Sullivan's notion of the bad-mother and good-mother is shnilar to Klein's concept of the bad breast and good breast. The bad-mother personification, in fact, grows out of the infant's experiences with the bad-nipple: that is, the nipple that does not satisfy hunger needs. Whether the nipple belongs to the mother or to a bottle held by the mother, the father, a nurse, or anyone else is not important. The bad-mother personification is almost completely undifferentiated, inasmuch as it includes everyone involved hi the nursing situation. It is not an ac curate hnage of the "real" mother but merely the infant's vague representation of not being properly fed.
After the bad-mother personification is formed, an infant will acquire a good-mother personification based on the tender and cooperative behaviors of the mothering one. These two personifications, one based on the infant's perception of an anxious, malevolent mother and the other based on a cahn, tender mother, combine to form a complex personification composed of contrasting qualities projected onto the same person. Until the infant develops language, however, these two opposing hnages of mother can easily coexist (Sullivan, 1953b).
Was this article helpful?
Stop Putting Yourself In The Dumps With your Damaging Self Talk! This Book Is One Of The Most Valuable Resources In The World When It Comes To Getting Serious Results With Positive Thinking! We talk a great deal about self-worth without utilizing it really. Seldom do we make a real judgment of ourselves and consider ourselves as we really are. If we were to get more hard-nosed about ourselves, our lives would absolutely become much more fruitful and productive.