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Kimbell, R. Christian, T.M. (2016). Yoda Speaks: An Instant of Transitional Object Use, with Novel Interpretations of Transitional Object Phenomena. Free Associations, 17(1):46-59.

(2016). Free Associations, 17(1):46-59


Yoda Speaks: An Instant of Transitional Object Use, with Novel Interpretations of Transitional Object Phenomena

Ron Kimbell and Thomas Michael Christian

In the course of an extended, and analytically-oriented, therapeutic interaction with a child client at a community mental health clinic, transitional object use was observed at the time of therapeutic termination. The authors describe this accidental and spontaneous use, or choice, of a transitional object by a child client, and uncover the rich theoretical meanings associated with spontaneous transitional object utilization in the clinical milieu. This transitional process resembles Winnicott's seminal and foundational notions; yet, it remains distinct as well. The theoretical implications of this unprompted transitional process are therapeutically compelling, and are thus delineated. The authors, furthermore, describe additional characteristics associated with transitional object use. These supplementary transitional object features - mnemonic, pedagogic, semiotic/metaphoric, biologic, and paleoanthropologic - are little discussed in the psychoanalytic literature, and therefore provide a more expansive perspective for the viewing of transitional objects.

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