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Krasner, R.F. (1983). Contem Porary Psychoanalysis. XVII, 1981.. Psychoanal Q., 52:150-151.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:150-151

Contem Porary Psychoanalysis. XVII, 1981.

Ronald F. Krasner

The Origin and Nature of the "object" in the Theories of Klein and Fairbairn. Stephen A. Mitchell. Pp. 374-398.

The appearance of the phrase "object relations theory" in contemporary psychoanalytic literature has become ubiquitous to the point of losing much of its significance. Considering that Klein and Fairbairn are two of the most significant theorists during the past fifty years and that there has been little critical and balanced appraisal of their contributions, Mitchell embarks on an explication of these contributions and their differences from each other. To this end the concept of the object in Freud's, Klein's, and Fairbairn's systems is delineated. According to Freud, the object is the target of the drives. External objects and internal objects as superego introjects serve the function of being vehicles for drive gratification anb regulation. Klein's work greatly expanded to notion of internal objects, which, according to her, are present in the first months of life. Klein's formulations concerning the origins of these objects are reviewed. Next a discussion of Klein's ideas about the blending of internal and external objects is presented. The author states, "Klein has a tendency to see bad objexts as internally derived) projectively), i.e., from the child's own drives, and good objects as derived largely from external others (introjectively)."

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