The newborn cannot survive extrauterine without a mother to tell him his existence in this world too strange for him. In the intrauterine world there were other laws, there were other sensations, and here, the needs are urgent and the pain threshold is quickly reached. Due to the inability to orient, the child is overwhelmed and awakens in every respect the desire for protection. The mother has to be vigilant with all the mammals around that are ready to replace her.
The baby will understand how this world works as the mother organizes a living environment that remains unchanged, with rhythms that prevent him for what follows. As soon as the world becomes intelligible to him, the child can feel protected and loved. The feeling of security helps him to relax, but also to feel fear.
The small child cannot yet anticipate the change and that is why any novelty disturbs him. In order to calm down, she needs her mother to give her, through her nonverbal expressions, information about what is happening.
The child's world is divided into two: a safe, predictable mother-world and a foreign, tempting, but also dangerous mother-world.
H. Hesse describes the two worlds in which the child lives: “A world belonged to the parental home [...] it was called Mother and Father [...] In this world there were straight lines and paths that led to the future [.. .] The other world started from the bosom of our own house and was completely different [...] In this second world [...] there is a wave of terrible, attractive and awful, impenetrable things ”(H. Hesse, Demian).
The known world is full of habits, people, objects and states already lived. It is a space where the child feels protected, surrounded by people able to meet his needs. The safer and more stable this space is, the more tempting and desirable the world outside it will become.
The unknown world consists of new experiences, of surprising events. It is a world that includes the known in its unknown parts and that extends beyond the space that can be anticipated. The unknown promises interesting experiences, but it is also potentially dangerous, which causes the formation of a cautious attitude. We all oscillate between a known world, which represents us, and a foreign one, in relation to which we learn to carefully weigh our enthusiasm, but also to control our fear. Meeting new people, we are put in the situation of combining the two worlds. No one is totally foreign to us. In each peer we can find ourselves due to the fundamental experiences we have in common. We all lived in an intrauterine world, we were all born, we were breastfed and weaned, we went out into the world, we adapted to a community, we learned to communicate, to establish relationships, to take care of ourselves and by others. We all need security, love, personal manifestation, symbols and taboos. But what brings us closer also alienates us. Each of us is formed by the experiences lived subjectively, by the groups we belong to, by the culture we belong to. We also all have personal reactions to what is happening to us. Thus, an event is lived differently by each of the participants. The fear of the unknown does not only signal an external danger. It also occurs when we ourselves are changing: when we move into a new stage of existence, when we lose or when we gain something.
In psychoanalysis, the first noticeable change of the patient is often announced by an attack on the psychoanalytic framework whose endurance is being tried. The patient struggles to change the rules so as not to change himself. It's like saying: It's easier to change something outside than inside. If I change, I will be a stranger and I am afraid. Here is a justified fear that needs to be analyzed. A change of setting would bring much unpredictability, increasing fear. Too sudden a change in the patient would strengthen the resistance. This is how the symbolic framework, as an element of psychoanalytic technique, becomes essential in the confrontation with the fear of the unknown.