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Playing and Reality
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Playing and Reality

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  772 ratings  ·  25 reviews
D.W. Winnicott's distinctive contribution to our understanding of human development, based on extensive clinical work with babies and young children, is known and valued the world over.
In Playing and Reality he is concerned with the springs of imaginative living and of cultural experience in every sense, with whatever determines an individual's capacity to live creatively
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 30th 1982 by Routledge (first published 1971)
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Geoffrey Rhodes
Sep 03, 2007 Geoffrey Rhodes is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. You really only need to read the first third of this book to get it, but for me, the basic ideas he is putting forward here are really life changing. He is proposing a fundamental addition to the nature of our perception of reality (inside, outside, and playspace between), that I think is particularly fascintating for the artist, the compulsive, and the romantic.
This is another fave of mine. I could never give a good description of what this book is about cause my understanding it is always changing (and lacking at times).
Ian Ryan
This was probably one of the most readable "academic" texts that I've read in quite some time, to the extent that reading it was a much more fluid and frankly quick experience that reading academic books of comparable size. It was an entertaining and interesting theoretical and psychoanalytic read without getting too bogged down in pretentious and needlessly dense and jargonistic language (I'm looking at you, Lacan). Winnicott's ideas are also interesting in themselves, and he discusses them in ...more
Wonderful way of answering Freudian theories of creativity...engaging essays on their own and also great for the lit. classroom...
Marty Babits
This is one of the most important books on the subject of psychotherapy I've read. Winnicott is a poet. He writes in images and often with a lot of jargon that is thick and hard-going. However, when he makes a discovery, and he makes quite a few, it's like he's journeyed to the center of the Earth and come back to reveal what the foundation beneath the foundation of reality is all about. As a therapist who has been practicing over twenty-five years, he is probably my greatest inspiration. His pe ...more
There were parts of this that resonated with me. There were parts that felt a bit false, or strange. But that's alright. Psychology isn't, and shouldn't be, clockwork. It's nebulous; it's imaginative. Winnicott understood that.

Because the ideas were presented in all their malleability, they weren't ever threatening to me. I remain free to form my own ideas, so I can fully appreciate his.

Some favorite quotes:

"The thing about playing is always the precariousness of the interplay of personal psychi
Ruby Ann
A major theme in this book is how we experience the field that exists between outer (objective) reality and our inner (subjective) understanding. Winnicott terms this the "intermediate area of experiencing". Transitional phenomenon, an infant's choosing of an object or action that soothes, is the way an infant explores this area, and becomes increasingly comfortable losing his/her sense of omnipotence. During this stage, Winnicott also stresses the importance of "a good enough mother", that is a ...more
Psychotherapist Dr Judith Edwards has chosen to discuss Playing and Reality by Donald Winnicott on FiveBooks as one of the top five on her subject - Child Psychotherapy, saying that:

"...Winnicott was the people’s psychoanalyst, seeing mother and child as developing together within their relationship. Winnicott’s Playing and Reality, not published till after his death, is a fine and illuminating collection of his major thinking, important not only because of the work with children (just pick any
Roslyn Ross
This book explains what mom's do wrong to cause their kids to end up disordered--I mean--gay and transgendered. It was written in the 70's. So... it was hard for me to take any of it very seriously and I am very confused why the average rating on this book is above 4 stars. And let's say that I entertained the idea that maybe being gay is a disorder caused by bad mothering--even then, this book... is simply not well-written. And for the few interesting theories it proposes, it's 90% subjectivist ...more
I should try to figure out why I am not into the genre of psychology-academic-writing even when they attempt to formulate theoretical statements/observations....Basically the book plays with the idea of playing and argues it creates a third space in which individuals/infants is able to develop cognitive association and dissociation simultaneously. In the social theory side, it tries to work on the arena of "cultural experiences" opened up by Freud, although as a psychiatrist rather than social t ...more
I love this book, especially "The Use of an Object" and "The Location of Cultural Experience." So good.
Jan 08, 2008 Lily rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents. Definitely.
Recommended to Lily by: Prof at Hampshire
One of the best books of ALL TIME. This mean is an endearing genius about humans. Wish i could hug him!
Fascinating juxtapostion of our consciousness and how we develop
Rosa Ramôa
“A criança joga (brinca), para expressar agressão, adquirir experiência, controlar ansiedades, estabelecer contatos sociais como integração da personalidade e por prazer.”
"The patient posed the question: 'When I am walking up on that pink cloud, is that my imagination enriching life or is it this thing that you are calling fantasying which happens when I am doing nothing and which makes me feel that I do not exist?'"
Winnicott's answer involves soggy sucky blankies, squiggle games, spit bubbles, fist-in-mouth union, bunny rabbits, the mother in the mirror, smelly soft toys, and it all leads somehow to hamlet's "to be or not to be" speech, but i am more likely to r
Matthew Leroy
Some thoughtful stuff both about the analytic attitude and how relationships inform who we are and how we grow. Additionally, I enjoyed the chapter on cultural experiences. While I believe Winnicott means cultural experiences in terms of the art, it's interesting to think of culture in terms of race, class, gender etc. as a place of play and a place that involves the in-between space necessary for cultural exploration.
Erik Graff
Jan 03, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
Recommended to Erik by: Robert Neale?
Shelves: psychology
This was assigned reading at Union Theological Seminary, but I don't recall if I read it for Dr. Bell's course in Development Psychology or for a course I took with Robert Neale, a professor who had published in the field of the psychology of play. In any case, it didn't make very much of an impression on me, my interest in children having been something which only came into play much later in life.
Sergio Gomes
In this books, Winnicott present some of his theories about playing and criativiness. Talk about the face of mother as a mirror to babies and the transicional objects.
Listed in the Bibliography on Play from The Art of Play by Adam Blatner.
Although so,e parts were a little confusing to me, I enjoyed it a lot! :)
Scott Morrison
Didn't manage to get vary far into this one. Unfinished!
the most terrible book ive ever read
I won't forget it.
need to read again
Jiří marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2015
Deanna marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2015
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Donald Woods Winnicott was an English pediatrician, psychiatrist, sociologist and psychoanalyst.
More about D.W. Winnicott...
Home is Where We Start From The Piggle: An Account of the Psychoanalytic Treatment of a Little Girl The Child, the Family, and the Outside World The Maturational Processes and the Facilitating Environment Through Pediatrics to Psychoanalysis: Collected Papers

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“It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.” 21 likes
“Dünya vatandaşları aramaktan vazgeçmeyi öğrenmeli, bağlı oldukları toplumsal birimin, toplumun yerel versiyonunun, milliyetçiliğin ya da dini bir mezhebin sınırlarının dışına taşan çok az insan olduğunu kabul etmeliyiz. Aslında psikiyatrik anlamda sağlıklı insanların sağlıklarını ve kişisel tatminlerini toplumun sınırlı bir alanına (örneğin mahalledeki bilardo kulübüne) bağlı olmalarına borçlu olduklarını kabul etmemiz gerekir. Neden olmasın ki? Gittiğimiz her yerde bir Gilbert Murray bulacağımızı sanıyorsak mutsuz oluruz.” 0 likes
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