From primary maternal preoccupation to dead mother.

FROM PRIMARY MATERNAL PREOCCUPATION TO DEAD MOTHER. Am J Psychoanal. 2018 Oct 31;: Authors: Csillag V Abstract Ferenczi (1929) writes about the unwelcome child who is not ushered into this world with care and grows up in the grip of the death instinct, with a depressive streak and a weakness in the capacity for life. Andre Green's (1986) concept of the dead mother describes a similar phenomenon, by which the image of a loving mother is transformed into an inanimate, dead parent. The absent mother becomes the negative, which will then take up a central position in the child's psyche. Winnicott (1956) describes a different maternal participation, and proposes that towards the end of her pregnancy the ordinary devoted mother develops a psychological condition which he calls primary maternal preoccupation, the main feature of which is the mother's heightened attunement to her baby at the expense of all else. I suggest that there is a potent and clinically relevant connection among these concepts: a depressed or damaged mother can still provide temporary devotion before reverting back to a state of depressive absence and that, conversely, even the devoted mother will eventually recover from the state of primary maternal preoccupation and begin to tend to other matters, and the mother's reclaiming herself can be traumatic for the child even under the best of circumstances. The connection among these concepts is illustrated with clinical material, including tra...
Source: American Journal of Psychoanalysis - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Am J Psychoanal Source Type: research

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