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Chapter Four - Towards Independence—The Whole Person

Spelman, Margaret Boyle Karnac Books ePub

In this chapter, I look at the concepts attaching to the third stage: when the person goes towards independence. I look first at the expansion and further internalisation of transitional space in the developmental situation, noting the changes in the baby and in the mother's role at this time, and I also refer to the lifelong nature of the expansion. Next, I show how Winnicott's consideration of the mother function is useful clinically in two ways. First, it helps us deal with those patients for whom the difficulty is of a preoedipal nature. Second, it allows our practice to be more flexible and to account for the complexity of human experience, by recognising the dialectical nature of the transference and real relationships.

The baby's movement towards independence

As we have seen, in absolute and relative dependence, the capacity to be alone first develops in the presence of the mother when the holding experienced by the baby has been good enough. Then, “through the accumulation of memories of care, the projection of personal needs and the introjection of care details [the baby develops] confidence in the environment” (Winnicott, 1960a, p. 46). Trust, memories, and greater intellectual understanding allow the baby to internalise the transitional space. Here, the baby has the capacity to live without actual care and expand the transitional space to other areas of his life. He has in himself the capacity to keep inside and outside separate yet interrelated and to balance their contributions in his experience. An interchange is set up between inner and outer realities which results in one being enriched by the other.

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Chapter Ten - Creating Connections

Karnac Books ePub

Dilys Daws

This brief chapter is about creating connections—what Winnicott did best. I think he would have appreciated how I came to write about a connection with him. At the book launch for The Emotional Needs of Young Children and their Families, edited by Judith Trowell and Marion Bower, Professor Andrew Cooper talked to points from the various chapters including one by me entitled “Consultation in general practice” (Daws, 1995). It describes the work in a baby clinic with parents and infants which I have done for thirty years. Often during this time I have used Winnicott's ideas, and have also felt a connection to him through my father Jack Kahn, who was a general practitioner before becoming a child psychiatrist. (After Donald died, my father was one of the colleagues who supported his wife Clare, who said charmingly to him that he understood Donald's work better than anyone.) Cooper likened an anecdote in my chapter about an electric socket to Winnicott's “spatula game”. The connection to Winnicott was made!

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Chapter Three - Marion Milner

Spelman, Margaret Boyle Karnac Books ePub


Marion Blackett Milner (“Joanna Field”) was born in London in 1900 and died there in 1998 after a long, enjoyed life and a distinguished career during which she painted and wrote prodigiously, producing seven books and many articles. Milner kept a diary from age eleven and travelled extensively up until 1975. When she decided to undertake a psychoanalytic training in 1940 Milner was already a mother, an industrial psychologist, author of three books, and had worked with Elton Mayo on the Hawthorne Studies in the US. Milner's training analyst was Sylvia Payne. She had supervision from Melanie Klein, Joan Riviere, and Ella Freeman Sharpe, and attended Winnicott's weekly mother and baby clinics. The main transference seems to have happened instantaneously when Milner heard Winnicott lecture.

Milner's relationship with Winnicott

An indicator of Milner's importance to Winnicott is the fact that, compared to all other colleagues, Rodman's (2003) comprehensive biography dedicates a chapter each only to her and to Masud Khan.

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CHAPTER ELEVEN The paternal function in Winnicott: the psychoanalytical frame, becoming human

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The paternal function in Winnicott: the psychoanalytical frame, becoming human*

Haydée Faimberg

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments.

—Shakespeare, Sonnet 116


I encountered Winnicott’s thinking very late. In a seminar that I had been conducting for some years at the Paris Psychoanalytical Society I proposed Holding and Interpretation: Fragment of an Analysis (1986), with the aim of identifying the basic assumptions implicit in Winnicott’s detailed notes and discovering how he approached patients.

It has been an extraordinary creative experience to encounter Winnicott’s thinking as an as yet undiscovered “presence” in me. At the same time it seems strange to say this, considering that I had had two other significant encounters with his thinking. I had proposed that Winnicott in his paper “Fear of breakdown” had been thinking and interpreting in terms of the Freudian concept of psychic temporality, Nachträglichkeit. Neither he nor other authors had ever established such a link up to then (Faimberg, 1998/2012). The temporality implied in “Fear of breakdown” became for me the paradigm of this concept (though Winnicott never used the term).

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Chapter Eight - A Summary of Winnicott's Thinking Evolving in that of his Analytic “Children”

Spelman, Margaret Boyle Karnac Books ePub

Marion Milner

Milner's like-mindedness with Winnicott preceded their acquaintance. Winnicott's implicit theory about theory and influence (also Lovejoy's but not Bloom's) is evident in the fact that they wrote about the same phenomena separately during that time and also afterwards and that in the space between them thinking flourishes and finding/creating are often the same thing. The thinking and not the thinker has primacy so that where there might have been one there was in fact no issue about who owned what ideas. Milner's thinking shows many of the characteristics of Winnicott's thinking with the exception perhaps of making especially economic interventions and Milner's emphasis on personal rather than clinical experience. Broadly one could say that Winnicott's eleven themes were also hers and like him she is very much her “true self”, taking responsibility for conflicts within, bridge-building and communicating. In her unique contribution she confirms the links in Winnicott's thinking to visuo-spatial imagination, the thinking of Jung, Piaget, Daoism, organisational theory, art theory and art therapy, visualisation and progressive muscle relaxation techniques, Eastern and Western religious and spiritual traditions, English literature, and Greek mythology.

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