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Rabain, J. (2005). Jouer avec Winnicott [Playing with Winnicott] André Green Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. 2004. 128 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(6):1748-1754.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(6):1748-1754

Jouer avec Winnicott [Playing with Winnicott] André Green Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. 2004. 128 pp.

Review by:
Jean-François Rabain

This book will inspire every reader of Winnicott. A perceptive and rigorous commentator on Winnicott's thought, Green does not restrict himself here to acknowledging and assessing the influence exerted by the author of Playing and reality (1971a) on contemporary psychoanalysis and evaluating his theoretical viewpoints with reference to Freud and Melanie Klein. He also goes on to acknowledge the influence of Winnicott's work on his own thought by indicating some specific reference points that are an invaluable guide to the essential trajectories in psychoanalysis today.

The theory of play developed by Winnicott is one of the essential paradigms of his thought, in which play constitutes one of the fundamental axes of the treatment. With play, Winnicott brings the analyst's psyche and affects into the analysing situation, thereby reminding us that the patient can no more be said to exist without an analyst than the baby exists without his mother. The analyst's involvement, his role in the progress of the treatment and the interpretations that he provides all combine to emphasize the importance of the shared affects and the role of the countertrans-ference—in short, the analyst's creativity in the treatment process.

According to Leiris (quoted by Pontalis, 2002, p. vii), Winnicott had ‘that rare capacity to turn the most arid of deserts into a playground’. However, this book not only refers to the introduction of children's play into adult treatment, but also relates to a foundation in Freud, in the dreamwork or the famous fort-da game that was so brilliantly analysed in Green (2001), following on from Lacan (1977).

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