Excerpt About Object Relations

Mental Representation of the Relation Between Self and Object
According to object relations theory, the development of ego structure through the process of separation-individuation happens primarily by means of the internalization of object relations through the formation of inner images of self and other. The "object" is generally the human love object, and an object relation is simply the relation between self and object, usually an emotional relation. "Object relations" then generally refer to the mental representation of this relation, which consists of three parts: a self-image, usually called a "self-representation"; an object-image, usually called an "object-representation"; and the emotional relation or affect between the two, such as love, anger, fear or desire.

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