chapter  Seven
17 Pages

A modest proposal: Fairbairn’s psychology of dynamic structure is not “between paradigms” but already a synthesis of classical and relational thinking

ByGraham S. Clarke

In this chapter, the author attempts here at a reinterpretation of Fairbairn's theory as already being a synthesis of classical and relational thinking before relational psychoanalysis was "invented" by Stephen Mitchell and Greenberg will provoke incredulity. He believes that Fairbairn's theory can be interpreted in such a way as to demonstrate this synthesis. The author thinks he is right in claiming that it is bad experience that leads to the establishment of internal objects as differentiated structures. He describes that the three ego structures would seem, characteristically, to be much more organised and differentiated—a phenomenon which may be attributed to the simple fact that they are ego-structures. The author argues that Fairbairn's theory of dynamic structure and the endopsychic system of inner reality, while based in classical thinking, when understood fully is founded upon a thoroughgoing relational approach, and as such it is a true and original synthesis of the two approaches.