Excerpt About Essential Development
However, the stage of developing essential aspects shifts the inner work on the personality from the superego more to the structure of the ego itself. We have seen, for example, that the merging essence is related psychologically to the symbiotic stage, of fundamental importance for
the development of ego structure. Other aspects of essence are connected to different phases of ego development or to different sectors of its structure. Essential strength is connected, for example, to the differentiation subphase of the separation-individuation process of ego development, when the infant begins to perceive that his mother and he are two people. Joy and value are essential aspects related more to the practicing subphase of this developmental process, when the toddler is joyously exploring his capacities and environment. The separation-individuation process leads ultimately to the development of the ego as a structure. Its final phase is that of object constancy, when the ego is formed and established as a permanent existence, separate from the environment (mother), and other people are seen to have separate existences. Finally, the ego is structured and developed, and the child permanently experiences himself as having a separate identity. The ego is seen here in a central position because everything else is really part of its structure. The ego is the product of the child's development.