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Scott, A. (2020). Editor's Comments. Brit. J. Psychother., 36(1):1-3.

(2020). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 36(1):1-3

Editor's Comments

Ann Scott

In this issue of the Journal, our regular 'Clinical and Theoretical Practice’ strand brings together papers that revisit the foundational work of Winnicott and Segal, providing an opportunity to deepen our thinking around key texts in the field, and perhaps too to consider our individual practice afresh. First, Stewart Gabel argues that Winnicott's 'intermediate area of experiencing, when applied to religious practices, is often appropriately understood as a normal dissociative phenomenon of variable intensity’, that is, an alternative level of consciousness 'in which the threshold for usual ego functions … is lowered and universal themes such as the meaning or purpose in life…. are elevated’. In a most thoughtful discussion, Gabel discusses a native ritual, a modern religious practice and a clinical vignette to illustrate 'what can be described within a Winnicottian notion of the intermediate area of experience’.

Next, Patrick Casement, in a wide-ranging inaugural lecture prepared for the inaugural conference of the Japanese Winnicott Association in 2019, draws a distinction between 'using’ - or applying - Winnicott's ideas, and 'finding’ Winnicott in our clinical work, suggesting that it is 'at those times of finding Winnicott that his ideas most vividly come alive to us’. Acknowledging that Winnicott can at times seem to be 'quite obscure’, Casement suggests that even then, 'when we encounter something in clinical practice that touches upon what he is talking about, there is a sense of recognition’, a process that he illustrates with examples from Winnicott's practice and from his own.

[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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