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Bürgin, D. (2004). Psychotherapeutische Erstinterviews mit Kindern Winnicotts Squiggletechnik in der Praxis [Psychotherapeutic first interviews with children. Winnicott's squiggle technique in practice] by Michael Günter Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.. 2003. 252 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(5):1297-1298.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(5):1297-1298

Psychotherapeutische Erstinterviews mit Kindern Winnicotts Squiggletechnik in der Praxis [Psychotherapeutic first interviews with children. Winnicott's squiggle technique in practice] by Michael Günter Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.. 2003. 252 pp.

Review by:
Dieter Bürgin

Publication of Therapeutic consultations in child psychiatry (Winnicott, 1971) was followed after two years by a German edition. Since then, not very much has been published about the experiences with the ‘squiggle technique’, a seemingly simple method which has the quality of a razor's edge. Child analysts use it in different ways. However, in the hands of therapists who are not analytically trained, the technique may deteriorate into something like a test or just an aid for storytelling.

Michael Günter, an experienced analyst and child psychiatrist from Tübingen, Germany, has extensively used squiggles in Winnicott's sense as signs of mutual emotional movements of child and analyst in a potential space. Together they create—out of preconsciousmaterial’ from both sides—a common shared ‘third’, a newly found meaning of what might happen in the therapeutic dyad—intersubjectivity of the finest quality.

In the Introduction, the author describes, with reference to Winnicott and others who have published in this field, his own understanding and use of this method in detailed form. He underlines how important an analytic training is for an optimal application and how much exposed and how little protected the analyst feels during this process. Constant reflecting activity and self-analysis are paradoxically combined with a need for spontaneity. In the Nachträglichkeit of the reflective function, it is therefore more important than in any other form of applied psychoanalytic methods to restore the analytic position.

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