246In my attempt to describe the psychoanalytic understanding of the early years of life based on the ideas of Freud, Klein, and Bion, I have tried to make complex theories accessible by linking them to the parent–infant interaction found in everyday family situations. Freud took the work on the symptom as his starting point for psychoanalysis, the symptom being for him the most alien thing to the ego to be found in the psyche. The symptom stems from repression, serving as a proxy before the ego. Freud even went so far as to describe the repressed element as the “inner foreign country” and reality as its “outer foreign country” (Freud, 1915: 165). Psychoanalytic developmental theory seeks to understand the emergence of the deep layers of the personality and various psychic mechanisms influenced by the overcoming of primitive anxieties, and dealing with more mature forms of thinking and feeling.