Healthy Maternal Ambivalence, by Joan Raphael-Leff

A remarkable essay on the problematic idealisation of mothers

From Studies in the Maternal 2 (2010) Joan Raphael-Leff’s writing provides a unique perspective on maternal subjectivity, a topic she feels has been long-neglected in psychoanalysis.

Raphael-Leff challenges the idealisation of the early mother-baby bond that excludes negative maternal feelings. She writes that negative maternal feelings are natural and healthy. She draws attention away from the baby and considers the needs and feelings of the mother.

Further, Joan Raphael-Leff discusses the absence of the mother’s needs in conventional psychoanalysis.

The full text of her excellent paper is worth reading.

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