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Ellman, P.L. Goodman, N.R. (2014). Donald Winnicott Today: Donald Winnicott Today By Jan Abram New York: Routledge, 512pp., $47.95, 2012. DIVISION/Rev., 11:17-21.

(2014). DIVISION/Review, 11:17-21

Donald Winnicott Today: Donald Winnicott Today By Jan Abram New York: Routledge, 512pp., $47.95, 2012

Review by:
Paula L. Ellman

Nancy R. Goodman

Oh God! May I be alive when I die.

—D. W. Winnicott

Winnicott is alive, and each chapter in Jan Abram's edited book attests to this. We feel the infectiousness of believing in the spark of life and in play. We “squiggled” to each other our responses to our reading of each contribution. We invited “transitional object” narratives from colleagues. We photographed “transitional objects” alive in our worlds. We offer a Winnicottian book review as we diverge and overlap, are similar and separate, and make room for play spaces. We have created a complex whole that we believe pays tribute to Abram's volume, to the authors of each chapter, and to Winnicott's work. Our reviews are presented side by side, complementing the other. In the space between we offer stories and photographs that bring to life the concept of transitional objects and transitional space.

The opportunity to review the edited book Donald Winnicott Today is the opportunity to be immersed in Winnicott's contributions, which spanned close to 40 years. Winnicott's guide to his ideas was the mother-baby dyad, and he was a revolutionary tour de force with his paradigm shift. Where Freud's psychoanalysis was the “talking cure,” Winnicott's was the mother-infant communication, often nonverbal. While Freud's exemplar is the three-person Oedipal, Winnicott's is the baby on the mother's lap. Winnicott gave us the conceptual basis for the suffering within this paradigm, the “unthinkable anxieties”; perhaps his reference to the fear of falling is the fear of the lap collapsing or finding no lap at all.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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