Object relations (Psychoanalysis)

Integrating Erik Erikson's psychosocial development theory with biblical story and vision: an alternative model for Bible study

Author
Harold J Mortimer
Abstract
This project proposes an alternative method of Bible study integrating psychology and theology. Using the structure and language of Erik H Erikson's psychosocial development model, the object relations insights of John McDargh, and the structural self-development theory of Robert Kegan, a group of six adults engages in an eight-week Bible study to explore ways in which selected biblical narratives interact with the dynamics of developmental psychology. Participants find that the Bible is a source of profound psychological insight and that faith development and self-development are inextricably linked.

The God-representations of victims of post-traumatic stress disorder

Author
Chris A Reukman
Abstract
This project examines internalized representations of the divine in women who are survivors of post-traumatic stress disorder. The project explores three narratives--a novel by Herman Hesse, a film by Fons Rademaker, and the story of the healing of the daughter of Jairus as described in the Gospel of Mark--to trace the history of the object-relations school of psychotherapy, elucidating its relevance for the experience of trauma and describing that experience with special attention to its spiritual implications. The project interviews 21 women, including members of a small control group, using the Characterizations of God Tasks profile. Evidence of both Loving and Absent God representations in the unconscious of an individual is a predictor for presence of post-traumatic stress disorder. Therapists should be sensitive to unconscious God representations presented during therapy, and religious professionals should be sensitive to individuals who have experienced trauma.

The perspective of object relations theory for listening to the image of God in young adults

Author
James C Dunkin
Abstract
Object relations theory focuses on "relationship" as the matrix within which the "self" is formed. The most significant object in becoming a person is the image (object) of God. This project seeks to examine a young adult's process of their "image of God" formation. It offers an overview of object relations theory; a theological reflection on language used to describe "images of God"; an exploration of faith development in young adult years; a discussion of benefits of object relations theory in pastoral counseling; and a discussion on listening to young adults reflect on their on their "image of God".

The fire of thought: a double hermeneutic for preaching as pastoral care

Author
Joseph W Patterson
Abstract
This project demonstrated the role of behavioral sciences, specifically systems theory and object relations theory, as interpretive of the congregation in preparation for preaching. These two theories are built around presuppositions similar to a theological anthropology in which the Old Testament "image of God" and the New Testament "Body of Christ" are central. Those theories can enable the preacher to conduct a double hermeneutic. The interpretation of the biblical text and the use of behavioral science in the interpretation of the congregation can both assist the preacher preparing meaningful sermons. A series of sermons, which utilized the double hermeneutic in a variety of ways, was critiqued by a group trained to provide essential feedback.

Object relations theory and the image of God: an integrated perspective for pastoral care givers

Author
Alan S deCourcy
Abstract
This paper explains the terms and concepts of psychoanalytic object relations theory and imaginative theology, for the purpose of providing pastoral ministers with an integrated perspective useful to them as they engage personal images of God in people to whom they minister. This integrated perspective is used to understand the material presented in two extensive case studies. Implications for the practice of pastoral care are explored by examining the pastoral functions of attending, assessing, and intervening. Supplemental material, used to assist the learning of students in a course entitled "Object Relations Theory and the Image of God," is appendixed.

Exploring the faith pilgrimage from a feminist perspective

Author
Martha P Washington
Abstract
The goal of this project was to develop a model of prayer and meditation for women using object relations theory as a theoretical foundation. The presentation ofmaterials was made from a feminist perspective, examining critical feminist issues. Use of the model examined how the use of prayer and meditation can be used in pastoral counseling to develop a deepened spirituality through an individual faith journey. A select group of women worked with the model which consisted of seven sessions. Following the experiment each was interviewed and an evaluation was used to determine its effectiveness. All participants reported positive results from using the model.

The bad object: resistance and change in object relations and Gestalt psychotherapies in dialogue with Romans 7:14-25 and 12:1-2

Author
John D Elder
Abstract
The "bad object" concept clarifies distinctive understandings of resistance and change in two psychotherapeutic approaches, object relations and gestalt, and engages them in dialogue with the Pauline theological understanding in Romans 7:14-25 and 12:1-2. The British school of object relations theory, especially Fairbairn and Guntrip, shows that "splitting," related to the introjection of the "bad object," is essential to a differentiated self. Psychopathology stems from rigidifying splits in the self. Healing depends on release of "bad objects" in a transformational relationship, including transference with the therapist as "good object." An analogue, provided by Romans, is contact with Christ as "good object".

Integrating D and J Scharff object relations couple therapy and H Hendrix imago relationship therapy

Author
Robert Hayes-Bennett
Abstract
"Passionate friendships" between committed partners are most quickly and effectively achieved by the integration of process theology with a feminist and psychoanalytic object relations critique, Hendrix's theory, and Scharffs' object relations theory. Three objectives, working with longer-term clients for in-depth reconstruction, shorter-term clients for the speed of their completion, and clients having affairs for recommitment to their marriages, were met. Clinical data was evaluated to interpret the clients' maturation. The conclusion reached was that all clients achieved their goals for therapy which demonstrates the effectiveness of this integrated theory.

Evolving a working model of African pastoral care, counseling, and psychotherapy: a dialogue between Althea J. Horner...and John S. Mbiti

Author
Ndung'u John Ikenye
Abstract
This project is an analytically oriented search of evolving models of African pastoral care, counseling, and psychotherapy for the Kenyan context. The project developed the African interdependent model, a multi-dimensional approach in which pastoral diagnosis and treatment is measured on a continuum of core relational dynamics. The revisionist correlational model was used to correlate the thoughts of Althea J Horner and John S Mbiti. An African corporate personality is compared and contrasted with the desiderata of organization and self. The project concluded that psychoanalytic object relations theory and African corporate personality theory can be complementary. They are tools for meeting the individual at the points of need, and within the cultural contexts, meanings and metaphors.

Process conflict resolution: an educational group process combining object relations family and family systems theory

Author
Newton W Greiner
Abstract
Many people today experience inner and interpersonal conflict and are uncertain of its source or resolution. A structured "process conflict resolution" course was developed that combined object relations and family systems theories as the content for identifying conflict. The research involved a college and church group to compare and determine the effect of the course on the two populations. Data for the final evaluation were gathered from a pre- and post-conflict mode test and "describe yourself" paragraph. The results were statistically compiled. The report documented several significant changes and confirmed that the course has value.
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