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Cooper, J. (1997). The Language of Winnicott: A Dictionary of Winnicott's Use of Words by Jan Abram. Published by Karnac Books, 1996; 378 pages; £23.95 paperback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 14(1):122-123.
    

(1997). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 14(1):122-123

The Language of Winnicott: A Dictionary of Winnicott's Use of Words by Jan Abram. Published by Karnac Books, 1996; 378 pages; £23.95 paperback.

Review by:
Judy Cooper

This book fills a gap in the literature. What Laplanche and Pontalis have done for Freud, and Hinshelwood for Klein, has now been rendered by Jan Abram for Winnicott, undoubtedly one of the greats of modern day psychoanalysis.

Winnicott was a prolific and popular writer and was able to convey intricate psychoanalytic ideas not just to psychoanalysts but to readers in neighbouring disciplines and lay audiences. Some professionals have described his books as ‘a jolly read’ although, looking at his writing more closely, one can appreciate how dense and convoluted his theories are. Winnicott seemed not to be a systematic theoretician and never wrote in detail about his therapeutic approach, so it could appear random. Abram's dictionary, by giving definitions, explanations, quotations and references, demonstrates how his theories are quite systematic, being firmly grounded in therapeutic principles, and how he has attempted to widen the scope of psychoanalysis. She organizes Winnicott's main ideas under 22 headings, including many concepts which do not ordinarily get much attention paid to them. Through her familiarity with

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