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The Primer of Object Relations
Scharff, Jill Savege and David E. Scharff
Jason Aronson / Rowman & Littlefield / Softcover / 2005-06-01 / 0765703475
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy / Object Relations
price: $62.50 (may be subject to change)
259 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 7-10 business days

In their groundbreaking A Primer of Object Relations, Jill Savege Scharff and David E. Scharff answered readers' questions about this burgeoning field in remarkably clear and readable prose. It is difficult to imagine any other team of authors who could provide such a comprehensive survey of the broad applications of object relations theory and in the second edition of this authoritative work, the Scharffs draw from their years of clinical experience to create an inclusive and up-to-date manual for object relations theory that is certain to become a classic in the field. --- from the publisher

About The Authors:
Jill Savege Scharff, M.D., co-director of the International Institute of Object Relations Therapy, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University, and teaches child analysis at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute.

David E. Scharff, M. D., co-director of the International Institute of Object Relations Therapy, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University, and a teaching analyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute


List of Figures and Tables
How to Use This Primer


1 The Self and Its Objects
2 Basic Freudian Concepts
3 From Freud to Object Relations Theory
4 Endopsychic Structure
5 Projective and Introjective Identification and Containment
6 The Holding Environment
7 The Concept of Positions
8 Attachment Theory
9 Neurobiology and Affect Regulation
10 Trauma
11 Chaos Theory
12 The Therapeutic Relationship and the Geography of the Transference
13 Relation to Other Theoretical Systems and Clinical Approaches


14 Principles of Assessment
15 Techniqe I: Setting the Frame, Impartiality, Psychological Space, and the Use of the Therapist's Self
16 Technique II: Working with Transference, Countertransference, and Interpretation
17 Technique III: The Use of Dreams, Fantasy, and Play
18 Brief Therapy
19 Technique and Theory Review with Clinical Illustration
20 Working Through and Termination


21 Integration of Individual Therapy with Couple, Family, Group, and Sex Therapies
22 The Application of Object Relations Theory to Various Syndromes and Populations
23 The Role and Experience of the Object Relations Therapist
24 The Development of Therapeutic Capacity
25 A Guide to Further Reading



It's more than ten years since we wrote Scharff Notes, reprinted as The Primer of Object Relations Therapy. Object relations theory was on the fringe at that time. Since then it has gained in acceptance. Once excluded from discussion, it is now featured at both psychoanalytic and family therapy meetings. In the Sexton, Weeks, and Robbins Handbook of Family TherapyΒΈ it was listed as one of five traditional approaches! It is time for a second edition of the Primer, expanded to include revisions, clarifications, and advances in object relations theory and practice now called The Primer of Object Relations. The Primer is written to stand alone, in the same accessible format for the ease of use of the same readership, from undergraduate student to psychotherapy teacher. If you want to go into object relations in greater depthy, you might look up citations given in the endnotes for each chapter, or dip into the reading lists, or study more comprehensive texts also listed in the reference section.

Object relations theory continues to develop under the influence of new knowledge in related disciplines and paths of clinical inquiry. Clinical adaptations used in brief therapy, attachment research extended to adults and couple relationships, studies of neurolocial development and affect regulation, clinical insights on physical, sexual, and societal trauma, and contemporary Kleinian ideas have validated and enriched object relations therapy. Principles of chaos theorydealing with nonlinear dynamic systems are pushing object relations tehory toward a paradigm shift. The effects of these advances are evident in object relations therapy today.

We have extended our description of the technique of object relations therapy with individuals, couples, and families with young children, and we've given more examples, including work with dreams. We have added a description of the Group Affective Model, an innovativemethod for learning theory and technique, internalizing it, and applying it in therapy. We have included our new guide to the geography of the transference. Also new to this edition, we've added chapters on brief therapy, attachment theory and its clinical application, and chaos theory, explaining advances in our clinical thinking.

We want to reach undergraduate students who are learning the fundamentals of theory and therapy as well as graduate students in psychology, social work, or marital and family therapy. We hope to interest first-year residents in psychiatry and interns in psychology, social work, marital and family therapy, and pastoral counseling. We think that the book will be useful for trainees in occupational therapy, art and other expressive therapies, and psychiatric nursing. And finally, we hope that the primer will be a compact, convenient resource text for the teachers of these various undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students, and for the experienced clinician who wants to integrate the unfamiliar perspective of object relations theory into an existing approach.

Mental health professionals from remote parts of the United States and from other countries have no access to object relations theory other than through textbooks. When puzzled, they have no colleagues to turn to for help. Although they may have enjoyed our more complex books, they want simplification and clarification of some of the ideas and further discussion of how the concepts apply in their clinical situations. The content of this volume derives from these students' most frequently asked questions at national seminars, together with our responses. Through our lecture, discussion, and dialogue format, we re-create the seminar for them and for you, in order to take you beyond the forbidding aspects of theory and technique and give you access to object relations theory and therapy as a sensible way of thinking and working that is easily understood and immediately applicable to clinical practice.

We've continued to learn from teaching students and colleagues at national and international workshops and seminars. But the greatest boost to our understanding has come from working with students, faculty, and distinguished guests at the International Psychotherapy Institute, which we founded in Chevy Chase, Maryland, to provide a learning community for students and faculty who are otherwiese isolated from object relations training. That's where we refined the Group Affective Model for teaching and learning object relations theory and practice, using a modular design so they could commute to join in workshops. In addition to attending lectures and clinical case presentations, particpants meet in small affective learning groups for integrating intellectual and emotional understanding through discussion, personal and group experience, and clinical applications. This has given us access to difficulties that interfere with understnading and has led to insights and changes that prove the value of the concepts. We hope to include you in the learning community by sharing our new ideas in this second edition of The Primer of Object Relations.

We are grateful to Jason Aronson for his commitment to publishing texts on object relations theory and practice - especially for supporting our idea of an affordable paperback primer - and to the staff at Rowman and Littlefield for their editorial and promotional work.

We have reinvented the identites of the subjects of our clinical descriptions so as to preserve a personal context for their universally observable dynamics without betraying their confidentiality. To those individuals, couples, and families, we give special thanks. We gratefully acknowledge the intellectual stimulation and encouragement received from mental health professionals at our seminars, where their quesitons continually provoked further thought and challenged us to be clear and concise. This book is for them and for you, mental health professionals and students who are curious about the object relations approach.

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Scharff, David E
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