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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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Crastnopol, M. (1999). The Analyst's Personality: Winnicott Analyzing Guntrip as a Case in Point. Contemp. Psychoanal., 35(2):271-300.

(1999). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 35(2):271-300

The Analyst's Personality: Winnicott Analyzing Guntrip as a Case in Point

Margaret Crastnopol, Ph.D.

Guntrip concluded that he [Guntrip] and Fairbairn were really very different types of person … a factor which he believed must play a larger part than was generally recognized in all analyses especially if “psychoanalytic technique” was regarded as all-important.

Hazell, 1996p. 211

I became aware that the D. W. whom I knew was different from the D. W. known to anyone else, even though others might know some of the same aspects of him. I “created” him imaginatively for myself, and this because they and I were different, however much we might all seem alike; it gave them their values and reality. Above all, D. W. became a real living person with whom I had a relationship born years earlier and no longer based only on transference.

Little, 1990pp. 64-65

In this article I take up the vexed and vexing question of the impact of the analyst's own personality—a vital aspect of the analyst's self, though not synonymous with it—on the analytic process. It's difficult to take up this issue, I think, because it is virtually impossible to extricate or isolate the analyst's “personality” from constructs we use to denote other overlapping contributions coming from the analyst's side, including the analyst's countertransference (see, for example, Epstein & Feiner, 1979; Natterson, 1991), private life and lifestage issues (Gerson, 1996; Crastnopol, 1997), professional identity (Hamilton, 1996; Crastnopol, in press), and subjectivity (Renik, 1995; Aron, 1996; Crastnopol, 1997). In concentrating on the analyst's character, I'm considering features

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Earlier versions were presented at Division 39, American Psychological Association, April 23, 1998, Boston; and at Northwest Alliance's annual Forum, June 6, 1998, Seattle. For their careful reading of earlier drafts and their encouragement I'm especially indebted to Jeremy Hazell, Robert Rodman, Jack Barlow, Adam Phillips, Emmanuel Ghent, Karol Marshall, and Priscilla Long.

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