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Sabbadini, A. (1989). How the Infant Develops a Sense of Time. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(4):475-484.

(1989). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(4):475-484


How the Infant Develops a Sense of Time

Andrea Sabbadini

The initial lack of differentiation between self and object, the predominance of the pleasure principle, of primary process functioning and of primitive narcissism are reflected in the infant's experience of time as a mono-dimensional omnipresent, related to the timelessness of the Unconscious.

With the gradual establishment of object relationships, object and self constancy, secondary process functioning and the reality principle, the child begins to experience time in a differentiated past/present/future perspective.

I briefly illustrate the connection between disturbances in the development of the sense of identity, time awareness and object relationships, with material from the analysis of two adult patients: a borderline artist and a ‘replacement child’.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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