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(p. 119) Establishment of Relationship with External Reality 

(p. 119) Establishment of Relationship with External Reality
(p. 119) Establishment of Relationship with External Reality

Donald W. Winnicott

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date: 16 January 2021

In Chapter 1, he proposes that, if all goes well, the mother can adapt to the infant such that they may have the illusion of having created all that it has received and enjoyed. He discusses the difficulties of this process for mothers and babies and their carers in the earliest stages. He elaborates on the value for the infant of what he terms ‘transitional states’, states in which something the infant attaches to significantly is, paradoxically, both not wholly from within nor wholly from outside. Benign illusion derives from this area, providing the capacity to dream and to create and to endow external reality with meaning and value. Winnicott also explores the failures of this kind of relationship between mother and baby. He proposes a kind of primary creativity within us all and considers the importance of the mother, the birth, and beginnings for the baby in this, ending the chapter by considering what ‘real’ means.

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