Daniel Stern′s Developmental Psychology and its Relation to Gestalt Psychology

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Summary

Daniel N. Stern’s research on the first years of life offers the view of an active newborn, developing in a continuous dialogue with the Other.

The mother places the infant feelings at the center of her attention. The infant gets in tune with the mother, and learns that she welcomes and understands his inner states. Such attunement is a primary holistic experience, taking place because of the infant innate ability to perceive the “interpersonal happenings” as a unitary Gestalt, emerging “from the theoretically separate experiences of movement, force, time, space and intention”. Large convergence exists between Daniel Stern’s developmental psychology and Gestalt theory: both view the infant development occurring within an inter-subjective matrix, not as a process with phases or stages, but rather as a progressive organization of structures.

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