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Object relations therapy is the clinical application of object relations theory and includes individual, couple, family, and group psychotherapy. This psychoanalytic theory puts the individual’s need to relate to others at the center of human development. Because babies are born in a very immature, vulnerable state, they need others; depending on others is necessary for physical survival. As development progresses, relating to others is also central in the development of mind and sense of self.

The following is a condensed summary and is elaborated through a clinical example in the latter part of the entry.

Experiences with the caretaking person become part of an individual’s mind, resulting in a part of the personality being structured on the model of that person. It is then called the internal ...

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