Can We Leave The Past Behind?

2778 words - 12 pages

Can We Leave The Past Behind?

Within this essay I will be looking at whether we can truly leave our pasts behind or whether they remain a part of us within our present and future. My own belief is that our past is what makes us who we are today. Our experiences from childhood through to adulthood make up our coping mechanisms for future situations and even if we have dealt with issues that may arise they will still remain in our conscious and unconscious minds. Looking at the theories of Melanie Klein in Object Relations and the theory of Erik Erikson and the developmental stages we go through within our lives I aim to evaluate with my answer based on what I have learnt and understood. ...view middle of the document...

Objects can be associated with good and bad, good objects fulfilling our needs and bad do not, they can also be an actual object and not another human being, and our basic instinct within adult life will be to seek out others who will reaffirm these early self-object relationships. The main significant facts from Melanie Klein's work are the belief that the infant has, even before birth, knowledge of their mother unconsciously. The belief that there is an inner destructive force or death instinct that Klein suggested the infant is caught up in a struggle between the forces of life and death.(2)Melanie Klein agreed with Sigmund Freud in the concept of developmental stages in early life such as the oral, anal and genital stages but said that movement from one to another was less rigid and not definite and also concluded the paranoid-schizoid and depression stages. The paranoid-schizoid stage is when the infant is between three and four months of age and when the infant has its first experiences of the outside world. paranoid-schizoid is both good and bad experiences split completely with no grey areas. the paranoid is the fear that the infant may feel and the schizoid being the defence the infant uses. Consistent good experiences in this stage will lead to self-acceptance and bad experiences within this stage can lead to low self-esteem within the adult life. The depressive position follows and goes into the infants second year. This is where the child may have negative emotions towards the object, such as the mother, and can cause anxiety. This can be seen in adults in later life, if they have been through this stage they may have difficulties seeing people as whole people. Unlike Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein worked directly with children using her own technique of play therapy. This enabled Klein to evaluate the children by directly communicating with them. The child is seen for a set time in the same room every week which is kept the same and unrelated items are not left in the room. The child has their own box of toys and art materials and for those younger, a sink of water is available. After the session the items are locked away ready for use the following session. There is a reliable background for the therapist to observe the child at play but this must only be done with experienced therapists as it is very hard to desist the child and there needs to be a fine balance between interaction and behaviour by the the analyst. Using Object Relations Theory in the therapy setting we are looking at building that relationship between therapist and client, which in all concepts is required. We see the needs from the Object relations of context, and focus so, the context being the nurture and security of the mother, which the client requires from us as a therapist, they require the security to feel safe and able to share their problems in a confidential environment and the nurture and care to show understanding. The client and therapist join...

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