- Series: Routledge Classics
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (November 11, 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: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,640 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Winnicott (henceforward DWW) creates--in an enormous leap away from Freud--a vision of the complex and beautiful relationship of the infant and primary caregiver. In fact he speaks of the "mother infant dyad," rather than two separate persons during the first few months of life. From this union, if all goes well, the child gradual emerges and develops a sense of self through a process of disillusionment by the mother, in doses the infant can withstand.
As this occurs, the child symbolizes the lost union with the mother in what DWW calls "transitional objects" and begins, with the comfort of these objects, to begin to play in what DWW calls the "potential space." We might call it the realm of culture, of love, and of religion. Only with successful caregiving does the child have a chance to fully develop as a person, and DWW shows, in loving detail and case histories, how this happens through the devotion of the mother.
This is why DWW's work is vital not merely to psychoanalysts, but to every person on this planet. His work has influenced two generations of therapists, theorists, and educators and, indirectly, every one of us. Further, his work has increasingly been supported by developmental insights gained from attachment theory and other experimental and verifiable studies.
I don't normally write reviews on amazon.com, but I could not let foolish misreadings by other reviewers stand unchallenged. Sierra's attitude is not only condescending, it is lazy. Enough said. As for whomi, I appreciate the thought there, but DWW *does* allow for gradual disillusionment through experience of the external world. If whomi missed it that does not mean it is not there. As for using Derrida to read DWW, I imagine that is useful. Go to it, if you like. But let's not forget that the work of Lacan is inconceivable without DWW, and the work of Derrida inconceivable without Lacan.
DWW indisputably and deservedly stands as one of the most influential psychological thinkers of the 20th century. Further, his use of language is simple and yet always provocative, finding new depth and meaning in the simplest of words.
Please consider reading DWW and judge for yourself.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Winnicott is original and surprisingly simple and precise through his practical and...Read more