Otto F. Kernberg and His Theory - Term Paper Example

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This paper "Otto F. Kernberg and His Theory" presents famous psychoanalyst and his theory which attributed less importance on the urges of aggression and sexuality as driving forces and more weight on human interactions as the major motivational force in life…
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Otto F. Kernberg and His Theory
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Download file to see previous pages His theory delves on the principle that humans have an inborn drive to forge and maintain relationships. He asserts that this is the basic human need which shapes a framework in which libidinal and aggressive drives draw meaning. Based on his development model which contains three stages, he built around it the principles of internalization process, ego integration, drive development and borderline disorder development.
Otto F. Kernberg was born in Vienna, Austria in 1928. In order to escape the Nazi, his family left Germany in 1939 and immigrated to Chile. There he studied biology, medicine, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis. Through a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship, he was able to study research in psychotherapy at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in the United States. After emigration to the U.S., he joined C.F. Menninger Memorial Hospital and became its director. He served as Supervising and Training Analyst at Topeca Institute for Psychoanalysis. In New York, he became director of the New York State Psychiatry Institute General Clinical Service. He was also a professor at Columbia University and Cornell University. Strecker Award from IPH in 1975 and George E. Daniels Merit Award of the APM in 1981 (Cohen, 2000).

Object Relations Theory
One of Kernberg's more famous contributions is his Object Relations Theory.This model is based on the following developmental tasks needed to be completed to become healthy. These are divided into three major categories (Cohen, 2000). The first is the early months of an infant where it struggles to sort out his experiences and categorizing them as either pleasurable or not without making a distinction of self and other (Consolini, 1999).

Next is the first fundamental task of psychic elucidation of self and others which involves distinguishing one's experience and other's experiences as apart and different. Psychotic states are hypothesized to originate from this failure to delineate the internal and external worlds (Kernberg, 1985).
This is followed by the second developmental task of overcoming splitting where loving images equated as good and hateful images equated as bad are separated. Failure to accomplish this task invariably results in borderline problems (Kernberg, 1984a).

The developmental tasks listed above are the precursors for the three developmental stages that results in psychopathology when not accomplished. The first stage consists of varieties of psychosis.  When an infant fails to accomplish the first developmental task, it means that the infant was not able to ascertain definite lines between itself and the non-self. This situation leads to psychosis (Cohen, 2000). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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