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Joseph, B. (1988). Object Relations in Clinical Practice. Psychoanal Q., 57:626-642.

(1988). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 57:626-642

Object Relations in Clinical Practice

Betty Joseph


Analysts need to have a theory of object relations at the back of their minds while actually analyzing, but they also need to rediscover this theory constantly in their work with patients. This process of rediscovery depends, I suggest, upon analysts focusing attention not only on what is being communicated by words but on what is being lived out, however subtly, in the transference. This, in itself, can help in reconstructing dynamically something of the patient's history. These issues are discussed in relation to Melanie Klein's theory of object relations and are illustrated with clinical material.

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