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Psychoanal Q. 2012 Jul;81(3):601-26.

A silent yet radical future revolution: Winnicott's innovative perspective.

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  • 1Italian Psychoanalytic Society (SPI).


The author begins with an examination of two unpublished notes by Melanie Klein, written in 1953 and tracked down by Hinshelwood (2008). In these notes, the role of the study of projective identification as a tool that can permit the analyst to master countertransferential difficulties is highlighted; in 1953, this is the most advanced point of psychoanalytic investigations into unconscious object relations. The author also considers Winnicott's essays "Primitive Emotional Development" (1945) and "Hate in the Countertransference" (1947). In the former, Winnicott begins to inquire into the relationship between subjectivity and objectivity, in relation both to the birth of the mind and to the analyst's psychic functioning. Ultimately, the author demonstrates that the origins of an extraordinary transformation of psychoanalytic theory are contained in Winnicott's essay on countertransference of 1947. In fact, the Winnicottian conception of psychic functioning is founded on the radical and absolutely innovative principle by which the object's unconscious functioning, as well as its transformations caused by the subject's unconscious, must be investigated and transformed in order for the subject to be capable of beginning a psychic transformation.

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