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(p. 405) Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena 

(p. 405) Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena
(p. 405) Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena

Donald W. Winnicott

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date: 21 October 2020

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.

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