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Reeves, C. (2015). Reappraising Winnicott's The piggle: A Critical Commentary Part II: Discussion and Critique. Brit. J. Psychother., 31(3):285-297.

(2015). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 31(3):285-297

Reappraising the Piggle Part II

Reappraising Winnicott's The piggle: A Critical Commentary Part II: Discussion and Critique

Christopher Reeves

This is the second part of an extended paper reviewing the nature of the messages Winnicott wished to communicate to his audience through the psychoanalytic case of The Piggle. ‘Introduction and the Treatment’ (published in BJP 31[2]) set out the work in its theoretical and historical context and reviewed the dialogue which serves as the material for the work. This part provides a discussion and a critical analysis of the case, and an examination of both explicit and less worked-out conclusions which can be drawn from it. The author considers the case as evidence that therapy with a child can be intensive without being extensive. He highlights Winnicott's emphasis on the importance of play for working through internal conflicts, not merely as providing material for interpretation. Whereas Winnicott held firmly to the efficacy of his commotional interpretations, and the notion that Gabrielle's unconscious dispositions were agentive and intentional, the author argues for an alternative to Winnicott's interpretation, highlighting the use of make-believe play, the irregular timing of the sessions and the child's own maturational processes as being important elements in her recovery. He suggests that, for Winnicott, these factors were intuitively, rather than conceptually worked out, and, in so being, contribute to the enigmatic nature of the original work.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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