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Zeifman, I. (1973). Meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 42:170.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:170

Meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Israel Zeifman

DISCUSSION: Dr. Peter Neubauer raised several questions. What are those aspects of the developing mental representation of the mother that make for stable representation? If the establishment of libidinal object constancy is understood as the result of processes of differentiation and ego formation with particular emphasis on the libidinal component, how are we to understand the stable structure formation that is supposed to emerge from it? To what extent do aggressive strivings contribute to the development of libidinal object constancy?

Dr. Fred Pine stressed that the base-line timing of libidinal object constancy should not deflect attention from the functional significances of its achievement. To the increase in the child's autonomy and the development of a unified concept of the mother, both good and bad, which result from the internalized object representation, should be added the gradual shaping of the internalized image and its eventual merging into the introjected parents. He considered that the internalized object representation is more than a contribution of the ego; it is a product of the total experience of the infant in the earliest years.

In response Dr. McDevitt agreed that the child's ability to use nonhostile aggression in the rapprochement crisis would contribute to libidinal object constancy. He also agreed with Dr. Pine that libidinal object constancy should be defined as the consequence of the infant's total experience.

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