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Oremland, J.D. (1987). Chapter 8: Dreams in the Borderline and Schizophrenic Personality. The Interpretations of Dreams in Clinical Work, 105-124.

Oremland, J.D. (1987). Chapter 8: Dreams in the Borderline and Schizophrenic Personality. The Interpretations of Dreams in Clinical Work , 105-124

Chapter 8: Dreams in the Borderline and Schizophrenic Personality Book Information Previous Up Next

Jerome D. Oremland, M.D.

The most significant conceptual shift regarding borderline personality came in 1967 with Otto Kernberg's work on borderline personality organization. Emphasizing concepts derived from Edith Jacobson's (1964) representational world and Melanie Klein's object relationship orientation (Klein, 1932; Klein, Heimann, and Money-Kyrie, 1955), Kernberg gave central significance to disturbances in self and object representations in borderline functioning. His emphasis on part and polarized self and object representations with threatened self-object fusion refined the psychoanalytic definition of the “fragile” ego of the borderline. Kernberg's delineation of the central role of splitting and its allied primitive defensive mechanisms—externalization, projective identification, reversal, reaction formation, negation, and denial—in borderline defense functioning expanded and detailed the imprecise concept of “failure of repression” in these severe psychopathologies. Kernberg, fully mindful of the caution to be exercised when parallels are drawn between development and psychopathology, demonstrated correlations between the borderline's self and object representational defects and Margaret Mahler's developmental descriptions of the emerging sense of individuality (Mahler, 1971; Mahler, Pine, and Bergman, 1975).

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