By Brett Kahr
A distillation of painstaking learn into the lifetime of Donald Winnicott, tracing his lifestyles from his youth in Plymouth, via his occupation in paediatrics, to his election as President of the British Psycho-Analytic Society. the writer makes many fascinating hyperlinks among Winnicott's existence and the advance of his theories.
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Extra info for D.W. Winnicott: A Biological Portrait
You don't have to believe what I think. Make up your own mind about it. J u s t read the Bible" (interview with Clare Winnicott: Neve, 1983). Not surprisingly, a s the decades went by, Winnicott would become the leading figure in the Independent tradition within British psychoanaly sis, unfettered by the strictures of the more orthodox theoretical positions (cf. Rayner, 1991). Donald Winnicott may have enjoyed considerable security and peace of mind during his formative years, but something unsettled him a n d drove him in search of a career devoted to the study of severe mental illness.
The presence of Winnicott's "multiple mothers" may, in fact, explain to a large extent why he wrote so m u c h about the psychology of the mother-child bond, but the pres ence of so many maternal figures hardly illuminates why Winnicott chose to become a clinical psychoanalyst In view of Winnicott's great ease among women, he might j u s t a s readily have become a couturier or a gynaecologist. Winnicott never discussed in any of his published writings his deep motiva tions for pursuing a n analytic training; but during his sixty seventh year, he wrote a moving poem about his mother, Elizabeth, which provides a strong clue to the source of his profound interest in healing emotional distress.
Valentine's Day by sending secret love messages to one another, in keeping with the homoerotic tradition of the British public school of the early twentieth century. As Winnicott's first year at school drew to a close, the boys enjoyed a special holiday from Tuesday, 20 J u n e , 1911, until Monday, 26 J u n e , 1911, to commemorate the Coronation of King George V (The Leys Fortnightly, 16 J u n e 1911). Several weeks later, on Thursday, 6 July, a swelteringly hot day, the entire school celebrated its A n n u a l Speech Day, with no fewer than one thousand invitations having been sent out to family members 22 D .