D.W. Winnicott by Jacobs, Michael; Winnicott, Winnicott Donald Woods

By Jacobs, Michael; Winnicott, Winnicott Donald Woods

This publication offers the existence, contributions and impacts of D. W. Winnicott, baby psychologist, psychoanalyst and paediatrician. Winnicott's theories are mentioned intimately in addition to feedback from others.

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These letters can seldom have brought comfort to their recipients. There must be many an analyst who, after breakfasting with one of Winnicott's letters, felt more inclined to go back to bed rather than to face his patients. (1987b: 798) For example, in 1952 he writes to Hanna Segal: Ί do think that just at times for a few minutes you are tremendously cocksure of yourself, and if you happen to be speaking just then it shows . . The fact is that you are capable of failing just as other analysts are .

The 1958 paper on guilt (1965b: 1 5 - 2 8 ) takes a slightly different position, the limited and negative Kleinian view that morality and concern are a reaction to hate. It is in the later paper that Winnicott stresses how important it is not always to interpret reparative and constructive feelings and actions of a patient as signs of an unconscious wish to destroy. It is rather by interpreting the destructive wishes that the patient can then become open to their capacity for concern. 'But constructive effort is false and meaningless unless .

Such impingements are inevitable, and as long as they are not 'too severe Major contributions to theory 35 or too prolonged' the infant becomes accustomed to them. Nevertheless the 'nearly perfect' form of adaptation is when the individual moves from within the skin boundary (using an arm or leg, for example) to meet the environment. 'Environmental influences can start at a very early age to determine whether a person will go out for experience or withdraw from the world when seeking a reassurance that life is worth living' (1988b: 128).

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