2 The ‘ingredients’ of good mental health and wellbeing in young children
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) is regarded as a pioneer in advancing knowledge of the significance of relationships in early childhood and what supports the development of good mental health across the lifespan. Freud was working in the late part of the nineteenth and first part of the twentieth century. This illustrates how recently the theories and research have been conducted that inform our knowledge of what humans need to promote good mental health. Freud’s work was considered pioneering because the origins of current understanding and practice can be traced back to him (you will explore this further in the next session).
Part of Freud’s legacy was his belief that early childhood experiences ‘shape us’ and are fundamental to determining what is likely to happen in later life. In the next section, you’ll look at the ‘ingredients’ for good mental health in childhood.