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Newman, K.M. (1996). Winnicott Goes To The Movies: The False Self In Ordinary People. Psychoanal Q., 65:787-807.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:787-807

Winnicott Goes To The Movies: The False Self In Ordinary People

Kenneth M. Newman, M.D.

Winnicott's theories of development, while appearing metaphorical and impressionistic, actually offer a remarkably consistent explanation for pathological character formation as an outcome of environmental failure. He suggested that faulty mothering can lead to a chain of disturbing internal psychic events that necessitate a reorganization in the child. A major pathological resolution is the formation of a false self and false self bonds. Winnicott's recommendations for treating the crippling effects of the early traumata proceed logically from his concepts of developmental pathology. The film, Ordinary People, offers a way of understanding the tragedy and then the hope stemming from the application of Winnicott's concepts.

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