- Series: Routledge Classics
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (November 13, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415345464
- ISBN-13: 978-0415345460
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Playing and Reality (Routledge Classics) (Volume 86) 2nd Edition
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"Winnicott was the greatest British psychoanalyst who ever lived. He writes beautifully and simply about the problems of everyday life - and is the perfect thing to read if you want to understand yourself and other people better." - Alain de Botton
About the Author
D.W. Winnicott (1896-1971). A renowned psychoanalyst and theorist, whose profound and original thought has had a lasting influence throughout the world. He was President of the British Psycho-Analytical Society and President of the Paediatric Section of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Top customer reviews
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Winnicott is original and surprisingly simple and precise through his practical and theoretical implements.
I give this book five stars because the ideas contained in here are going to continue to bear fruit in so many ways. We have been waiting for decades for someone to tie together the Neo-platonic strands in psychological thought, in contradiction to Freud and the radical empiricist strands, and Winnicott is the first to really achieve some headway in this area. You see, most people in psychology either think that our brains are like wax and we go around pressing them against things and putting indentations in the wax, whereas some others think that our brains are more like cookie cutters that chop out figures from raw experience. The former group are the empiricists (Freud), and the latter, the rationalists. (Piaget). This is especially important as we move into an era where psychotherapy is increasingly cognitive and rationalistic. Psychiatry and psychology training, in the wake of psychoanalysis's rationalistic errors of ignoring data and imposing a theory of sexuality on every case it came across, is unfortunately being repeated by people in the various schools of therapy. And it's really confusing for residents (like myself) to decide how much data to gather on a patient, and when to stop and apply a theory.
Winnicott teaches here that we in part, create reality and in part, discover it. Certain expectations we have come from our playful and interpersonal nature and we find ways to make the world conform to those expectations and desires. That does not mean those interpretations of the world are "illusion", meaning false, as Freud uses the term pejoratively. It simply means that a creative process is involved. But more importantly, after disagreeing with Freud so profoundly, Winnicott goes on to say that our expectations must also be let down repeatedly and conformed to reality as well. The infant does not only create the blanky-teddy, but discovers it in the real world, and gradually lets go of it, just as we all gradually let go of our parents, if we had healthy ones, that is... But the reality that we conform to is not the reality where all our expectations and illusions were dashed to pieces. They are merely modified to fit into a reality as Winnicott sees it, a reality of other minds and other persons.