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(1986). Psychoanalytic Study of Child. XXXVII, 1982: The Experience of Self. Aspects of Its Formation, Expansion, and Vulnerability. Fred Pine. Pp. 143-167.. Psychoanal Q., 55:367-368.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Study of Child. XXXVII, 1982: The Experience of Self. Aspects of Its Formation, Expansion, and Vulnerability. Fred Pine. Pp. 143-167.
Pine's focus is the experience of self—that is, the "owned" sense of I or me—rather than the concept of self. He discusses four sets of developmental events from the point of view of the evaluation of the self-experience. The "forerunners" of self-experience in the first year of life are part of the experience of self, taking shape before the awareness of the self becomes stabilized (in the second year of life). These attributes are taken for granted as the way the inner world is; they are "care/continuity," "satisfaction/joy," "activity/effectiveness," and "worthwhileness." By care and continuity, Pine refers to Winnicott's "going on being"—the underpinnings of self that derive from quiet, unintruded-upon states of being. By satisfaction/joy, Pine means a diffuse and low-keyed gratification, which comes from living in the family and is described as "bodily, receptor pleasure." The more intense pleasure or joy comes from the mother-child interactions and mirroring which produce intense affect. Activity/effectiveness refers to the capacity to do, to have an effect, to be a producer of events, sounds, tactile sensations, etc. Finally, the sense of worthwhileness or self-esteem derives from feeling competent and effective, as well as from the other forerunners. The crystallization of the self allows for "ownership" of experience (a location) over time (a duration). Events in the second year of life—locomotion, the "practicing" period, the child's intensely felt exuberance—lead to increased differentiation of self from other. This, and the child's cognitive awareness and sense of experience as inner, all lead to object constancy. Pine goes on to describe insults to the self. Following Kohut, he discusses the failure to mirror or respond to a child, and the inherent sadness and loss in differentiation from the mother. Feelings of hopelessness, failure, or emptiness result from these experiences if they occur after the crystallization of the self. A process in which the drives are tamed, experienced as coming from the self, and "ridden"—that is, the excitement is tolerated while waiting for satisfaction—is seen as tremendously strengthening of the self if experienced within the context of a relationship. "Holding," "repetition," and "adaptation" or "sublimation" are all necessary mechanisms for
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making drives felt as part of the self. Three examples are cited of new experiences which become "metabolized" into the self: adolescent sexuality, parenting, and work.
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(1986). Psychoanalytic Study of Child. XXXVII, 1982. Psychoanal. Q., 55:367-368