Playing at Work
Clinical Essays in a Contemporary Winnicottian Perspective on Technique
Playing at Work offers a thorough guide to the innovative psychoanalytic practices of Vincenzo Bonaminio, as he draws on the work of Winnicott, Bollas, and Tustin to demonstrate an effective method for working with adults, adolescents, and children in clinical settings.
Using several clinical cases, the book explores central psychoanalytic concepts such as transference and countertransference, identity and self, embodiment, anxiety, and the role of parental influence on psychic development. By providing extended commentary on his case material, Bonaminio illustrates the significance of writing about clinical practice to the development of techniques that address patients' varying needs. Simultaneously, this text offers a method that cultivates each patient's capacity for intuition and the use of metaphor to form their own interpretations, and thereby invests a sense of freedom into the analytic situation.
By its deeply reflective insights, and its emphasis on the contribution made by the analyst as an active participant in the therapeutic situation, Playing at Work forms essential reading for all practicing psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists who wish to improve their clinical practice with patients of any age.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Transference Before Transference 2. Clinical Winnicott: Travelling a Revolutionary Road 3. A Task Which can Never be Accomplished: Dealing with Mother's Mood - Winnicott's Clinical Understanding of Psychic Work Carried out for the [M]other 4. The Analyst Oscillating Between Interpreting and Not Interpreting 5. The Person of the Analyst 6. Imaginative Elaboration 7. The Adolescent's Discourse: New Forms of Civilization's Discontents 8. Parental Pre-Fabrication of the Self. An Account of the Analysis of a Thirty-Year Man. 9. "These Anxieties are Not Mine": Adolescence, the Oedipal Configuration and Transgenerational Factors 10. "A Hundred Times I Died, and a Hundred Times I was Born Again" 11. "Noticing, Understanding and Interpreting": 'The Mother's Madness Appearing in the Clinical Material as an Ego-Alien Factor' (1969) 12. The Burden and Encumberance of the Analyst's and the Analysand's Bodies Within the Confines of the Consulting Room
Vincenzo Bonaminio is a training and supervising analyst of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society and works in Rome in a private practice with adults, adolescents, and children. For over 25 years he has been Director of the D.W. Winnicott Institute, and is Director of the Winnicott Centre, Italy.
'This book is an absolute treasure. Drawing on his wealth of experience, keen insight, and clinical wisdom, in this marvellous collection of essays Vincenzo Bonaminio has taught us an important lesson. He has shown us how one can integrate Winnicott's seminal ideas and innovative approach to treatment with the knowledge gained from long immersion in Freudian and Object Relations theory and practice to create new and effective ways of thinking and working. This is an invaluable contribution to our field. Playing at Work should be required reading for all practising therapists.'
Theodore J. Jacobs, Psychiatrist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the New York University School of Medicine, and analyst at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute
'There is a lot of Italian creativity in this new book by Vincenzo Bonaminio: together with his recognized psychoanalytic competence and his special knowledge of Winnicott's thought (but not only...), the author's ability to play unfolds here with all his happy freedom of observation and theoretical-clinical reflection, well known to those who have attended his stimulating live seminars, as well as his writings. Bonaminio is a truly original interpreter of the profound continuity that exists between the childhood, adolescence and adulthood of human beings, and manages to grasp with fresh and precise intuition the possible points of contact with the patient even in very difficult situations. I strongly recommend his book as a special reading experience that is at once thoughtful, lively, and authentically innovative.'
Stefano Bolognini, Former President of the International Psychoanalytic Association
'With a vibrant immediacy that rings ever true, Bonaminio brings the bewildering uncertainty of analytic engagement fully to life. This is a clinical page-turner, not a theoretical pronouncement illustrated by custom tailored vignettes. The work is playful, perhaps because Bonaminio's own spirit is playful, yet it is suffused with profound thoughtfulness. Here, theory grows from experience, not the reverse. And how profoundly valuable is the theory, centrally shaped by Winnicott's thinking but with that of many others coming to life. The result, Bonaminio's unique contribution. To our generations of struggle to understand, Vincenzo Bonaminio adds fresh clarity. This significant work is the playful expression of a deeply serious thinker.'
Warren S. Poland, author of Intimacy and Separateness in Psychoanalysis