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Blass, R.B. (2013). On Winnicott's Clinical Innovations in the Analysis of Adults: Responses to the Controversy. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 94(1):117-118.

(2013). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 94(1):117-118

Psychoanalytic Controversies

On Winnicott's Clinical Innovations in the Analysis of Adults: Responses to the Controversy Related Papers

Rachel B. Blass

The following series of brief comments are responses to the controversy “On Winnicott's clinical innovations in the analysis of adults”, published in the last issue of the IJP. In that controversy Jan Abram (2012), Vincenzo Bonaminio (2012), and Michael Eigen (2012) presented their views on how they perceive the nature and extent of Winnicott's clinical innovations to the analytic practice of his predecessors and how they assess the value of these innovations to psychoanalysis. The aim was to open to exploration and discussion the very different understandings of Winnicott that seem to prevail among those who align themselves with Winnicott's thinking in the contemporary analytic scene, ranging from those who view him as one who applied his clinical sensitivities to the development of traditional psychoanalytic practice to those who regard him as revolutionary and radical.

As I noted in my introduction to that controversy (Blass, 2012), the three authors emphasized different facets of Winnicott's contribution, but there was substantial similarity as well. All agreed that his innovations were very extensive, referring to how he brought to the fore the notion of aggression as creative, the clinical relevance of the existence and role of relationships prior to the development of internal objects, the necessity of the analyst adopting the maternal role and, perhaps most notably, the necessity of the analyst promoting a state of “being together” that is thought, at times, to replace interpretation.

[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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