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Psicologia Clínica

versão impressa ISSN 0103-5665versão On-line ISSN 1980-5438


SAIKOSKI, Raissa Hahn; GIGUER, Fabiana Faria  e  SILVA, Milena da Rosa. Mutual experience in the neonatal intensive care unit. Psicol. clin. [online]. 2021, vol.33, n.3, pp. 411-428. ISSN 0103-5665.

The goal of this study is to deepen the understanding of the mutuality experience described by Donald Winnicott, specifically when this experience begins to be lived in a context of prematurity and hospitalization. Mutuality is a primitive communication that occurs from the identification of the mother, or person who fulfills this function, with the newborn. This communication involves a quieter contact - in the sense that the emphasis is not on words - and the creation of a rhythm by the pair. The article pursues a discussion of the possible effects of prematurity on the process of identification between parents/caregivers and their baby and on the experience of mutuality resulting from this identification. The theme is considered relevant, since in the context cited communication develops in a unique way and with specificities. To establish mutuality, both parents/caregivers and the baby need more time, due to the context of hospitalization and the newborn's clinical condition. Despite the difficulties, caregivers usually find their particular way of communicating with their baby, creating their own rhythm, and are able to establish the experience of mutuality with the newborn and live in intersubjectivity.

Palavras-chave : mutuality; prematurity; neonatal ICU.

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