For Winnicott, it is through the infant’s movement from the illusory sense of merger with and omnipotent control over the mother that psychic structure is very gradually shaped. The process involves a steady development towards recognition of the ‘me’ and the ‘not-me’, the internal and the external world. The ‘transitional object’ (e.g. teddy bear, security blanket, thumb) is the first ‘not-me’ possession: it is neither the infant nor the object; moreover, the first ‘not-me’ possessions are universal and variable.
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