Therapy Toronto Psychotherapy Definitions

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Object-relations
In the curious terminology of psychoanalysis, people who matter to us are termed 'objects' while we, in relation to them, are termed 'subjects'.


Some have jokingly remarked that it is fitting that object-relations flowered in the emotionally distant emotional atmosphere of intellectual Britain in the late 1940's and 1950's.

According to Melanie Klein, who developed the theory, we often relate to the people in our lives not as who they actually are but as if they reminded us of somebody else in our early infant life.

Our relationship towards them may be loving or hostile or anything in between.

Object-relation therapists help their clients clarify the way they feel about those in their lives by exploring the significant relationships of the past, especially towards parents and siblings.

See also inter-subjectivity.
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