For Freud (1915), all of human activity is motivated by instincts, or disturbances to a theorized homeostatic internal state that are transmuted into self-preservative, sexual, or aggressive urges. Every drive is aimed at a particular target, which Freud (1905) termed its object (typically, though not exclusively, some other person). The object is defined over time, as an individual comes to associate the experience of satisfaction of a drive with a particular person or thing. Children undergo a process of object loss during development, through which they wean and eventually develop independence from mother, the first sexual object. Freud laid the groundwork for object relations theory with his insight that relationships with others (objects) are influenced endogenously – experienced by an individual based on how her drives have been met and by whom previously in life.
Objects and Instincts
Freud first introduced the term object in his Three Essays on the Theory of...
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