Object relations + psychoanalytic

Ideas of Winnicott

Donald W. Winnicott was an English writer since 1930s to 1970s. He was a pediatrician as well as a psychoanalyst. He died at the age of 74, leaving behind remarkable writings, which were free from jargon, making it easy and enjoyable to read. His writing skills and ideas were coiled through radio talks as well as professional lectures. He inspired many.

Winnicott main area of concentration was in child development. He clearly portrays the involvement of infant and the environment, coherently elaborating on the balance there in. He initiated and inspired the ideas of Heinz Kohuts through his conceptual development of the infant.

Two examples that Winnicott expressed through his writing are: (A) Environment and instinct, and (B) psycho neurosis

(A) Environment and instinct

Environment according to the writing of Winnicott is outlined to be the surroundings were the infant is adapting and growing in. Winnicott claims that, good environment facilitates remarkable maturity of the infant. He goes further and argues that, as the infant grows, the lesser it will depend on the environment or the mother in general.

Winnicott, in relation to Freud’s notion of intuition, he shifted gears and elaborated on how the infant interacts with the environment. He points out that, the infant generally inhabits the environment, and this helps it in growing while socially adapting to the environment. He did this through understanding the emotional development of the young child, which is intertwined with the terms of the child’s relation with the mother then the instincts. Winnicott further gives attribute to Freud by supporting the claim that growth moves more towards maturity than instinctual.

No matter the situation of the environment, Winnicott advocates that environment shapes the infant. He argues that the maternal care is the key factor in infant development which is channeled through a favorable environment.

(B)  Psycho neurosis.

Psych neurosis is the stage whereby one is capable to interact with other people independent of the environment. Winnicott claims that such characters are induced and mentored fully by the environment, and can adopt without anxiety and conflict.

Environment that later fails can bring about illness, among them is intermediate illness. It is also known as mental disturbance. Its consequence is that it enables a child to have ego organization, thus hindering growth before the child enrapturing into internal environment. It is in this internal environment were the child is said to be independent. Individuals who happen to suffer this illness are said to be anti-social, and interact slowly and with difficulties. They have an attitude that the society owes them.

Winnicott also identifies that, psychosis environmental failure to provide maturational process. As a result, the child is unable to integrate, personify, as well as relate objects.

In a nut shell, the environment should be conducive for the nurturing and development of the infant.


Innovative and refreshing about the work of Winnicott

Winnicott has fascinating and educating writing. He clearly shows the necessary precautions towards healthy child development. He points out dos and don’ts. For example, by writing about the environment, characteristics and how the infant adopts.

Also by identifying the illnesses brought about by improper environment during infant development. He also shows ways on improving the environment, and ensuring that the child is brought up in the best and suitable environment as possible.

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