This overview stresses Joseph Sandler’s integration of classical ego psychology with contemporary object relations theory. As part of this integration, Sandler clarified the origins and internal structure of the superego as a consequence and development of the representational world. The representational world, in turn, derives from the internalization of significant self- and object representations in the context of affect activation as fundamental motivational factors. Sandler described the transformation of internalized object relations into an unconscious template, expressed in repetitive behavior patterns, and the reactivation of its constituent object relations in the transference. In differentiating the present and past unconscious in the transference, Sandler described the role responsiveness of the analyst in the psychoanalytic situation as a specific countertransference reaction that facilitates the analysis of the object relationships activated in the transference. Sandler also explored the relationship between affects and drives and the neuropsychological capacities represented by affective and cognitive developments that jointly determine the structural characteristics of the mental apparatus.
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Document Type: Research Article
Director, Personality Disorders Institute, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Westchester Division; Professor of Psychiatry, Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Publication date: April 15, 2005