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Covington, C. Savitz, C. (1991). Little, Margaret I. Psychotic Anxieties and Containment: A Personal Record of an Analysis with Winnicott. Introduction by James Grotstein. NJ, Jason Aronson, 1990, Pp. 129. $20.00.. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(4):531-533.
(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(4):531-533
Little, Margaret I. Psychotic Anxieties and Containment: A Personal Record of an Analysis with Winnicott. Introduction by James Grotstein. NJ, Jason Aronson, 1990, Pp. 129. $20.00.
Review by: Edited Coline Covington
Carol Savitz, M.A., M.S.W., C.S.W.
Psychotic Anxieties and Containment is a rare and moving document of Margaret Little's analytic journey with D. W. Winnicott. Through Little's courageous record and her warm, direct prose, we are honoured to be able to witness the inner hell she traversed in search of her own self and to experience Winnicott's compassionate and firm holding of her through a long, deeply regressed, and ultimately healing analysis. We not only have the opportunity to see how Winnicott worked and who he was, but also to understand something more about Margaret Little who, in her own right, has influenced psychoanalysis with such concepts as ‘the delusional transference’ and ‘basic unity’, and in her pioneering work with countertransference.
Diagnosing herself as a ‘borderline psychotic’, she affords us a glimpse into this abyss of anxiety, chaos, despair, rage, and loneliness which finally received containment and resonance through her analysis with Winnicott. Winnicott was the third of Little's analysts, and it is clear that, when at the age of 48 she at last got to him, she had found an analyst and human being with whom she could speak the same language—even if the communication often occurred as silence, physical and psychic holding, or smashing of objects.
James Grotstein provides a sensitive and orientating introduction to this book, summarising Winnicott's major contributions; he also appreciates Little's dual perspective as analyst and patient in describing her work with Winnicott.
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