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Applegate, J.S. (2002). Parallel Paths: A Personal Journey to Winnicott and Beyond. Psychoanal. Inq., 22(4):510-518.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 22(4):510-518

Parallel Paths: A Personal Journey to Winnicott and Beyond

Jeffrey S. Applegate, Ph.D.

Robert Stolorow (1994) Suggests that, At the Deepest Level of our theoretical constructions we are operating within a sphere of subjectivity (p. 20). As I have moved into midlife, I have become more aware of and curious about the subjective origins of my own theoretical commitments. If midlife is a time of reflection and integration, as many life cycle theorists suggest, then my own middle years have followed the expected trajectory of increased introspection and a gradual putting-together, at a new level, of what has gone before in my life. One outcome of this continuing process is an increased awareness that what just “fell: right” theoretically in my early years as a clinician was in fact predetermined in convoluted and surprising ways.


Looking back now, it is clear to me that my own association with psychoanalytic theory began twenty years before I was born. Lest the reader surmise that I dabble in the supernatural, this mysterious statement bears explanation. When my mother was 23 years old, she delivered a baby girl, her first child, in the bedroom of my parents' little cottage in a central Indiana farm town, with the help of a midwife and a country doctor.

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