The Good-Enough Mother: After effects. Presented by Jessica Ferreira and Colette Spear. Overview. Object Relations What is object relations theory? Freud’s views Mahler’s process of separation individuation Piaget’s object permanence. Overview Cont. Donald Winnicott’s Theory
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Jessica Ferreira and Colette Spear
Object relations theory is a psychoanalytic approach that explains:
according to the affectionate attachments that children make in early life
particular people, or the targets of children’s affection,feelings or intentions
relationships and interactions that take place between children and the significant people in their lives
At this stage the mother is in a ‘state of maternal preoccupation’
Baby believes itself to be magical : ‘subjective omnipotence’
Within the context of the first stage, what is a ‘good-enough mother’?
An awareness of the mother as an object separate from the self begins to form
The baby begins to realise:
Winnicott makes the important distinction between:
Throughout life it’s necessary to both:
A psychologically healthy person is neither overdependent, nor isolated.
Refers to this as the mother’s ‘failure’
In order to cope with the mother’s failure and the resulting frustration, the child will:
Subjective Objective Near
Omnipotence Reality Independence
As the mother increases the distance between herself and her child the child may become anxious
A transitional object acts as a:
during the mother’s absence.
The transition object is not a replacement
for the mother, but rather a representation
of the mother during her absence.
An Analogy: The tale of the butterfly
Once upon a time a little girl came across a cocoon which was wriggling around as a butterfly began it’s entry into the world…
Upon seeing this, the little girl decided to help the butterfly on it’s journey into the world and she plucked the cocoon from the bark of the tree and proceeded to open the cocoon herself to set the butterfly free…
………and promptly died.
The butterfly was not quite ready to experience the transition between stages. The holding environment was suddenly changed and the butterfly was not yet able to exist in the new, adapted, environment.
healthy true self
healthy false self unhealthy false self
THE TRUE SELF:
THE FALSE SELF
Unhealthy Pathological Individual:
Healthy development of an independent and responsible individual who is able to form and maintain warm, loving relationships with others as well as maintaining a healthy balance between the false and true self
trusting relationship in order to
gain better insight