Interpersonal-- Relational
Theories
Geoff Goodman, Ph.D.
I. The Relational Orientation
A.
B.
C.
D.
Psychoanalytic encounter co-constructed
between two active participant (mutuality)
Humans are motivated by sucking objects,
not discharging drives
Patients perceive and interpret “real” as well
as “distorted” aspects of therapist in
transference
Therapist self-disclosures produce more
openness and trust in therapeutic
relationship
Continued…
E. Authoritarianism is replaced with an
approximation of egalitarianism
F. Focus of treatment shifts from exploration of
patient’s fantasies to exploration of mutual
enactments (1-person to 2-person
psychology)
G. Both transference and countertransference
are mutually constructed (perspectivism, not
absolutism)
Continued…
H. Recent evidence for 2-person psychology
from time-- series analysis conducted by
Jones and Josephs
I. Focus on here and now in transference rather
than reconstruction of past through retrieval
of memories
J. Attention paid to both interpersonal and
intrapsychic realms of human experience (i.e.,
intersubjective)
Continued…
K. Sexuality and aggression are inherently
relational constructs- response to external
and internal objects
L. Reciprocal influence between interpersonal
processes and intrapsychic relational
processes (transactional model)
II. Theory of Development
A.
B.
Lack of emphasis on development
because of focus on here and now
rather than there and then
Organizational schemes emerging
sequentially (Ogden, 1989)
1. autistic- contiguous
2. paranoid- schizoid
Continued…
3. historical modes which vary according
to four domains
a. articulation of self-- other boundaries
b. split vs. whole object relations
c. quality of reality testing
d. awareness of irreversibility of time
repetition compulsion
C. Four basic modes of
relationality (Mitchell, 2000)
1.
2.
3.
4.
non- reflective presymbolic behavior-reciprocal behavioral influence and mutual
regulation
affective permeability-- shared experience
of intense affect across permeable
boundaries
organization of experience into self-- other
configurations
intersubjectivity-- mutual recognition of selfreflective agents
D. Major theoretical formulations placed
among these four basic modes of
relationality
1. attachment theory-- mode 1
2. object relations theory of Fairbairn/
Kernberg-- mode 3
3. relational theory of Ogden and
Bollas-- mode 2
4. intersubjective and psychoanalytic
feminist theory-- mode 4
III. Theory of
Psychopathology
A.
B.
Attachment to “bad” (i.e., unsatisfying or
unavailable) objects (see Fairbarn)
Psychopathology is the product of defense,
not developmental arrest
1. relationship conflict-- babyish self considered
safety strategy
2. not unconflicted arrested self-- babyish self
considered lacking in recognition and mirroring
3. developmental arrest privileges needs of
earliest developmental periods over current
relationship needs
Continued…
C. Mental health-- flexibility to experience
different relationships in different ways
D. Familiarity causes people to cling to
pathological patterns
E. Modes of engagement become adaptive and
maladaptive relationship templates for
subsequent encounters
1. effectiveness in avoiding anxiety
2. fear of loss of contact with self and others if
surrendered
3. conflicts arise between specific relational
configurations and predominant self-shaping
relational patterns
IV. Theory of Treatment
A.
B.
Entering into the subjective world of
the patient and becoming part of his
or her relational world
Broadening the structure of the
patient’s relational world beyond
confines of childhood constraints
Continued…
C. Therapeutic change
1. not through interpretation
2. through expanded participation of the
analyst in the patient’s experiential world
3. therapist participation takes place
whether interpreting or remaining silent
4. therapy is the experience cure, not the
talking cure
5. observation is always contextual, not
objective
V. Pioneers of Relational Theory
A.
Sandor Ferenczi
1.
2.
3.
broke from Freudian tradition near the end of his
life.
first developed the idea of mutual participation
of analyst and patient
returned to Freud’s first theory of
psychopathology-- seduction theory
a.
b.
psychopathology originates in abuse and its denial
technical neutrality of analysis repeats the trauma of
parental code of silence (denial)
Continued…
4. modifications of analytic technique
a. engage in “real” relationship with patients
to counteract phoniness of parental
relationships
b. make up for deficits in loving by loving
patients more authentically then parents did
c. privilege of experience over interpretation
and remembering of early experience
d. experiments with mutual analysis
1) mutuality--different roles
2) symmetry--same roles
B. Otto Rank
1.
2.
also broke from Freudian tradition
first developed the idea of birth
trauma
a.
b.
separation from mother traumatic
fundamental conflict falls along a
continuum
1)
2)
wish for separation, autonomy, life,
individuality (Bowlby’s exploratory system)
wish for merger, dependence, death, loss of
self, return to womb (Bowlby’s attachment
system)
Continued…
c. therapist encourage psychological birth
through acts of will
d. restoration of confidence activates will and
produces individuality
e. acts of merger can produce creativity
3. both Ferenczi and Rank represent two ends
of continuum
a. Ferenczi- mutuality, merger, and intimacy
b. Rank- autonomy, separation, and
individuality
VI. Critique of Relational Theory
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
No theory or preexperiential needs that
motivate relationships
Psychopathology occurs only out of
impingements upon a maturational pathway
No taxonomy of diagnostic classification of
psychopathology
A perspectivist position cannot
simultaneously privilege relational
interventions over others
Relational therapist sacrifices his or her
position as an older, wiser secure base
Download

Interpersonal-- Relational Theories