Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 85-98

First online:

The Significance of the Emergence of Language and Symbol in the Development of the Young Infant

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In this paper I have suggested that the mother–child dyad is the foundation for integrity between the psychic self and the physical self, and the capacity of these to relate to the external environment. I have also argued that the development of language and symbol are creative agents in the development of consciousness in the young infant, and that the emergence of language and symbol are an expression of the opening of a potential space which allows differentiation from the mother and facilitates the infant’s ability to distinguish fantasy from fact and self from other.


integrity body language symbol consciousness