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Vignette/Mike & Loretta/Object Relations/Psychoanalytic
Mike age 29, and Loretta, age 28, have been married for seven years. They come to therapy at Loretta’s insistence. Mike is dressed in his farming work clothes and Loretta is dressed in high heels and a black revealing cocktail dress. Loretta reports that Mike is very jealous and suspicious of where she goes. She plans to leave the marriage and take their children (ages 4 and 2), but Mike has been saying that he cannot live without her and the kids. According to Loretta, Mike has always been “bossy” and attempts to “control me and the kids.” Loretta states that she always lets Mike get his way, but “I cannot stand it any longer.” She says she is tired of his verbally abusive and critical behavior.
During an individual session, Loretta reveals that she was sexually abused as a child by her unemployed stepfather from the age of 7 until 13. Her stepfather is now dead. Loretta’s mother worked long hours as a server in a restaurant. She describes feeling guilty about having several affairs during her marriage, but acknowledges the excitement of being sexually desirable to other men. She reports feeling clingy to Mike early in their relationship, but now just feels angry.
During an individual session, Mike discloses that his mother was ‘alcoholic” and his father was a “workaholic.” In fact, Mike continues to work on the family farm at his father’s insistence. Mike states that he has always fantasized about becoming an architect. During the session, Mike questions your ability to provide appropriate for his family. Mike goes on to say that “you must have had a lot of problems in your life to get into this profession.” As Mike leaves, you think to yourself, “don’t let the door hit you on the way out, ____?___!!!
1. Define the concept of an internal object and how it might apply to this vignette. Define the concept of a pathogenic introject. Describe Loretta’s internal objects/pathogenic introjects. Describe Mike’s internal objects/pathogenic introjects.
2. Define the concept of projective identification. How would this concept be applicable to Mike? Loretta?
3. What is the fundamental motive of life according to an Object Relationist?
4. The psychodynamic view of human behavior is derived from Freud’s psychoanalytic model which places heavy emphasis on the role of the unconscious. Describe some of the unresolved conflicts from the past which may be attaching themselves to current situations in this vignette.
5. Define transference. What are some of the transference possibilities in this vignette? How would you manage these issues therapeutically?
6. Define objective and subjective counter transference. How would these concepts be applicable to this vignette?