Two two-page papers
Part A: Ontogeny, the development of an individual from conception to adulthood.
In this first paper I will describe my view on the development of a human being from a psychological point of view. My main reference is Eugenio Gaddini and his wife Renata De Benedetti Gaddini.
At birth the individual goes to some importants changes (Physical), the respiration is from the lungs and the intake of food from the mouth, and the environment is not anymore stable as before.
The role of the mother is to keep this transition as smooth as possible and in this sense during the first eight weeks there is no difference with the intrauterine situation (from a psychological point of view).
The mericism or infantile rumination is the first psychosomatic dated illness and cannot occur before that time and the presence of this illness shows to us that at that point an important process starts: the imitation. The baby is able to use his own body to perceive the environment though the sensations and operates a detachment from it.
Only at 6-8 months the true perceptions start to operate , now with the separation from the mother, the baby is able to perceive the internal and external environments with his own senses (five).
The psychosomatic dated illness at this time is the dermatitis. The mother is a not-me object, there is an internal and an external and the skin delimitations them.
From this time on the baby starts to recognize the father as a separate object from the mother, at the beginning as a meiotic process that we are able to see in the clinic with the primal scene fantasies and after the first year of life as a distinct object. We are not any more in the range of sensations and perceptions but the thoughts and emotions play an important role in dealing with the loss.
The psychosomatic dated illness at this time is the asthma. Breathing, walking and talking are strict linked, and in a way it makes sense because the child can now distance himself in space and time.
This view is very similar to Fairbairn, he made a distinction between a mouth without teeth and a mouth with teeth, and we can see how with the feeding and the respiration the mouth is involved.
These two way of functioning operate at the same time for the rest of the life of an individual and what we are able to observe in session is the combination of these two ways of functioning.
Winnicott called them pure female and male elements, Gaddini psico-sensorial and psico-oral.
I made a model following a letter that Freud wrote to Marie Bonaparte on the aggression on 1937 in Jones Vol .
The two components are aggression and libido and at the beginning of life the libido is low and the aggression is high and this makes sense because the baby needs to protect himself and if there is someone that is taking care of him can de-cathected the aggression because the object is not bad and can cathected the libido to the object. Only at six month the libido will cross the aggression.
Of course this is a model and I use this model in assessment and therapy all the time to see the two different components, the amount of them and the interaction. And though this model I can make change on the reality.