Essay: The mind of an infant

18 Oct

Essay: The mind of an infant

Sample Essay

Fairbairn (1952) also argues that in cases where the parents are missing, the infant’s mind internalizes the unresponsive (bad) aspects of its parents and visualizes the aspects as forming part of it due to the fact that the aspects are not actually available. He refers to this as the splitting ego effect. For instance, in cases where the mother of the infant is stressed but renounces this state, the child identifies with this state because it may be unable to establish a complete relationship with the mother during this period. As a result, the infant becomes stressed, not because of any external influence, but because of the fact that it can not effectively relate with the mother and the mother has denied the condition.

In his study, Winnicott shows that a child develops from an integrated condition to a distinct status from which it can be able to identify and relate with the objective world (Roadman, 2003). He asserts that the early environment, possibly provided by the mother, offers an important basement upon which the future of the child is anchored. However, in order to attain a satisfactory level of development that is essential for survival, Winnicot argues that the child should be able to perceive the mother as neither a good nor bad object but rather an independent and complex individual who lives an independent life. This then helps the child to understand and acknowledge the contributions of the mother to its life. Generally, the propositions of Winnicott presented through his exploration of the development process create a good enough mother who is characterized by patience and tolerance. Thus in order to understand the patients well during therapy, he suggests that the medical practitioners should assume the ideal qualities of  good enough mother and provide the best environment for the patient to recuperate.

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