Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see author affiliation information in an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To see author affiliation and contact information (as available) in an article, simply click on the Information icon next to the author’s name in every journal article.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Lamothe, R. (2014). Winnicott and Helplessness: Developmental Theory, Religion, and Personal Life. Psychoanal Q., 83(4):871-896.

(2014). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 83(4):871-896

Winnicott and Helplessness: Developmental Theory, Religion, and Personal Life

Ryan Lamothe

The author examines Winnicott's theory of development from the perspective of existential helplessness, arguing that (a) his views illuminate healthy (and unhealthy) aspects of religion, and (b) express his stance toward the helplessness of dying and death. The author contends that Winnicott understood the infant's psychic growth in relation to the reality of existential helplessness and absolute dependency. Four interrelated, dynamic paradoxes embedded in Winnicott's developmental perspective are discussed, and these paradoxes are seen as frameworks to depict his notions of ego, transitional objects, and true/false selves. The author posits that religion, which Winnicott included under the rubric of transitional phenomena, can be understood in relation to existential helplessness and can be assessed in terms of the degree to which these paradoxes are dynamic.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.