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

Anna Arfelli Galli
Published Online: 2017-03-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gth-2017-0001


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.

Keywords: Inter-subjective matrix; neonatal moments of meeting; affect attunement; Gestalt theory; Forms of Vitality


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-03-31

Published in Print: 2017-03-01

Citation Information: Gestalt Theory, Volume 39, Issue 1, Pages 54–63, ISSN (Online) 2519-5808, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gth-2017-0001.

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© 2017 Anna Arfelli Galli, published by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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