The book of life – psychotherapy. 37. Donald Winnicott (1896 – 1971)

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The book of life – psychotherapy. 37. Donald Winnicott (1896 – 1971)

English paediatrician who became passionate about the field of psychoanalysis
He believed all the sicknesses of humanity were due to the provision of parenting
– He believed the road to a better society began in the nursery
– he provided public education via talks about raising children on the BBC
– wrote the best-selling book, “Home is Where We Start From”

1950s
– believed babies cried to gain attention
– speculated that sending a 7 year old to boarding school might be a good idea to “toughen” the child
– he wanted to help people be “good enough” parents (not “perfect” or “brilliant” parents)

He believed the world had two classes of people:
1. Those who were not let down by their parents when a child
2. & those who were subject to traumatic experiences & who were let down by their environment, & who, must, all their life, carry with them memories of the state they were in at moments of disaster
– it was this second “class” or category of people that Winnicott wanted to help to be “good enough” parents

REMEMBER THAT YOUR CHILD IS VERY VULNERABLE
– a child/infant is psychologically fragile
– it is an undifferentiated / unindividuated mass of competing drives & needs
– those around the infant need to adapt, need to adapt to the child’s needs (& interpret those needs) & not impose demands upon the child for which the child is not ready
– it is when inappropriate demands are made on a child that places them at risk of later mental health issues. Winnicott thought that:
– a depressed mother might prematurely force a child to be cheerful
– a child of very angry, unstable parents may be terrified from expressing its darker emotions
– a child of intrusive parents might be denied the opportunity to develop the capacity to be alone

LET A CHILD BE ANGRY
– anger in the infant is healthy
– he believed let the baby be angry, & by care givers remaining calm & loving in the face if this anger, the child learns that what she/he feels is not necessarily true (helps to soothe & learn emotional self-regulation)
– defiance & hatred can be felt & expressed by the infant without there being a complete breakdown in the child-parent relationship
– he believed “a normal child pulls out all the stops” if he/she has confidence in the parents to withstand all the disruptions

MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD ISN’T TOO COMPLIANT
– he believed The point of childhood… was to Express so-called bad feelings without consequences & without fear of retribution
– too much compliance too early could lead to the emergence of a “False Self”
– only through proper, attentive nurture could the child develop a “True Self”

LET YOUR CHILD BE
– he believed every environmental failure led to a premature child adaptation
– if the parents were too chaotic, the child would often over-think things/situations
– he talked about children who had to “look after a mother’s mood”
– tune in, acknowledge & respect the child

REALISE THE GRAVITY OF THE JOB YOU’VE TAKEN ON
– he reminded parents if the utmost importance of what they were doing – parenting is difficult
– of course there will be errors – things go wrong in childhood
– parenting is love – a putting aside of one’s own needs & emotions or the sake of close attentive listening & connection

Source: http://www.thebookoflife.org/category/curriculum/
Source: http://www.thebookoflife.org/the-great-psychoanalysts-donald-winnicott/

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One thought on “The book of life – psychotherapy. 37. Donald Winnicott (1896 – 1971)

    markomarkot responded:
    January 14, 2015 at 12:05 PM

    Reblogged this on Mark Taylor Psychology and commented:

    Interesting views on anger/emotion regulation

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