Is play only a children’s activity? How is the spontaneous play of adults expressed? What is the difference between “play” and “game”? What function does play have during war?
Play:Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Survival and Human Development explores the importance of play in the life of the individual and in society. Most people associate psychoanalysis with hidden and “negative” instincts, like sexuality and aggressiveness, very seldom with “positive urges” like the importance of love and empathy, and almost never with play. Play, which occupies a special place in our mental life, is not merely a children’s activity. Both in children and adults, the lack of play or the incapacity to play almost always has a traumatic cause – this book also shows the crucial importance of play in relation to the survival in warfare and during traumatic times.
In this book Emilia Perroni argues that whether we regard play as a spontaneous creation or whether we see it as an enjoyable activity with defined rules (a game), that it is impossible to conceive human existence and civilization without it. The papers collected in this book are the results of the research offered on the subject of play by several Israeli therapists from different psychoanalytic schools Freudian, Jungian, Kleinian, Winnicottian and Self-Psychology. Other contributions are from Israeli researchers and academics from various fields such as literature, music, art, theatre and cinema, contemporary psychoanalysis and other disciplines.
Play: Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Survival and Human Development offers new ways to think about, and understand, play as a search for meaning, and as a way of becoming oneself. This book will be of interest to psychoanalysts, researchers, therapists, parents, teachers and students who are interested in the application of psychoanalytic theory to their fields including students of cultural studies, art, music, philosophy.
Emilia Perroni is a clinical psychologist, supervisor at the School of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the University of Tel Aviv and the Bar Ilan University. She has a private practice in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv. She is a member of the Israeli Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, the Israeli Association of Psychotherapy, she is an Associated-Member of the Israeli Institute of Jungian Psychology, and Research Fellow at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem.
Section I. The Origins of Play and the Play Space. Chapter One: Listening. Perroni, Introduction: On Listening. Ofarim, Listening in Parenting and Therapy as a Life-Giving Container and as Preparation for the Capacity to Play. Zakai, Hearing, Listening, Being Attentive and Everything in Between. Chapter Two: Psychoanalysis and Play. Perroni, Introduction: Play from Freud to Winnicott. Lurie, Play as a World of Magic and Drama: Winnicott's Ideas about Play and their Application to Children's Psychotherapy. Kulka, Psyche or Soul in Psychoanalysis: Towards the Conceptualization of Play as a Psychoanalytic Transcendental Selfobject. Chapter Three: Space and Play. Perroni, Introduction: Play as a Movement of the Soul: Some Thoughts on Order and Disorder. Bauman, Rites and Games for Creating Sacred Holy Space. Levy, The Dream's Navel and the Hunt in the Forest: Comments on the Structure of Space. Section II. Play, War and Survival. Chapter Four: Survival, Motherhood and Play. Perroni, Introduction: Some Observations on the Exhibition "There are no Childish Games," at the Holocaust Museum of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Rosner, Playing in the Shadow of the Holocaust: Memories from a Hiding Place - A Personal Testimony. Hopp, Creativity and Play in the Shadow of War: A Discussion of "The Big Notebook" by Agota Kristof. Chapter Five: War and Play. Perroni, Introduction: The Concept of Enemy. Mann, Why War? Between Transformational and Terminal Links in the Field of Therapeutic Play and Beyond. Porat, Meltzer, Images of War and Images of Peace in Sand-Play Therapy. Section III. Play and Fatherhood. Chapter Six: Fathers and Sons. Perroni, Introduction: Fatherhood or Motherhood? Bernstein, Daedalus and Icarus: Thoughts on Relations between Fathers and Adolescent Sons. Munk, Father's Truth-and-Lies Game: On Peter Weir's ‘The Truman Show’. Section IV. Play and the Theatre Arts. Chapter Seven: The Theater and Play. Perroni, Introduction: To Act and to Tell. Bar Giora, Children and Theater. Meiri, The Actor as an Eternal Child: The Role of Acting in the Training of the Actors. Chapter Eight: Play and Masquerading. Perroni, Introduction: The Play of the Soul behind the Mask. Raz, The Mask. Ankory, Carnival: The Return to Chaos. Perroni, Afterword - On a Personal Note.