A Beholder's Share: Essays on Winnicott and the Psychoanalytic Imagination, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Beholder's Share

Essays on Winnicott and the Psychoanalytic Imagination, 1st Edition

By Dodi Goldman


208 pages

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A Beholder's Share demonstrates how a sense of reality is evoked in the unpredictable space between imagination and adaptation. The world calls forth something in each of us—a beholder’s share—which in turn calls forth something in the world. Though usually viewed as opposites, imagination and reality make uneasy but necessary bedfellows. 

Part I of A Beholder’s Share shows how fantasy generates novelty by creating versions of what is already known, while imagination allows what seems familiar to be seen afresh. Goldman’s essays offer unexpected takes on common clinical encounters: clashes of belief, the search for generational dialogue, the awkward discomfort of feeling like a fake, the problem of how and when to end analysis, the strains of working with psychotic anxieties.

Part II, ‘Winnicott’s Living Legacy,’ illuminates Winnicott’s preoccupation with difficulties inherent in contact with reality. These chapters bring to life Winnicott’s personal struggle with an area of experience his own two analyses failed to touch, the tangled relationship with Masud Khan, his recognition of dissociation as "a queer kind of truth," and how Romantic poets shaped Winnicott’s view of what is felt as real. 

Bringing together Dodi Goldman’s seminal and new writings, A Beholder’s Share will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists, as well as students and teachers of the arts, literature, and humanities.


"With the eye of a psychoanalyst, the conscience of an activist, and the voice of a poet Dodi Goldman explores the ways imagination and social reality interpenetrate, giving meaning and richness to human experience. The book is devoted both to Goldman’s original and informative reading of Winnicott and to his own creative and passionate clinical work. The result is a volume sure to inspire psychotherapists of all persuasions and levels of experience, and to engage others interested in the study of lives in depth."-Jay Greenberg, Ph.D., Editor, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly and Recipient, 2015 Mary S. Sigourney Award.

"A Beholder’s Share" is an exciting event for anyone with a deep interest in human experience and Winnicott. It provides a rare opportunity to observe close-up how an internationally acclaimed scholar connects with Winnicott through shared sensibility, helping him find his way toward psychoanalytic work. Moving seamlessly between Winnicott and his own highly creative and imaginative work, Goldman’s essays are complex, wide-ranging, generous, and deeply knowledgeable. All this—in a writing style that goes-on-communicating with the reader and touches the heart."-Michal Rieck, Training and supervising analyst, The Israel Psychoanalytic Society, Co-Founder and Co-Director Israel Winnicott Center, Tel Aviv, Israel.

"When we look at art, it summons something from within us; but we also summon something from within it: that is the beholder’s share, and Goldman’s inspiration. Goldman’s writing does not merely inform, it embroiders; and the pattern comes into being as we read, woven together with our experience of the reading. Goldman is that rare thing: a psychoanalytic writer who also happens to be a fine writer. In the first half of the book, this sensibility is revealed in various unexpected developments with his patients; the second half shows us why Goldman and Winnicott are kindred spirits. Goldman’s book is subtle, expressive, and frequently surprising. If that description appeals to you, read it. You won’t regret it."-Donnel B. Stern, Ph.D., William Alanson White Institute and NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.

"Dodi Goldman’s engaging and deeply useful book is Winnicottian in the best sense of that word: original, creative, enveloping the reader in the serious play of clinical psychoanalysis. Freedom and safety are always in sight, whether Goldman is chasing an idea or listening to a patient. At whatever level you join the conversation, prepare to be interestingly transformed."-Adrienne Harris, Faculty and supervisor, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; Co-editor, Relational Perspectives Book Series and author of Gender as Soft Assembly (Routledge, 2009).

Table of Contents



Chapter 1: A Beholder’s Share

Chapter 2: An Exquisite Corpse

Chapter 3: Faking It

Chapter 4: As Generations Speak

Chapter 5: Parting Ways


Chapter 6: Winnicott’s Search for Self and Cure

Chapter 7: The Outrageous Prince: Winnicott’s ‘Uncure’ of Masud Khan

Chapter 8: ‘A Queer Kind of Truth’: Winnicott and the Uses of Dissociation

Chapter 9: Weaving with the World: Winnicott’s Re-Imagining of Reality

About the Author

Dodi Goldman is a Training and Supervising Analyst and Faculty of the William Alanson White Institute and has a private practice in New York. He is a former book review editor of the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis and author of In Search of the Real: The Origins and Originality of D.W. Winnicott.

About the Series

Psychoanalysis in a New Key Book Series

When music is played in a new key, the melody does not change, but the notes that make up the composition do: change in the context of continuity, continuity that perseveres through change. Psychoanalysis in a New Key publishes books that share the aims psychoanalysts have always had, but that approach them differently. The books in the series are not expected to advance any particular theoretical agenda, although to this date most have been written by analysts from the Interpersonal and Relational orientations.

The most important contribution of a psychoanalytic book is the communication of something that nudges the reader’s grasp of clinical theory and practice in an unexpected direction. Psychoanalysis in a New Key creates a deliberate focus on innovative and unsettling clinical thinking. Because that kind of thinking is encouraged by exploration of the sometimes surprising contributions to psychoanalysis of ideas and findings from other fields, Psychoanalysis in a New Key particularly encourages interdisciplinary studies. Books in the series have married psychoanalysis with dissociation, trauma theory, sociology, and criminology. The series is open to the consideration of studies examining the relationship between psychoanalysis and any other field – for instance, biology, literary and art criticism, philosophy, systems theory, anthropology, and political theory.

But innovation also takes place within the boundaries of psychoanalysis, and Psychoanalysis in a New Key therefore also presents work that reformulates thought and practice without leaving the precincts of the field. Books in the series focus, for example, on the significance of personal values in psychoanalytic practice, on the complex interrelationship between the analyst’s clinical work and personal life, on the consequences for the clinical situation when patient and analyst are from different cultures, and on the need for psychoanalysts to accept the degree to which they knowingly satisfy their own wishes during treatment hours, often to the patient’s detriment.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health