The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant: Symbiosis and Individuation

1st Edition

Margaret S. Mahler

Routledge
Published December 31, 1985
Reference - 320 Pages
ISBN 9780946439126 - CAT# K378187

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Summary

'The biological birth of the human infant and the psychological birth of the individual are not coincident in time. The former is a dramatic, observable, and well-circumscribed event; the latter a slowly unfolding intra psychic process.'Thus begins this highly acclaimed book in which the author and her collaborators break new ground in developmental psychology and present the first complete theoretical statement of the author's observations on the normal separation-individuation process. Separation and individuation are presented in this major work as two complementary developments. Separation is described as the child's emergence from a symbiotic fusion with the mother, while individuation consists of those achievements making the child's assumption of his own individual characteristics. Each of the sub-phases of separation-individuation is described in detail, supported by a wealth of clinical observations which trace the tasks confronting the infant and his mother as he progresses towards achieving his own individuality.

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