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(p. 117) The Family and Emotional Maturity 

(p. 117) The Family and Emotional Maturity
Chapter:
(p. 117) The Family and Emotional Maturity
Author(s):

Donald W. Winnicott

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190271381.003.0018
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date: 18 July 2019

In this paper, Winnicott discusses the idea of maturity as a maturity appropriate for a particular age. An intact family is fundamental to healthy development and if the family is threatened this becomes very clear. For each family the actual father and mother are alive in the inner psychic reality of the children. But individuals need to become independent of their families for psychic health. Adult political institutions unconsciously reproduce home and family constellations. Children carry unconscious dependence on their actual father and mother, and it is within this dependence that the growing child’s need for independence can be safely asserted. An important feature of emotional development and maturity is the individual’s capacity, after acting out, to rediscover the original maternal care, parental provision and family stability, on which that individual was dependent in the early stages of life.

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