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Is there a connection between object relations (as described by Klein), problems with sexual intimacy and obsessive compulsive disorder?

The purpose of this mixed method study carried out in an NHS mental health setting was to elucidate the connection between what was presented in the consulting room as OCD and how it is used to mask early object relations failure, which re-surfaces in adulthood as difficulties within the arena of sexual intimacy. The literature review identified the theoretical and empirical evidence for this hypothesis and highlighted gaps in the current understanding within psychoanalytic thought and object relations perspectives. The theoretical concepts used to understand the clinical data was based on Melanie Klein’s Object Relations Theory. The textual analysis of structured interviews identified levels of obsessive compulsive symptoms and sexual perception categorized as sexual esteem, sexual depression and sexual pre-occupation. Qualitative data was collected from a single case study and provided contextual information including unconscious material. The results of the quantitative study provided evidence for the intensity of OCD and identified negative sexual esteem and negative preoccupation as the dominant features within the sample; whilst the single case-study found evidence that OCD rituals and ruminations were used to mask disruptions in object relations which were noticed in anxious sexual relations. The conclusions of the study offer an important consideration for the treatment of OCD in an NHS setting. It adds to the psychoanalytic theory of obsessional neurosis in relation to the unconscious actions involved during sexual relations. Recommendations for further research include additional quantitative research with a larger sample and analysis of additional single case studies to provide additional evidence of the concept. Key Words: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Object, Object relations, Object Relationships, Projection, Sexual Intimacy, Symbol Formation.
Date January 2018
CreatorsMears, Beverley
PublisherUniversity of Essex
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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