chapter  5
56 Pages

An Epigenesis of Psychologic Dependence

ByHenri Parens, Leon J. Saul

The child from birth to four months is utterly dependent on the object for survival. During the normal autistic phase, the neonate is utterly-helpless, its dependence grossly biological. The child’s biologic dependence—the experiences of need-gratification—has become libidinized and, conjointly, the dependence has become psychological. The child’s behavior begins to reflect dramatically the internalization of the standards and dictates of the external environment in the form of superego precursors. Fear of loss of love from the object—which would deny the child his rights to protection, care and indulgence—is the dominant danger-situation for complex forms phase of development. In the normal child, the sensual-genital of the libido emerges and is directed, in both boys and girls, to the object that has received the earliest and greatest affectional cathexis: the prime insurer and gratifier of needs, the mother. The sensual cathexis becomes object-directed, and fusion with the affectional current occurs.