Donald Winnicott at the BBC
September 12, 2014 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Donald Winnicott, the British pediatrician and psychoanalyst, was notable in the mid-20th century for his empathy and recognition of the complexity and resilience of the mother-child bond. In the late 40s he recorded extensively for the BBC, and the resulting broadcasts made his term "good enough mother," and his advice about parenting, influential throughout England. There is a short (2 min) snippet of him talking at BBC 4, but the full show about Winnicott's broadcasts and influence is on YouTube.

Among Winnicott's other important concepts are that of the holding environment, the transitional object, and the false and true self. Social workers like to credit the influence of his second wife, Claire Winnicott, an important British social worker, with helping to shape his theories and his empathic stance.

Margaret Little, another British analyst, wrote a short book called Psychotic Anxieties and Containment, that details her analysis with Winnicott. It's quite good.
posted by OmieWise (2 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Oooo interesting. Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother? heavily references Winnicott.
posted by Theta States at 9:04 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

I first read some of Winnicott's writing -- his book Playing and Reality -- in an undergrad course on psychology and literature about 15 years ago and I have to say, it's one of the books that really has stuck with me since then. Especially the concept of the "transitional object", which is one of those blankies or stuffed toys that virtually everyone gets weirdly fixated on as a very young child, and which helps us figure out how mind and world relate. Really interesting stuff on a philosophical level, even if you're not interested in the child-rearing or therapeutic aspects of it.
posted by demonic winged headgear at 9:21 AM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

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