The Person Who Is Me: Contemporary Perspectives on the True and False Self

The Person Who Is Me: Contemporary Perspectives on the True and False Self

The Person Who Is Me: Contemporary Perspectives on the True and False Self

The Person Who Is Me: Contemporary Perspectives on the True and False Self

Synopsis

The starting point for this book is the Winnicott paper 'Ego distortion in terms of True and False Self' which is reprinted here. The contributors include: Frances Tustin on autism; Ken Wright on personal selfhood; Nina Coltart with insights from philosophy and Buddhism; and Katherine Cameron on Winnicott and Lacan.

Excerpt

Winnicott's radical paper, "Hate in the Countertransference" (1947), includes the much-quoted incident of his handling a disturbed and violent small boy in the care of himself and his wife. In order to contain the situation and his own violent feelings, he puts the child outside the house, saying: "What has happened has made me hate you." When the boy has calmed down, he can let himself in.

Successive groups of students, trainees, and particularly those working with children have expressed consternation, less at Winnicott's action, than at his words. Surely, as in the Christian precept, it is imperative to convey that one hates not the "sinner", but the "sin"? Yet here is Winnicott implying the inseparability of the child from its behaviour in their impact on Winnicott's own feelings. Would this not be unhelpful, even damaging? Possibly so--specially as the episode represents a strategy for Winnicott's own survival rather than some sacred prescription for treatment. What seems important, though, is that, instead of standing wholly outside the situation as the omnipotent adult, Winnicott demonstrates that he is right "in there" with the boy, who is given the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.