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Ogden, T.H. (1987). The Transitional Oedipal Relationship in Female Development. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 68:485-498.

(1987). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 68:485-498

The Transitional Oedipal Relationship in Female Development

Thomas H. Ogden


The concept of the oedipal transitional relationship is proposed as a way of understanding the nature of the psychological-interpersonal

process mediating the little girl's entry into the Oedipus complex. This transitional relationship serves to allow the little girl to discover non-traumatically the father as external object in the context of the safety of the dyadic relationship to the mother. In this early phase of oedipal development, the little girl falls in love with the mother-as-father and the father-as-mother, i.e. the mother in her unconscious identification with her own father. In this way, paradoxically, the first triangulated object relationship is experienced in a two-person relationship; the first heterosexual relationship develops in a relationship involving two females; the father as libidinal object is discovered in the mother.

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