his writing offers a unique critical review and integration of their contributions as preparation for Guntrip’s own additions.

v)       He suggested with Fairbairn’s agreement, that where Fairbairn had used the term ego, he concept of self would be more appropriate. He tackles the problem of the locus of defensive retreat of the self in severe schizoid states, furthering Fairbairn’s original area of inquiry.

vi)     His description of a retreat to a phantasied womb can also be understood in Winnicott’s terms as an overidealization of the environment mother who is, in phantasy, installed inside where the true self can be put in cold storage.

vii)   His principal contribution in this paper is his description of a further split of Fairbairn’s libidinal ego into an oral sadistic component maintaining a forlorn tie to the object, and a withdrawn passive part of the ego (the repressed libidinal ego, in his terminology) to the interior with an ultimate threat of loss of the ego or self in futile search for a sustaining object.

viii)  Alongside his theoretical scholarship, his understanding of the importance of the child’s actual experience, and corresponding importance of the relationship between the therapist and patient to build effective psychotherapy, constitute his legacy.

ix)     His work has been widely appreciated by the psychotherapists, but as a minister, he was able to build bridges of understanding to clergy and to pastoral counselors, allowing them to apply object relations to pastoral counseling and to their everyday work.

x)       Thomas H. Ogden (Creative Readings 2012) explains Fairbairn’s unloving internal object mother as follows (p. 62):

(1)    The loving exciting object and the rejecting object are no less parts of the self than are libidinal ego and the internal saboteur.

(2)    The exciting and rejecting internal “objects” have a no-me feel to them because they are parts of the self that are thoroughly identified with the unloving mother in her exciting and rejecting qualities.


b)      Causes and Stages of Schizoid Withdrawal

i)        Fear and flight from external reality

(1)    The most pathological schizoid withdrawal takes place astonishingly early, in the first year of life. It can, of course occur at any time of life as a general reaction, the more it is found structurally embedded in the personality the earlier it occurred.

(2)    It is a ‘fear and flight’ reaction in the face of danger.

(3)    The view of the later Freud and Mrs. Klein that the ultimate source of danger is wholly internal, “death instinct,” has found no general acceptance.

(4)    The view of the earlier Freud that psychological development began with the libidinal drive of the sexual instinct aiming at erotic pleasure and proving to be incompatible with social reality, at least implied that the source of the trouble was more in the environment than in the infant. The world into which the infant was born could not tolerate his nature and his needs and he came up against painful frustration. However this view does not cover all the facts.

(5)    Deprivation of needs

(a)    Fairbairn(1952) takes a wider view of libidinal need as not limited to sexual but embracing all that is involved in the need for personal relationships, on however simple and primitive a level at the beginning: the goal of the libidinal need is not pleasure but the object (at first the breast and the mother).

(b)    The frustration of libidinal need for good object relations both arouses aggression and intensifies libidinal needs till the infant fears his love needs as destructive towards his objects.

(c)     In the later “depressive position” this would lead to guilt.

(d)    But at this earliest stage it leads to the schizoid withdrawal, a simple fear reaction, away from the danger of devouring and therefore losing the love object.

(e)    Schizoid persons have given up the outward expression of needs, while being haunted by fear of losing love objects.

(f)      The schizoid personality is basically on a pre-moral level; hence the horrifying callousness schizoid person can manifest. It is not in accordance with Fairbairn’s psychodynamic outlook to treat these libidinal needs as discrete entities demanding satisfaction in and for themselves. They are the needs of the ego.

(g)    Fairbairn’s view brings out the question of ego growth in weakness or in strength as the background of all problems arising out of fears, conflicts, and withdrawals over frustrated needs.

(6)    Impingement

(a)    Not only must the mother meet the infant’s needs when feels them, but she must not force herself on him in ways and at times that he does not want.

(b)    That constitutes “impingement” on the as yet weak, immature, and sensitive ego of the infant.

(7)    Impingement and rejection or deprivation of needs for object relationships must be bracketed together as defining the traumatic situation which drives the infant into a retreat within himself in search of a return to the womb. Probably deprivation in the sense of “tantalizing refusal” leads to active oral phenomena while impingement and deprivation as “desertion” lead to shrinking away inside into a passive state.


c)       A two-stage withdrawal, from external and internal bad objects

i)        Splitting

(1)    Contact of the outer world cannot be given up despite the initial escape from the outer material world into an inner mental one.

(2)    A splitting of the hitherto unitary pristine ego occurs, into a part dealing with the outer world (Freud’s “reality ego” and Fairbairn’s “central ego”) and a part that has withdrawn into the inner word.

ii)       A two-stage withdrawal

(1)    In addition to the two-levels of ego splitting which Fairbairn describes, namely, first that between central ego in touch with the outer world and a withdrawn ego in the inner world, and the second further splitting of this withdrawn ego into the libidinal ego and anti-libidinal ego, there is a third and ultimate split in the libidinal ego itself.

(2)    It divides to an active sadomasochistic oral ego which continues to maintain internal bad object relations, and a passive regressed ego which seeks to return to the antenatal state of absolute passive dependent security; here in quietude, repose, and immobility to recuperate and grow to a rebirth, as Winnicott (1955) holds.

(3)    I suggest this regressed ego is identical with what Winnicott calls the “true self” put into cold storage to await the chance of rebirth in better conditions.

(4)    I do not, however, feel sure whether the regressed ego feels itself to be “frozen in the cold storage) or whether it feels hidden in the warmth of a hallucinated intrauterine condition. Some patients appear to feel one way and others the other.

(5)    The regressed ego denotes the deepest structurally specific part of the complex personality, existing in a settled attitude of fear, weakness, withdrawal, and absolute dependence not in the postnatal infantile sense but in a passive antenatal sense. 

(6)    It represents the most profoundly traumatized part of the personality and is the hidden cause of all regressive phenomena from conscious escapist phantasies to complete schizoid apathy, unless its need is understood and met; but there lies the greatest difficulty and challenge to therapy.


d)      The flight from the regression

i)        The determined drive backwards

(1)    The ultimate characteristic of the regressed ego is dependent passivity, vegetative passivity of the intrauterine state which fostered the original growth and can foster recuperation. Nature heals in the state of rest. That is the goal.

(2)    Nevertheless, the regressed ego shows great energy and activity in pursuit of its goal, an activity in reverse that carries it not into life but out of it.

(3)    Once the regressed ego feels to have reached its goal of retreat deep inside the hidden, womb-like state of the deepest unconscious, the central ego seems to have little success in drawing it out again.

(4)    I am inclined to feel that in every case there is a deepest part of the original ego split off and hidden in a state of regression, corresponding to Winnicott calls the “true self” hidden away in safe storage to await a favorable chance of rebirth.

(5)    The more active phenomena of “pull and drive” to regression may represent the conflicts set up in the psyche over the effects on the whole, of the existence of a profound regressed ego originating in very early life.

(6)    This creates, from the point of view of external living, a struggle between longings for, fears of, and resistances against breakdown.

(7)    The “struggle to preserve an ego” has two aspects:

(a)    the struggle to preserve the central ego of everyday life from being undermined by regression, and

(b)      the struggle to  preserve the basic libidinal ego, the core of the personality, from being crushed by overpowering outer reality or lost irretrievably when it withdraws deep within out of reach of being hurt.


ii)       The need to save the ego by internal object relations

(1)    Two opposed needs

(a)    Once the fear-dictated retreat from outer reality has been set up, the schizoid individual has two opposed needs both of which must be met unless death is to supervene;

(i)      the need to withdraw from intolerable reality and

(ii)    the need to remain in touch with it,

to save the ego in both cases.

(b)    This is what enforces the final ego split into active suffering and a passive regressed libidinal ego.

(c)     The flight into regression begets a counterflight back into object relations again.

(d)    But this return to objects must still compromise with fear and the need to remain withdrawn, and this leads to the creation of an object world that enables the ego to be both withdrawn, yet not “in the womb,” the Kleinian world of “internal objects,” dream, and phantasy, a world of object relationship which is also withdrawn “inside” out of the external world.

(e)    This, par excellence is the world of psychoneurotic and psychotic experience.

(f)      Living in the internal phantasy world and the projected phantasy world both constitutes a defence against loss of the ego by too complete regression and depersonalization, while remaining in varying degrees withdrawn from external reality which is still felt to be hostile.

(2)    No objects involve the fear of ego loss by depersonalization, bad objects involve the fear of ego loss by disintegration under destructive persecution, and good objects involve the fear of loss of the active ego by imprisonment in smothering passivity.

(3)    One further possibility remains, a compromise between bad and good object.

(a)    If one hates good objects instead of bad ones, there will not be the same danger of retaliation by the object and also smothering is avoided.

(b)    But now a fourth danger appears.

(i)      If one hates a good object the ego feels fear, not primarily for itself but for the object.

(ii)    Guilt will arise and with Mrs. Klein’s “depressive anxiety” in place of the more primitive “persecutory anxiety.”

(iii)    Ambivalent object relations involve fear of loss of the ego for practical purposes through paralysis of depression, in which state the ego dare not do anything at all in fear of doing wrong.

(iv)   The good object becomes an accusatory object and the ego feels morally persecuted.

(4)    We may thus grade the dangers to which ego feels exposed.

(a)    The ultimate and worst danger is that of total loss of ego, represented in consciousness by depersonalization, and by such profound apathy through schizoid withdrawal and regression that death would ensue.

(b)    Against this danger the defence of resort to bad object relations tends to overdevelop, and leads either to schizophrenic terror of disintegration under violent persecution, or depressive paralysis under merciless accusation and pathological guilt.

(c)     Nevertheless these two psychotic dangers arise out of the operation of the defence of bad object relations against the ultimate schizoid danger.

(5)    Rebirth of the regressed ego

(a)    The hope and possibility of the rebirth of the regressed ego is the obvious final problem raised in the interests of psychotherapy.

(b)    There appear to be two aspects of the problem.

(i)      The first is the slow growth out of their anti-libidinal (Freudian sadistic superego) persecution of themselves; they need to unlearn their ruthless driving by ceaseless inner mental pressure to keep going as “forced pseudo-adults” and to acquire the courage to adopt more of the understanding attitude of the therapist to the hard-pressed and frightened child within.

(ii)    Simultaneously with this there goes on a second process, the growth of a constructive faith that if the needs of the regressed ego are met, first in relation to the therapist who protects it in its need for an initial passive dependence, this will mean not collapse or loss of active powers for good and all, but a steady recuperation from deep stain, diminishing of deep fears, revitalization of the personality, and rebirth of an active ego that is spontaneous and does not have to be forced and driven, what Balint calls the “new beginning.”


4)       John Bowlby’s “The Role of Attachment in Personality Development” (1988)

a)       Overview

i)        John Bowlby was a child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who headed the Tavistock Clinic’s Department of Children and Parents.

ii)        His research approach to problems of early loss and deprivation in the development of personality and psychopathology grew into his major contribution, that of attachment theory, which drew heavily on ethology and other forms of observational science.

iii)     Attachment theory has been one of the major sources for modern infant research, whose lessons have in turn offered so much to the continuing evolution of psychoanalysis and object relations theory, and social policy concerning child rearing.

iv)     Bowlby is unique in the analytic world in the attention he focused on the experiences of children’s tie to their mothers and families, which corrected many years of analytic focus on the formative influence of the child’s inner world without considering family influence.

v)       His analytic deviation was chiefly from Fairbairn, whose emphasis on lifelong need for relationships was at the heart of his own work.

vi)     He disagreed with Fairbairn’s use of the term dependence to describe the quality of relationship of the child to the mother, feeling it acquired a pejorative connotation, preferring always to use the term attachment to describe that condition required by everyone through the life span.


b)      The primacy of intimate emotional bond

i)        Attachment theory regards the propensity to make intimate emotional bonds to particular individuals as a basic component of human nature, already present in germinal form in the neonate and continuing throughout adult life into old age.

ii)       Although food and sex sometimes play important roles in attachment relationships, the relationship exists in its own right and has a key survival function of its own namely protection.

iii)     Initially the only mean of communication between infant and mother is through emotional expression and its accompanying behavior.

iv)     Although supplemented later by speech, emotionally mediated communication nonetheless persists as a principal feature of intimate relationships throughout life.

v)       The capacity to make intimate emotional bonds with other individuals is regarded as a principal feature of effective personality functioning and mental health.

vi)     By postulating an attachment control system attachment theory contains within itself a theory of motivation that can replace traditional theories which invoke a postulated buildup of energy or drive.

vii)   The presence of an attachment control system and its linkage to the working models of self and attachment figure(s) that are built in the mind during childhood are held central features of personality functioning throughout life.


c)       Patterns of attachment and conditions determining their development

i)        Role of parents

(1)    There is today impressive and mounting evidence that the patter of attachment that an individual develops during the years of maturity - infancy, childhood, and adolescence – is profoundly influence by the way his parents (or other parent figure) treat him. 

ii)       Three pattern of attachment

(1)    A first pattern of attachment is that of secure attachment in which individual is confident that his parent or parent figure) will be available, responsive, and helpful should he encounter adverse or frightening situations.

(2)    A second pattern is that of anxious resistant attachment in which the individual is uncertain whether his parent will be available or responsive or helpful when called upon.

(3)    A third pattern is that of anxious avoidant attachment in which the individual has no confidence that, when he seeks care, he will be responded to helpfully but, on the contrary, he will be rebuffed.

iii)     Major factors influencing the style of mothering

(1)    The amount of emotional support, or lack of it, a child’s mother herself is receiving at the time.

(2)    The form of mothering that she herself received when a child.


d)      Pathways to personality development

i)        Attachment theory rejects the model of development in which an individual is held to pass through a series of stages, and adopts a model in which an individual is seen as progressing along one or another of an array of potential developmental pathways.

ii)       Observations show that infants are socially responsive from the birth onwards. Healthily developing toddlers do not show anxious clinging except when they are frightened or distressed; at other times they explore with confidence.

iii)     Each infant is held to have his own individual array of potential pathways for personal development which, except for infants born with certain types of neurological damage, include many that are compatible with mental health and also many that are incompatible.

iv)     Which particular pathway he proceeds along is determined by the environment he meets with, especially the way his parents (or parent substitutes) treat him and how he responds to them.

v)       It is the persisting potential for change that gives opportunity for effective therapy.

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