Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see translations of this article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

When there are translations of the current article, you will see a flag/pennant icon next to the title, like this: 2015-11-06_11h14_24 For example:


Click on it and you will see a bibliographic list of papers that are published translations of the current article. Note that when no published translations are available, you can also translate an article on the fly using Google translate.


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

Stein, H. (1997). Goodnight Moon: Repetition and The Mastery of Separation. Psychoanal. Rev., 84(6):925-940.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Review, 84(6):925-940

Goodnight Moon: Repetition and The Mastery of Separation

Helen Stein


Separation and loss have been important themes in the psychoanalytic literature since Freud (1920) wrote about his eighteen-month-old grandson's efforts to master a brief separation through repetitive play. Indeed, some writers have suggested that failure to gain mastery of separation during the pre-oedipal period is reflected in aspects of adult psychopathology. According to John Bowlby (1973), early experiences with attachment, separation, and loss become incorporated into “internal working models,” sets of expectations about the self, others, and the environment, which then serve to guide expectations and perceptions of close relationships throughout the lifespan. In the analytic situation, for example, Bowlby notes that some patients expect to be abandoned because of the nature of their early experiences, despite assurances from the analyst and lack of supporting evidence to the contrary. Aspects of early working models are thus evoked in treatment by events such as the end of the hour, the therapist's vacation or unexpected illness, and termination.


[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, 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.