Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Kleinian psychodynamic therapy

One of the most popular psychodynamic approaches in Britain today is based on object relations theory as described by Klein (18821960). Unconscious processes and early childhood experiences are emphasised in this approach, but the main focus is on the nature of early relationships with significant others. Whether such relationships are satisfying or frustrating is an important determinant of the way in which other people are viewed in later life. This can affect the individual’s ability to relate to others. For some people, separation from these early significant others does not occur and consequently has to be developed during therapy.

Therapy aims to reduce anxiety, using a positive relationship with the therapist to bring this about. Transference is used to examine the way that the patient relates to others. The unconscious fantasies which have their origins in infancy and affect the patient’s perceptions of both self and others will also be explored.


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