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Luepnitz, D.A. (2009). Thinking in the Space between Winnicott and Lacan. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(5):957-981.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(5):957-981

Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique

Thinking in the Space between Winnicott and Lacan Language Translation

Deborah Anna Luepnitz

(Final version accepted 29 December 2008)

The author, following André Green, maintains that the two most original psychoanalytic thinkers since Freud were Donald Winnicott and Jacques Lacan. Winnicott, it has been said, introduced the comic tradition into psychoanalysis, while Lacan sustained Freud's tragic/ironic vision. Years of mutual avoidance by their followers (especially of Lacan by Anglophone clinicians) has arguably diminished understanding of the full spectrum of psychoanalytic thought. The author outlines some basic constructs of Winnicott and of Lacan, including: their organizing tropes of selfhood versus subjectivity, their views of the “mirror stage”, and their definitions of the aims of treatment. While the ideas of Winnicott and Lacan appear at some points complementary, the goal is not to integrate them into one master discourse, but rather to bring their radically different paradigms into provocative contact. A clinical vignette is offered to demonstrate concepts from Lacan and Winnicott, illustrating what it might mean to think and teach in the potential space between them.

[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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