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A Structural Analysis of the Obsessional Character by Ronald Fairbairn Essay


The model used by Fairbairn views attachment to excellent objects as the unchallengeable component of ordinary development. The child often sees the parenthood failures as unbearable and begins the dividing resistance that separates the infuriating characteristics of the object adjacent to the part of the personality of the child that merely combines to that component object.

This essential defense guards the child against the facts that he is independent of unresponsive objects and conserves his attachment. The arrangements of diversity, part-self, and part-object are excessively disruptive to stay conscious, yet regardless of being reserved make themselves recognized through recurrence compulsions and devolution.

The precise distinctiveness of families that bring into being children who are of obsession, impact the developing of the child’s personality structures in comparable ways. This method of developmental account creates unsurprising configurations of self and objects in the internal world, which then interpret via recurrence pressure into a behavior that is of obsession in adulthood.

This paper reviews the structural model used by Fairbairn in the structural analysis of the obsessional character. The structural model used by Fairbairn starts with a blameless and legitimately deprived infant, in distinction to the Freudian devilish infant born with a combined, though immature ego, into relations who, either via malice, ineptitude, indifference, or nonattendance, does not to meet his urgent developmental desires.

The child undergoes an impossible quandary of being categorically emotionally reliant upon things that he has less or no authority to influence, and which never satisfy his irresistible developmental desires. The theory by Fairbairn theory is a supernatural metaphor made on a sequence of complex relations between three theoretical personality structures of the character and three objective structures that are slowly built in the inner world from real reminiscences of the objects (Fairbairn 126).

These personality structures are prearranged, first, to defend and in some scenarios create a deceptive sense of accessory to his objects. Accessory to an object is necessary for his version as lacking it; the child is not able to manage his devastating terror of rejection, which if not reserved in abeyance, might collapse his whole ego structure.

The first reaction of the child to sentimental insufficiency is to fixate on the snubbing object for the reason that the support of progression that is missing discontinues all progress towards advanced forms of maturity (Fairbairn120). In children with constantly grudging parents, the intense center of attention on the object is aggravated by demands from present and past unmet requirements.

Fairbairn utilized the idea “schizoid” to signify every person who has splits in his ego structure (Fairbairn120). Glimpsing further into the roots of that logic of dissimilarity from others that differentiates the schizoid component in their individuality, facts of these amongst other characteristics are found:

  • that in their early existence, they achieved the confidence, whether via apparent unresponsiveness or via apparent domineeringness on their mother’s part, that their mother never really adore and treasure them as people in their right;
  • that, prejudiced by an ensuing sense of deficiency and weakness, they stayed profoundly obsessed upon their mother.

Consequently, in the model Fairbairn, it is the deficiency of sensational support that delays the development of the child and, as a result, he stays intensely obsessed on his desirable object, hanging on for the necessary emotional provisions.

This obsession on the negligent object makes the child mislay out on necessary developmental practices that are obtainable to his colleagues who are consecrated with caring parents, thus making him plunge developmentally behind equally aged children.

The early requirements that are not met accumulate and amplify the requirements on the child for sentimental espousal that strengthens his fascination on the object that is depriving. Internalizing the negligent objects alters the underprivileged concentration of the child away from the unmanageable peripheral world and towards his interior one.

The interior world of the child gives him the authority to the objects that are absent that gives him a sagacity of right and also authorizes him to partially pay no attention to the maddening, enraging bewilderment of the being of his family. This concentrated focus on the internal world was one of the modules of Fairbairn’s meaning of the “Schizoid” situation (Fairbairn 127).

His poor option of the word schizoid that already had a divided and conflicting analytic meaning and that served as a needless supra grouping under which every other disarray were subsumed, extra confusion to his replica. I have opposed Fairbairn’s state that the two sub characters (defiant libidinal and libidinal) constantly remain reserved, in addition to his supposition that the thrilling object is unbearably teasing and appealing.

Working with harshly split averages gives the clinician the authority of seeing patients in which the two ego sub characters (defiant libidinal and libidinal) removes the essential ego and becomes the overriding ego of the character.

For instance, these sub egos attain an influence in patients who could, at the heart of a hostile outburst about the rebuffing features of the object, turns out to be panicky about the likelihood of thrashing of the similar object and unexpectedly reverse their situation and affirm their unending love and faithfulness toward that person (Fairbairn 134).

These limits show that the essential ego can never remain principal in the confront of the influential sub egos that temporarily turn out to be the cognizant ego. The not uncommon situation of the battered female, who proceeds to her exploiter in a libidinal personality state, apparently ignorant of the fresh physical mistreatment, shows the passion and simplicity of the sub egos when they control the consciousness of the individual

My other opposition to the position of Fairbairn is his declaration that the libidinal personality and its thrilling object should be reserved in subjugation for the reason that the anticipation of affection from the thrilling object is excessively frustrating to put up with.

Numerous borderlines consciously rely on the appealing feature of the object to maintain themselves from misery and fall by adhering to a deceptive but reassuring fantasy that affection from the thrilling object is just nearby. Both the libidinal personality with its impractical hope and the defiant libidinal personality with its continuous resentment, pessimism, and yearning for vengeance are covered with intense sentimentality and create extremely strong affections to the thrilling/rejecting objects.

The superordinate requirement of the child is not for enjoyment or need satisfaction, but a strong bond with a different person (Fairbairn 123). If purely excruciating skills are given, the patience of the child never dies and seek experiences that are pleasurable somewhere else but pursues anguish as an instrument of communication with the significant other.

The pleasure is what that is primary than the contact. Sore feelings, self-destructive relations, self- disrupting situations, are re-formed for the whole time in life as a means for the maintenance of early bonds to considerable others. The principled defense and isolating defense together, play essential parts in the internal world of the personality disarray that is of fascination.

The earlier dividing defense separates and represses the most horrible reminiscences of desert or abuse, even as the later shaping moral protection consciously exonerates the parents of the future compulsive for their antagonistic and humiliating handling of him.

Works Cited

Fairbairn, Ronald. A Structural Analysis of the Obsessional Character. The American Journal of Psychoanalysis 67 (2007): 119–140. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, March 11). A Structural Analysis of the Obsessional Character by Ronald Fairbairn. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-structural-analysis-of-the-obsessional-character-by-ronald-fairbairn/

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IvyPanda. "A Structural Analysis of the Obsessional Character by Ronald Fairbairn." March 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-structural-analysis-of-the-obsessional-character-by-ronald-fairbairn/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "A Structural Analysis of the Obsessional Character by Ronald Fairbairn." March 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-structural-analysis-of-the-obsessional-character-by-ronald-fairbairn/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'A Structural Analysis of the Obsessional Character by Ronald Fairbairn'. 11 March.

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