Excerpt About Child Identity
A Stable Sense of a Separate Self is DevelopedThus, according to ego psychology, a stable sense of identity or separate self is not something that the human being is born with, but is a result of a developmental process -- what Mahler has called separation-individuation. At birth there is no awareness of an entity that is separate from its environment. A psychologically separate identity develops slowly as the infant interacts with its environment, especially with its mother. Thus the identity, with its mental apparatus (psychic structure), is a construction in the mind. The particular structure of the mind, the particular patterning of the contents of the psyche (ultimately resulting in the sense of self), is something that develops, something that grows. It is then something not ready-made at physical birth.