Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To bookmark an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Want to save an article in your browser’s Bookmarks for quick access? Press Ctrl + D and a dialogue box will open asking how you want to save it.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

(1962). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960: The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship. D. W. Winnicott. Pp. 585-595.. Psychoanal Q., 31:124.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960: The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship. D. W. Winnicott. Pp. 585-595.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:124

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960: The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship. D. W. Winnicott. Pp. 585-595.

The earliest phase of infant development is called by the author 'the holding phase'. By this is meant not only physical holding but also the protection of the infant from physiological insult. This is the stage of primary process, primary identification, auto-eroticism, and primary narcissism. Beginning with gestation, the normal mother focuses her attention on the developing child and through a process of projective identification responds to the child's needs on a twenty-four-hour basis. When the child reaches the next stage of differentiation from mother, she responds to the child's need for separateness by relinquishing her involvement. This maternal care complements the infant's weak ego, permitting him to grow powerful and stable. The infant develops means for going beyond this stage through the accumulation of memories of care, the projection of personal needs, and the introjection of care details, accompanied by the development of confidence in the environment. Anxiety at this period is experienced as annihilation. Without proper maternal care, the ego is distorted or destroyed.

This earliest stage is not recoverable as memory in psychoanalysis. In working with borderline cases, where there has been a disturbance in this period the psychoanalyst, like the mother, has to be sensitive both to the patient's need for symbiosis and for separateness. The study of the transference-countertransference relationship can furnish us with valuable information about this earliest period of ego development.

- 124 -

Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

(1962). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960. Psychoanal. Q., 31:124

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.