HOME IS WHERE WE START FROM: Essays by a Psychoanalyst by D.W. Winnicott

HOME IS WHERE WE START FROM: Essays by a Psychoanalyst

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A selection of papers and speeches by the influential British psychoanalyst, some unpublished at the time of his death in 1971, others hitherto available only in out-of-print books. A Freudian, Winnicott speaks complacently from a time when psychoanalysts knew what caused mental illness. For him, it was ""less than good"" mothering, and in his day his insights into child development were significant breakthroughs. Today, however, much of his thinking seems anachronistic. ""Penis envy is a fact,"" he says in a 1964 speech and links it to the then-infant feminist movement. That same year, he expressed dissatisfaction with the theory (now virtually proved) that schizophrenia is rooted in a genetically-related biochemical disfunction: he suggested it was triggered by ""a reversal of the maturational processes of early infancy at the age at which absolute dependence is a fact."" On the other hand, his suggestion that some forms of juvenile delinquency may be a cry for help is timely today as is his suggestion to the governors of a juvenile prison that therapy for inmates might help some youths avoid a life of crime. In sum, a quaint if only occasionally pertinent collectible from the heyday of psychoanalysis.

Pub Date: Jan. 27th, 1985
Publisher: Norton