Separation-Individuation Period in Infancy

Infancy is the period of separation and individuation between 6 and 36 months. During this period, the baby starts to direct his attention to the outside world, apart from his own body and the mother, the baby may get away from the mother from time to time, may become closer, and the joy of exploring the environment can compensate for the emptiness caused by separation from the mother. In order to overcome the crisis in this period, the role of the mother is very important; The mother should be in a place that regulates the child’s emotions, allows the child to explore the environment, but does not withdraw his emotional support, does not reward the child’s sticking to him, and does not punish him with his absence. In this period, situations such as the mother’s withdrawal of emotional support from the child, rewarding her sticking, not regulating her feelings will cause a defense mechanism to divide between the good self if there is a good object and the bad self if there is a bad object. The presence of a partition defense mechanism will prevent integration between states. For example, we have a friend that we value very much and he came late to the cafe we ​​were going to meet one day and made us wait. For example, the individual may become very angry with his friend here, forgetting that he loves and appreciates him for the moment, and harbor hostile feelings. In the absence of division, the person knows that his friend made a mistake, but he does not forget that he values ​​him, he does not have hostile feelings, there is integration, where there is integration, the person does not experience extreme emotions, his emotions are balanced.

In short, if there is division, there is no integration, if there is a good object, our feelings about ourselves are good. If there is a bad object, our feelings about ourselves are bad. Our affects are extreme and not in balance; if there is no integration.

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