24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Summary of a life's work,
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This review is from: Playing and Reality (Routledge Classics) (Paperback)
I came to this book having found the authors more famous work The Child, the Family, and the Outside World (Penguin Psychology) was not for me. Nothing to do with the writing: Winnicott is an excellent writer. Not having been a parent, I just couldn't connect with it, something that is perhaps amplified by the fact that the earlier work is more addressed to mothers.
"Playing and Reality" was a different matter, being more scholarly. This is not to say that it is unapproachable, just identifying what qualities are on show. Indeed Winnicott is a most approachable figure. Humane, urbane, some times humorous, he make a refreshing change from the Germanic intensity of some psychoanalysts (e.g. Freud, and Klein), reminding us, for example, that no parent is perfect, though some, maybe most, are instinctively "good enough."
The concept of the "good enough parent" was not the only idea he introduced into psychoanalysis. Ideas such as the transitional object and the importance of play were pioneered by Winnicott and are discussed here and their importance in an infants adaptation to life. Later he discusses the basis of cultural experience, and the role of the Mother.
All in all this is an elegant summary of Winnicott's ideas by the man himself, of use both to student therapists in their studies as well as to the general reader.