Babies and Their Mothers

By D. W. Winnicott; Clare Winnicott et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
Communication Between
Infant and Mother,
and Mother and Infant,
Compared and Contrasted

IN the first lecture of this series Dr. Sandler has been talking about the nature of psychoanalysis. In the next two lectures you will hear about unconscious communication as between parents and children and as between husband and wife. Here in this lecture I am talking about communication between infant and mother.

You will already have noted that the word unconscious does not appear in my title.1 There is an obvious reason for this. The word unconscious would apply only to the mother. For the baby there is not yet a conscious and an unconscious in the area that I wish to examine. What is there is an armful of anatomy and physiology, and added to this a potential for development into a human personality. There is a general tendency towards physical growth, and a tendency towards development in the psychic part of the psycho-somatic partnership; there are in both the physical and the psychological

____________________
1
See preliminary notes written for this paper, p. 107. Eds.

-89-

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