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Tip: To use Pocket to save bookmarks to PEP-Web articles…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Pocket (formerly “Read-it-later”) is an excellent third-party plugin to browsers for saving bookmarks to PEP-Web pages, and categorizing them with tags.

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McCluskey, M.C. (2007). The Play is the Thing Presenter: Velleda Ceccoli, Ph.D. Moderator: Robin Goldberg, Ph.D. Date: November 18, 2006. Am. J. Psychoanal., 67(3):299-301.

(2007). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 67(3):299-301

Scientific Meeting of the American Institute for Psychoanalysis

The Play is the Thing Presenter: Velleda Ceccoli, Ph.D. Moderator: Robin Goldberg, Ph.D. Date: November 18, 2006

Mary C. McCluskey, LMSW

Dr. Velleda Ceccoli, Training and Supervising Analyst at The American Institute for Psychoanalysis (AIP), faculty member at New York University Postdoctoral Program, as well as the Book Review Editor for Psychoanalytic Dialogues, delivered an eloquent presentation on the role of play in our lives and in the practice of psychoanalysis.

A clinical example, in which Ceccoli read excerpts to one of her patients who was unable to speak because of her crippling anxiety, from the book Harry Potter, opened the paper. This spontaneous intervention calmed the patient, and Ceccoli remembered how soothing it was to be read to by a trusted person. The suspension of reality in a story can create a space where possibilities are endless, and reading to the patient was an invitation “to a magical land where her own demons held no sway.” Building on this idea, Ceccoli introduced the power and reparative role that play can have in our lives.

In a demonstration of these ideas, the audience was invited to play as Ceccoli transported them to the land of The Frog Prince. Her reading of this tale was purposeful, she wanted the listeners to experience the personal space that this fairytale created for each; to offer them a few moments to play with an idea, things that adults often forget how to do. Her presentation playfully drove home the important message, “Playfulness creates space for true self to emerge.”

According to Ceccoli, adults engage in various types of play: sports, reading, games and sex. She elaborated on sex, framing it in Winnicotian terms: In the best of circumstances, sex is playful when it presupposes the ability to use the other as a transformational object. The other can be used “as a true playmate that can help us elaborate parts of ourselves that arise spontaneously and in interaction with another.”

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