Klein - 1 In the paranoid-schizoid position what is the...

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1. In the paranoid-schizoid position, what is the main source of anxiety and why? a. What is the good object and what is the bad object? b. How are they constructed and how does the child experience them? Answer: 1. The presence of the bad object produces the main source of anxiety in the paranoid-schizoid position. During the first months of life, moments of gratification give rise to feelings of unbridled bliss, based on fantasies of being fused and united with a good object (mother’s breast). Moments of frustration summon up the specter of a malevolent and inescapable bad object (the absence of good object), which creates severe and pervasive anxiety for the survival of oneself and one’s good objects. (for “a” and “b” below): The superego is the prototype of what Klein called an internal object . Internal objects are formed by the two-stage process of projecting one’s loving or hating impulses into an appropriate external object (thereby bringing it to psychological life), and then introjecting this object. a. Bad object – the projecting of hating and destructive impulses, which are equated with destructive parts of the self, into the frustrating object. The bad object differs from a frustrating object by virtue of its having acquired intentionality: As a result of the projection of the infant’s hatred and destructive impulses, the frustrating object is filled with psychological qualities of the hating part of the self. It becomes not simply frustrating, but destructive, hating, dangerous, and malevolent (malicious). Good object – the projection of loving impulses into the gratifying external objects that occasionally their arousal is felt to fill the object with qualities of goodness, love, and concern, converting it from a reliever of tension into a psychologically meaningful good object. b. These processes entail a great deal of splitting and separation of loving and destructive impulses (indeed, that is one of their vital defensive functions), objects at this point tend to be perceived as either all good or all bad. The frustrating object (the mother’s breast that is absent when hunger strikes the infant) is felt to be all bad, and completely separate from the gratifying object (the breast that relieves hunger), which is felt to be all good. Klein called such objects part objects, meaning that the infant perceived only part of the real object, the part that corresponds to the loving and hating impulses dominating the mind at the moment.
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