Jane Doe has been experiencing depressive symptoms for several years, which worsened half a year ago due to her dismissal from her job. She notes that this condition prevents her from functioning normally in everyday life. Moreover, she has no friends and a soul mate. A client experiences difficulties finding a job because she does not understand what kind of work she wants to connect her life with. An equally important aspect is her alternate living with her parents, then with her sister. As a novice consultant, I would address Jane’s depression problem using object relations theory. This theory focuses on interpersonal relationships, primarily in the family and, especially, between mother and child. Buchele and Rutan (2017) suggest that past relationships’ remnants affect the person in the present.
One of the reasons for Jane’s depression is an unsatisfactory relationship with her parents. Since her mother reproached her daughter in every possible way for her Latino appearance, this led to Jane’s low self-esteem. The client mentions that her father was oblivious to his daughter. Jane’s message that her mother and father are both diabetic makes me wonder if they had low energy levels that could prevent them from adequately responding to Jane’s needs. Jane projects and recreates hostile relationships with her brother in her life situations, as a result of which the relationship with both friends and partner does not work out. Furthermore, the fear of being judged is an obstacle to close connection with others and is another result of her impaired emotional development during childhood. Jane seems to be cut off from reality and her surroundings. Her frequent job changes are another sign of her fragmentation.
Based on object relationship theory, I will try to use the therapeutic relationship to change Jane. In focused transference, Jane’s internal object relationships will be projected onto the therapist. They will vary in interaction with the less rigid splitting and repression of the therapist’s internal object relationships and then return to Jane in an altered form. In the safe space of our relationship, I’ll be good at times in Jane’s eyes and at times nasty. In a therapeutic relationship, I will try to create a holding environment that Jane did not experience as a child. The therapy will provide a safe and stable environment in which she can experience intense and frightening emotions. I will help her understand and find ways to fix early trauma problems caused by an unfriendly family atmosphere. Jane’s goal will be to develop and find new ways to relate to others free of misperceptions and build a more fully integrated sense of herself.
Buchele, B., & Rutan, S. (2017). An object relations theory perspective. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(1), S36-S43. Web.