Mahler M. S. (1972). On the first three subphases of the separation-individuation process. The International journal of psycho-analysis, 53 ( Pt 3), 333–338.
Freud—two pillars of psychoanalytic metapsychology. The first is that, at the time of his biological birth, the human being is brought into the world in an immature state. (This is due to the fact that the over-development of his CNS requires a large cranial cage.) Hence he is at first absolutely, and remains later on—even 'unto the grave'—relatively dependent on a mother.I have based this presentation upon two thoughts of
The second Freudian tenet, which is probably a result of the first, is his emphasis that object relationship—i.e. one person's endowing another with object libido—is the most reliable single factor by which we are able to determine the level of mental health on the one hand and, on the other, the extent of the therapeutic potential.
Object relationship develops on the basis of, and pari passu with, differentiation from the normal mother.infant dual unity, which Therese Benedek (1949) and I, independently of each other, have designated as the normal phase of human symbiosis(Mahler & Gosliner, 1955).
我和特丽莎.贝内德克(Therese Benedek)不约而同的提出了“人类共生阶段”这个说法（Mahler & Gosliner, 1955），我认为客体关系是是从母婴共生中分化出来的。
Winnicott and also Sandler & Joffe indicate in their work—a lifelong mourning process. Inherent in every new step of independent functioning is a minimal threat of object loss.'Growing up' entails a gradual growing away from the normal state of human symbiosis, of 'one-ness' with the mother. This process is much slower in the emotional and psychic area than in the physical one. The transition from lap-babyhood to toddler-hood goes through gradual steps of a separation-individuation process, greatly facilitated on the one hand by the autonomous development of the ego and, on the other hand, by identificatory mechanisms of different sorts. This growing away process is—as Zetzel,
Following my work with a few psychotic latency children, whom I tried to help with the traditional child analytic method in Vienna back in the 1930s—and on the basis of engrams left in my mind as a paediatrician and head of a well-baby clinic, after having studied tics and early infantile psychosis from the early 1940s on—I decided to look more closely at the fountainhead—to examine the phenomena that those two Freudian thoughts I mentioned earlier entail. I decided to study the earliest average mother.infant and mother.toddler interaction in situ.
The biological birth of the human infant and the psychological birth of the individual are not coincident in time. The former is a dramatic and readily observable, well-circumscribed event; the latter, a slowly unfolding intrapsychic process.
For the more or less normal adult, the experience of being both fully 'in' and at the same time basically separate from the 'world out there' is among the givens of life that are taken for granted. Consciousness of self and absorption without awareness of self are the two polarities between which we move, with varying ease and with varying degrees of alternation or simultaneity. This too is the result of a slowly unfolding process. In particular, this development takes place in relation to (a) one's own body, and (b) the principal representative of the world, as the infant experiences it, namely the primary love object. As is the case with any intrapsychic process, this one reverberates throughout the life cycle. It is never finished; it can always become reactivated; new phases of the life cycle witness new derivatives of the earliest process still at work (cf. Erikson, 1968). However, the principal psychological achievements in this process take place, as we see it, in the period from about the fourth or fifth to the 30th or 36th months of age, a period that we refer to—at Dr Annemarie Weil's helpful suggestion (personal communication)—as the separation-individuation phase.
对于正常的成年人来说，完全“融入”“外部世界”，同时保有“世界”与自己是分开的体验，被视为生命理所当然的馈赠之一。“沉浸在自我感受中“与“忘我的专注”以共存或交替的方式存在于我们身上，伴随着程度的变化。这也是个人心理逐渐发展的结果。特别是，这种发展过程发生在(a)自己的身上和(b)自己关注的人上，比如婴儿主要关注对象是母亲。与任何心理过程一样，这种交互影响贯穿 “我们”一生。它永远不会结束，它总是可以重新激活，生命的每个新阶段都会见证了这个过程的重复（参见埃里克森，1968）。然而，正如我们所见，这个过程的主要模式主要形成在孩子4、5个月到2岁半至三岁之间，在安妮玛丽·威尔医生（Annemarie Weil）的建设性提议下，我们将这个阶段称为分离个体化。
In the course of our rather unsystematic naturalistic pilot study, we could not help but take note of certain clusters of variables at certain crossroads of the individuation process, insofar as they repeated themselves. This strongly suggested to us that it would be to our advantage to subdivide the data that we were collecting on the intrapsychic separation and individuation process, in accordance with the repeatedly observable, behavioural and other surface referents of that process. Our subdivision was into four subphases: differentiation, practising, rapproachement, and 'on the way to libidinal object constancy'. (The timing of these subphases is still inaccurate, and we are still working on the timetable as we go along with the processing of our data.)
I should also mention in passing that I have described an objectless phase: the phase of normal autism, and the phase corresponding to Anna Freud's 'need-satisfying' and Spitz's 'pre-object' phase—which I like to call the symbiotic phase. Both these precede the first subphase of separation-individuation—that of differentiation.