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Ainslie, G.M. (2010). Attachment, Play and Authenticity: A Winnicott Primer, by Steven Tuber, New York: Jason Aronson, 2008, 237 pp., $39.95.. Psychoanal. Psychol., 27(2):235-238.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 27(2):235-238

Book Reviews

Attachment, Play and Authenticity: A Winnicott Primer, by Steven Tuber, New York: Jason Aronson, 2008, 237 pp., $39.95.

Review by:
Gemma Marangoni Ainslie, Ph.D., ABPP

“What is real?” Asked the rabbit …

“Real isn't how you are made,” said the skin horse.

“It's something that happens to you.

When a child loves you for a long, long time,

Not just to play with, but really loves you,

Then you become real.

It doesn't happen all at once.

You become.

It takes a long time.”

Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

By now, all of us have played with Winnicott. We know there is no such thing as a baby, that a good enough mother is the best we can hope for, that transitional objects and play are the harbingers of culture and art, that the silence and solitude of a private self are worth their weight in psychic gold. We think of our clinical work in ways he delineated—providing a holding environment, waiting patiently for the spontaneous gesture of a true self, appreciating the capacity to be alone in the presence of another. And those of us who include children in our clinical practices have very likely squiggled. Yes, we've all given Winnicott a whirl—or two, or three. Far fewer of us have pursued Winnicott down the meandering roads he traveled to unearth and understand the magic of early psychological life and of clinical process. In this very well-organized and beautifully rendered book, Steven Tuber dares to do so and more.


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