Show Summary Details
Page of

(p. 405) Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena 

(p. 405) Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena
Chapter:
(p. 405) Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena
Author(s):

Donald W. Winnicott

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190271374.003.0096
Page of

date: 20 October 2018

In this essay, Winnicott describes the interstices between illusion and reality. He focuses his discussion on the soft objects used by an infant, what he calls a transitional object. He says transitional objects involve the nature of the object, the infant’s capacity to recognize the object as ‘not-me’ and yet to feel paradoxically that he has created that object. Through the attachment to the transitional object the infant initiates an affectionate type of object relationship. Winnicott emphasises the importance of this transitional object to the infant, and how parents respond to it. The transitional object belongs to the realm of illusion, which is at the basis of initiation of experience. An infant’s transitional object ordinarily becomes gradually decathected as cultural interests develop.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Clinical Psychology requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.