1st Edition

Between Winnicott and Lacan A Clinical Engagement

Edited By Lewis A. Kirshner Copyright 2011
    192 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    192 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    D. W. Winnicott and Jacques Lacan, two of the most innovative and important psychoanalytic theorists since Freud, are also seemingly the most incompatible. And yet, in different ways, both men emphasized the psychic process of becoming a subject or of developing a separate self, and both believed in the possibility of a creative reworking or new beginning for the person seeking psychoanalytic help. The possibility of working between their contrasting perspectives on a central issue for psychoanalysis - the nature of the human subject and how it can be approached in analytic work - is explored in this book. Their differences are critically evaluated, with an eye toward constructing a more effective psychoanalytic practice that takes both relational and structural-linguistic aspects of subjectivity into account. The contributors address the Winnicott-Lacan relationship itself and the evolution of their ideas, and provide detailed examples of how they have been utilized in psychoanalytic work with patients.

    Contributors: Jeanne Wolff Bernstein, James Gorney, Andre Green, Mardi Ireland, Lewis Kirshner, Deborah Luepnitz, Mari Ruti, Alain Vanier, Francois Villa .

    Kirshner, Introduction. Luepnitz, Thinking in the Space Between Winnicott and Lacan. Green, The Bifurcation of Contemporary Psychoanalysis: Lacan and Winnicott. Gorney, Winnicott and Lacan: A Clinical Dialogue. Ireland, Vicissitudes of the Real: Working Between Winnicott and Lacan. Kirshner, Applying the Work of Winnicott and Lacan: The Problem of Psychosis. Vanier, The Object Between Mother and Child: From Winnicott to Lacan. Bernstein, The Space of Transition Between Winnicott and Lacan. Ruti, Winnicott with Lacan: Living Creatively in a Postmodern World. Villa, Human Nature: A Paradoxical Object.


    Lewis Kirshner, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Training and Supervising Analyst, Boston Psychoanalytic Institute. He is the author of Having a Life: Self Pathology after Lacan (Analytic Press, 2003), and has led workshops and meetings of the American Psychoanalytic and International Psychoanalytical Associations on "Working between Winnicott and Lacan."

    "Winnicott and Lacan are arguably two of the most important psychoanalysts after Freud. Who would have thought that their methods and techniques could converge in clinical practice? I wondered how it could work. This book shows how it can be done and makes a strong case for the advantages of combining the contributions of these two psychoanalytic innovators. These essays, rich in clinical material, will intrigue all who are interested in the talking cure. This unique book will also be a valuable teaching tool. Between Winnicott and Lacan brings fresh perspective for rethinking psychoanalytic theory and practice." - Patricia Gherovici, Ph.D., author, Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Gender (Routledge, 2010)

    "This volume breaks new ground in opening up a dialogue between the seemingly divergent ideas of psychoanalysts Donald Winnicott and Jacques Lacan. Essentially (but not entirely) a clinical book, the authors bring for discussion familiar concepts - transitional phenomena, the ego and the mirror stage, subjectivity, the true and false self, human nature, lack, among others - offering interpretations of their similarities and differences that challenge us anew in our understanding in the consulting room. Between Winnicott and Lacan stimulates us to question the relationships between different theoretical paradigms without collapsing them into a confusing eclecticism, and helps to refresh our approach to what is useful in the clinic." - Angela Joyce, Ph.D., co-editor, Reading Winnicott

    "For Lacan, abstract theory and the function of the father are pivotal. For Winnicott, clinical practice and the presence of the mother are crucial. This difference is reflected in their most famous inventions: Lacan's objet a denotes an irretrievable lack, Winnicott's transitional object an attempt to instill separation. In the best of both worlds a marriage between these objects and their protagonists can be imagined - and this book is an excellent starting point. Clinicians from both sides discuss how Lacan and Winnicott have inspired them in their clinical practice, while at the same time producing surprising conceptual links. A new middle group is in the making, and thanks to the efforts of Lewis Kirshner, we can participate in its first steps." - Paul Verhaeghe, Ph.D., University of Ghent, Belgium

    "In its sustained theoretical and clinical engagement with Donald Winnicott and Jacques Lacan, Kirshner's collection argues for their value in advancing an understanding of what makes psychoanalysis - and life itself - meaningful." - Lesley Caldwell, Ph.D., editor, the Winnicott Trust

    "This is the first time I have read a book about psychoanalytic practice where Lacanian ideas have come to life in an accessible way...This book cannot be summed up easily- it is full of complex and sometimes contentious ideas and really deserves a wide readership. It creates a potent relationship between two different kinds of psychoanalysis and opens up possibilites of greater understanding of clinical situations and theory for anyone interested in psychic life." - Geraldine Shipton, University of Sheffield, UK