Object Relations Theory

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Objects relations theory is a branch of psychoanalysis that highlights the relational and interpersonal nature of the “psychodynamic unconscious.” The latter term pertains to drives, wishes, fantasies, emotions, and ideas of which people are not aware, but that shape their behavior from early childhood onward. Linked to the significant persons (“objects”) in the infant's life, mental representations of self, others, and self-with-others (“object relations”) are the hallmarks of personality. Object relations theory's three-generation structure—forefathers and -mothers, prominent theorists and researchers, and students-turned-investigators—has arguably gained the school an important place within academic clinical psychology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology
StatePublished - 2015


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