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Playing and Reality from Winnicott investigates the origin and place of creativity in the earliest years of life. It is a book written by an influential British psychoanalyst who, as the story goes, happened to have participated in judging Lacan’s work ethics at the time when the latter was being excommunicated from the International Psychoanalyst Association.

Having begun his career as a pediatrician before embracing psychoanalysis, Winnicott was naturally well placed to developing theoretical views that are still considered significant today. Amongst several subjects of study the reader of Playing and Reality will discover Winnicott’s work on the Transitional Object – the equivalent of which would be found in Lacan’s object a, Creativity and its Origin and Mirror Role of Mother and Family in Child Development. Reading Winnicott regarding the latter will certainly provide a helpful contribution to understanding Lacan’s theory on the Mirror Stage.

Winnicott’s work belonged to Object Relations Theory, and thus in this respect was joined by Melanie Klein. The association is less meant to produce a positive reaction than to evoke criticism. The shadow hovering above British psychoanalysis may be seen to be one of knowing, if not practically in advance, what the subject has formulated in his or her mind. Offering, if not altogether forcing interpretations onto patients is unethical in its alienating effect, if not potentially dangerous. Martin Heidegger reminds us here that, if anything, the subject (Dasein) is above all else, a question.

Regardless, Winnicott’s Playing and Reality belongs on the psychoanalyst shelf along with all the authors mentioned on this website. It is for the reader and analyst to make up his own mind regarding the significance of this analyst theoretical import.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (20 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415345464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415345460
English French Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Winnicott

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