By Brett Kahr
A distillation of painstaking study 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 lifestyles and the improvement of his theories.
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Additional info for D.W. Winnicott: A Biological Portrait
Within the intimate science of psychoanalysis, the theoretical ideas of our foremothers a n d forefathers cannot easily be separated from their own personal histories, and this certainly holds true in Winnicott's case. I trust that by understanding more about the background of Winnicott's concepts, students of psychoanalytic ideas will derive a greater comprehension of the vicissitudes of Winnicott's life a n d work. I remain only too aware that this book serves as a mere sketch, a n d it does not in any way constitute a comprehensive biography.
A s the only son in the family, he should have entered into his father's business ventures, but instead he defied convention a n d became a doctor, a n d then a psychoanalyst. 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.
O n one occasion, he erected a concentration camp for woodlice, trapping the poor creatures inside. He continued to experience pangs of guilt about this for many years to come (Barbara Dockar-Drysdale, personal communication, 13 J u l y 1991). Winnicott attended a local preparatory school in Plymouth, and he continued to live at home. B y all accounts, he performed outstandingly well in his academic subjects, apart from a brief period during his ninth year when he messed up his school notebooks and received very poor scores on his examinations (Khan, 1975).