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Tip: To see Abram’s analysis of Winnicott’s theories…

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In-depth analysis of Winnicott’s psychoanalytic theorization was conducted by Jan Abrams in her work The Language of Winnicott. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Buckley, P. (1997). From Instinct To Self: Selected Papers Of W.R.D. Fairbairn. Vol. I: Clinical And Theoretical Papers. Edited by David E Scharff and Ellinor Fairbairn Birtles, 172 pp. Vol. II: Applications and Early Contributions. Edited by Ellinor Fairbairn Birtles and David E. Scharff, 490 pp. Northvale, NJ: Aronson, 1994.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:579-581.

(1997). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:579-581

From Instinct To Self: Selected Papers Of W.R.D. Fairbairn. Vol. I: Clinical And Theoretical Papers. Edited by David E Scharff and Ellinor Fairbairn Birtles, 172 pp. Vol. II: Applications and Early Contributions. Edited by Ellinor Fairbairn Birtles and David E. Scharff, 490 pp. Northvale, NJ: Aronson, 1994.

Review by:
Peter Buckley

While there had been intimations of the importance of relational considerations in Freud's clinical theory and in the writings of Ferenczi and Rank (Fogel 1993), it was Fairbairn's clarion call—“the object and not gratification is the ultimate aim of libidinal striving”—that initiated this most radical departure from classical theory. Living in Scotland in relative isolation from the centers of analytic activity, Fairbairn produced a series of papers, beginning in the 1940s, that limned an object relations model of developmental psychology and pathogenesis. His major papers were published together in Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality (1952), and subsequently his ideas were disseminated by two of his students and analysands, John D. Sutherland and Harry Guntrip.

It is only within the last fifteen years, however, that a true awareness has arisen of how central Fairbairn's concepts are to the current theoretical ferment in psychoanalysis, most notably to the creation of relational psychoanalysis. Otto Kernberg, James S. Grotstein, and Stephen Mitchell in particular, through their acknowledgment of his influence on their own thinking, have been key figures in effecting this recognition of Fairbairn's intellectual stature and his importance in the evolution of psychoanalytic thought.

David E.

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