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Pines, M. (1984). Reflections on Mirroring. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 11:27-42.

(1984). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 11:27-42

Reflections on Mirroring

Malcolm Pines


The term 'mirroring' is used in many different senses in developmental psychology, theoretical and clinical psychoanalysis and in psychoanalytical group psychotherapy. The concept has also been widely used in philosophy, art and literature. In this paper mirroring is taken as an 'ideogram', i.e. to consider these different uses, and an attempt is made to show that they can be organized by using the developmental schema of separation individuation. The concept of reflective and non-reflective mirroring is developed which relates to the capacity or incapacity of the person to recognize similarities and differences between self and other.

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