15 October 2012

Moullinex - Take My Pain Away

Teddy bear by Håkan Dahlström

In human childhood development, a transitional object is something which takes the place of the mother-child bond.
An infant sees himself and the mother as a whole. In this phase the mother ‘brings the world’ to the infant without delay which gives him a ‘moment of illusion’, a belief that his own wish creates the object of his desire which brings with it a sense of satisfaction.
Later on the child comes to realize that the mother is separate from him through which it appears that the child has lost something. This realization creates a difficult period and brings frustration and anxiety with it. In the end it is impossible that the mother is always there to ‘bring the world’ to the baby. Through fantasizing about the object of his wishes the child will find comfort.
A transitional object can be used in this process. The transitional object is often the first ‘not me’ possession that really belongs to the child. These could be real objects like a blanket or a teddy bear, but other ‘objects’, such as a melody or a word, can fulfill this role as well. This object represents all components of ‘mothering’, and it means that the child himself is able to create what he needs as well. It enables the child to have a fantasized bond with the mother when she gradually separates for increasingly longer periods of time. The transitional object is important at the time of going to sleep and as a defence against anxiety.

Thanks Donald Woods Winnicott and Wikipedia.
Teddy bear, a photo by Håkan Dahlström on Flickr.

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