In the psychodynamic tradition we take it for granted that early relational dynamics are being replicated in the transference, often creating binds and dilemmas that in turn have a regressive effect on the therapist. This is such a powerful principle that we often do not stop to wonder: what actually are the subjective and interpersonal mechanisms that make this ‘transfer’ possible?
Object relations theory is capable of providing a crucial explanatory framework, and is therefore an essential pillar in a relational, integrative approach. However, object relations needs to be updated and brought into the 21st century, to fully manifest its potential to enhance psychodynamic practice and secure its continuing credibility in the wider field.
Without understanding in some embodied detail how “the repressed does not change over time” (Freud) and how the presenting past does get transferred from the original scenario into the consulting room, our options for responding therapeutically are limited.
Using case material and role play, Michael will, therefore, try to demonstrate an embodied understanding of internal objects and their interrelationships, and how these are subliminally communicated and perceived. This can significantly widen our range of interventions, allowing for more creative and spontaneous practice, as well as helping us transform transferential impasses and enactments.