Recognition and reflection in infancy and psychotherapy
This chapter develops the dialogue between object relations theories and current research about babies, especially attachment theory. Recognition and reflection have always been core values in everyday clinical work, but this central agreement has been obscured by the differences between the different analytic persuasions. Still, being understood and kept in mind by another person is seen as a crucial aspect of both child development and psychoanalyses. Reflective relationships have a number of essential progressive effects, including enhancing the senses of personal and interpersonal coherence and security, personal agency, the capacity to understand that other people have other minds, and that there is a separate “reality” in the world that has its own, more or less stable qualities; that is, “objectivity” (in other words, using Freud’s terms, the acquisition of “the reality principle”). Self-reflection and recognition by others defines the space between separateness and relatedness.