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Widlöcher, D. (2013). Response by Daniel Widlöcher. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 94(1):130-131.

(2013). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 94(1):130-131

Response by Daniel Widlöcher Related Papers

Daniel Widlöcher

So many works have already been written on Winnicott and so many texts have been written on these works. Of course this predicament is not unique to Winnicott, but to all those who have taken up the study of psychoanalysis after Freud, opening up new areas that have been explored by generations of students in the development of psychoanalytic thought. We know about the pluralism of the different psychoanalytic schools, but with Donald Winnicott things are quite different. Numerous students of Winnicott have gathered his views; these are analysts who belong to different schools and who have made use of Winnicott's thought and practice as “neighbours” rather than as simply students. Winnicott has therefore had what I would call a lateral influence rather than a direct influence.

Winnicott's personality lent itself to this lateral influence; his ironical manner, always a bit critical, always as undogmatic as possible, led his students to follow the same path. For the student of Winnicott, it wasn't a question of overcoming a contradiction or an antagonistic point of view, but of opening oneself up to new ideas and preserving what could help develop one's practice and theory. Winnicott encouraged us to enrich our reflections and our creativity, to leave new ideas to ripen, rather than to reach a determinate resolution to a theoretical argument or dogmatic dispute. The many authors who have attempted to give a formal reading of Winnicott's thought know the difficulties encountered in trying to do so.

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