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Object relations theory is the legacy of a dynamic intellectual discourse among several psychoanalysts in Britain and Scotland, although the theory was most influenced by the writings and clinical work of Melanie Klein (1882–1960) and Ronald Fairbairn (1889–1964). Both addressed this new paradigm while working independently and fewer than 500 miles from each other. Their writing helped switch the psychoanalytical theory of motivation away from the basic drive reduction/pleasure principle perspective of Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). In its place, these theorists saw the infant motivated by the need to be in relationship with another mind. Children are seen as building up their internal world through the introjection of a wide array of object representations and related affects. These introjections (i.e., the internal mother) then serve as ...

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