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Battin, D. (1994). The Playground of Psychoanalytic Therapy: By Jean Sanville. Hillsdale, NJ/London: The Analytic Press, 1991. 288 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 63:582-587.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:582-587

The Playground of Psychoanalytic Therapy: By Jean Sanville. Hillsdale, NJ/London: The Analytic Press, 1991. 288 pp.

Review by:
Delia Battin

The concept of play as analogous to psychotherapy was an intuitive leap of D. W. Winnicott's which Jean Sanville exploits cleverly in this engaging book. As Winnicott put it, "Psychotherapy takes place in the overlap of two areas of playing, that of the patient and that of the therapist. Psychotherapy has to do with two people playing together. The corollary of this is that where playing is not possible then the work done by the therapist is directed toward bringing the patient from a state of not being able to play into a state of being able to play" (p. 38). The analogy has an immediate appeal to it; but, on reflection, one begins to question whether all the complexities of psychoanalytic psychotherapy can be reduced in this manner to a single concept (play) without doing some violence to its theoretical scope and clinical nature.

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