Object Relations Theory is a variation of psychoanalytic theory that diverges from Sigmund Freud’s belief that humans are motivated by sexual and aggressive drives, suggesting instead that humans are primarily motivated by the need for contact with others—the need to form relationships.
The aim of an object relations as a therapeutic approach is to help an individual uncover and explore early material that may contribute to any present difficulties in one’s relationships with others and adjust them in ways that may improve interpersonal functioning.
Object Constancy is the ability to form an integrated, realistic, and relatively stable image of oneself and other people that simultaneously includes both liked and disliked aspects and also strengths and flaws. If you do not have whole object relations, you can only see yourself and other people in a split and un-nuanced way as either all good or all bad. It is as if you had to sort all your experiences with yourself and other people into only two buckets: the all-good bucket or the all-bad bucket. Object constancy allows for the ability to maintain your positive feelings for someone while you are feeling hurt, angry, frustrated, or disappointed with their behavior. Without object constancy, every fight is the end of the world.
Until next time, peace.