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Pringle, R. (1988). The Holding. Free Associations, 1O(14):90-95.

(1988). Free Associations, 1O(14):90-95

The Holding

Robert Pringle

In an environment that holds the baby well enough, the baby is able to make personal development according to the inherited tendencies. The result is a continuity of existence that becomes a sense of existing, a sense of self, and eventually results in autonomy.

Winnicott, 1986, p. 28

The following account describes the author's experience of such a personal development occurring during a psychoanalysis. Here the autonomy of the self arises within the analyst's provision of a ‘holding environment’.

I

Always a leaving, always a parting.

The door has closed and walls are falling.

To go on the outside,

to step in the cold sea of the room's edge.

Here are torn sands of whispering eyes —

of no world,

of a beach tossed from the sky

To wait until the next day —

wait upon a day, upon a sun.

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