Winnicott Studies

Views: 635
Ratings: (0)

The Squiggle Foundation's aims are to study and disseminate the work of Winnicott, with a particular emphasis on application.

List price: $19.99

Your Price: $15.99

You Save: 20%

 

7 Slices

Format Buy Remix

Neither Fish Nor Fowl Nor Good Red Herring

ePub

(This is a slightly edited transcript of a lecture which Dr Miller gave to the Squiggle Foundation entirely without notes.)

I was wondering what to talk to you about when I came here, and I meandered around a number of topics and I decided to try and bring them all together. What I want to do is to explore some of the concerns I have with the role of the healer in medicine, and also with the role of the mischief maker and with the notion of the playful in the theatre. I hope I can successfully bring together the idea of the healer as a mischief maker of some sort, and the notion of the fool and the villain as he appears in Shakespeare; and also some of the notions of festivity which appear in Shakespeare as well. Now these may seem very disparate ideas but I hope that I can successfully tie them together with a purse-string and bring them together in one concept.

Let me start first of all with the idea of medicine and hope that I can lead from that into the more dramatic and playful topics. For a long time, ever since I did a television series on medicine, I’ve been thinking about what it was that secured a putative healer a clientele. How did he advertise his or her authority; how was it that he secured a following? In thinking about this, I was struck by a division which the German sociologist Max Weber made in describing the ways in which you could classify political authority; I believe this division could be applied in medicine and in other areas which I’ll be getting to later on. Max Weber identified three different types of political authority, three ways in which someone who wished to secure a political following could advertise his personality and gain a following as a result. He said there were those who secured a following on the basis of their traditional office; there were those who secured a following on the basis of some personal charisma; and there were those who secured a following on the basis of some advertised rational principle which was organised institutionally on a bureaucratic basis. And what he meant by those three distinctions is as follows: That someone with an official political authority is one who secures his following, not on the basis of any particular character or personality that he has himself, but by virtue of some traditional office which he occupies. And it was the office that actually secured the following, rather than the man. Of course, the King, the sovereign, a crowned annointed King, is the most vivid and clear example of this that we know: an example of someone who has secured the allegiance of the people on the basis of some office which he occupies. It is the office, regardless of his own virtue, strength or ability, which actually secures the following. Once he has been annointed, once he has been ordained and incorporated into the office, he secures the following on the basis of the allure which surrounds the office itself. Indeed it’s the office that is recognised. It is the crown that is recognised.

 

The Rhythm of Safety

ePub

‘And came on that which is, and caught the deep pulsations of the world.

Aeonian music measuring out the steps of Time—the shocks of Chance—the blows of Death. At length my trance was cancelled, stricken thro’ with doubt.’

(From Tennyson’s In Memorian ICV.)

The neurotic adult patient to be discussed in this paper was one of those seemingly perennial patients whose functioning is based on the avoidance of endings. Insights derived from my work with autistic children have released this patient from the fetters of her autistic practices so that she has become able to generate fundamental understandings which have made termination a reasonably safe possibility for her.

Clinical work which is influenced by a psycho-pathology as elemental as childhood Autism is bound to seem strange to those psychoanalysts who work in terms of ego psychology. It may also seem somewhat different, at least in the early stages, from clinical work which has been influenced by Melanie Klein. The influence of Bion and Winnicott on this paper will be apparent.

 

Rhythm and Interpretation in Maternal Care and Psychoanalysis

ePub

And indeed there will be time
Time for the yellow smoke that slides along the street
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

These verses from T. S. Eliot’s ‘The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ evoke thoughts about time and rhythm. The recurring phrase ‘there will be time, there will be time’ marks out the steady beat, the bass line, of the poem. The words tell us that time is cyclical and progressive. Both rhythm and words console. These lines capture the mood of what I want to say.

Recently, both psychoanalysts and developmental psychologists have turned their attention to the importance of rhythm in the early infant-mother relationship. The following two ideas seem central to the work of both the clinicians and the observational scientists:

 

Some Religious Implications of the Work of Freud, Jung and Winnicott

ePub

I am grateful to Alexander Newman, and honoured, that he has invited me to give a Squiggle lecture on a subject chosen by me, though not so grateful to myself for the title I have chosen. With hindsight, the complications of the subject seem formidable, and, in this connection, Alexander Newman was generous enough to furnish me with references from Winnicott’s writings and, on one occasion, even to dream one up for me—a real one of course. In general I suspected myself to be a little mad to embark upon such a subject, while my mistaken consolation that ‘whom the gods love they first make mad’ turned out to be an optimistic slip of the memory, for the true quotation is ‘whom God would destroy he first sends mad’! I was then forced to remember Jung’s words that ‘one may love God but one must fear him’ and add to them the old tag that God looks after the drunks, the insane and the children. I think there could be something in that, provided that the personality is not too saturated by the self-destructive rages that arise from gross infant privation and deprivation. However, this may be, I think that I personally had not too bad a start, right at the beginning of my life, though pretty soon my mother had to surrender to the Truby King standards imposed upon her by the hospital where she was trained. Hence I cannot claim to have been subject to the full disasters that can arise out of total privation or radical deprivation. This fact on the whole gives me hope that what I have to say will avoid the twin dangers of over-clear dogmatism or just plain confusion.

 

'At First Sight'-a poem

ePub

 

Mother and Child in Henry Moore and Winnicott

ePub

You will no doubt recall that Winnicott referred more than once in his writings to the moment when he found himself bursting out at a meeting of the Psychoanalytic Society, ‘There is no such thing as a baby.’ ‘I was alarmed to hear myself utter these words,’ he was to comment later, ‘and tried to justify myself by pointing out that if you show me a baby you certainly show me also someone caring for the baby, or at least a pram with someone’s eyes and ears glued to it. One sees,’ as he put it, ‘a “nursing couple’“.

But Winnicott later went on to draw conclusions from this moment of insight which went beyond what could be immediately seen with the eyes. Winnicott began to write of a ‘condition that it can be assumed exists at the beginning of the individual’s life in which the object is not yet separated out from the subject.’

In his terms, ‘object’ means ‘other person’—usually, from the baby’s point of view, the mother. Winnicott says that, from an observer’s point of view, the baby may seem ‘to be object-relating in the primary merged state’; but he adds that it has to be remembered that, at the beginning, the object is a ‘subjective object’, as distinct from an ‘object objectively perceived.’

 

The Creature There Has Never Been: 'Alice' and Winnicott

ePub

There are four classic books for children in English—four, that is, in the popular imagination, where ‘classic’ can be taken to mean ‘very famous’. I don’t say that every adult has read—or even should have read—all four—even in abridged or simplified versions—but I am sure that everyone knows what each is about and has for each a strong visual image—or a series of images that somehow stand for or encapsulate the book’s essential meaning and appeal. And whether directly or through popularised, even vulgarised, renderings, the central characters of all four books have entered the public consciousness with a force and immediacy which it is rare for any individual writer, apart from Shakespeare, to achieve.

Two of the books were not written with children in mind at all—indeed both were produced at a period when the very idea of writing for children would have seemed absurd. As I have tried to show elsewhere, it was not until at least the middle of the eighteenth century that children were perceived as anything other than miniature adults. The modern idea of childhood only focuses in the great shift of values that we call the Romantic movement. And the first literature produced for children was rationalist, didactic and utilitarian, aimed at helping the child to grow up as soon as possible into a mature and responsible adult.

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Slices

Format name
ePub (DRM)
Encrypted
true
Sku
9781781810545
Isbn
9781781810545
File size
0 Bytes
Printing
Disabled
Copying
Disabled
Read aloud
No
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata