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Melanie Klein
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Object Relations Theory


Melanie Klein has developed many theories and wrote on many topics such as: the Play Technique, Paranoid Schizoid Position, Depressive Position and, more famously, Object Relations Theory.
"Klein, along with Sigmund Freud and W.R.D. Fairbairn, contributed ideas to make up what we now know as object relations. First Freud introduced the idea of object choice, which referred to a child's earliest relationships with his caretakers. Such people were objects of his needs and desires. The relationship with them became internalized mental representations. Subsequently Melanie Klein coined the term part objects, for example the mother's breast, which played an important role in early development and later in psychic disturbances, such as excessive preoccupation with certain body parts or aspects of a person as opposed to the whole person. Finally, Fairbairn and others developed the so-called object relations theory. According to it, the child who did not receive good enough mothering increasingly retreated into an inner world of fantasy objects with whom he tried to satisfy his need for real objects, that was for relationships (Segal, 1980)." (