ABSTRACT

In 1967, Winnicott wrote his paper, “Mirror-role of the mother and family in child development”. In doing so, he brought a primary aspect of developmental functioning to the awareness of psychoanalysts. Freudian and Kleinian analysts (who thought solely in terms of interpreting unconscious impulses or fantasies to make them conscious through interpretation) would greatly resist the developmental perspective that Winnicott was introducing into the British Psychoanalytic Society. Analysed by a Kleinian analyst, Joan Riviere, Winnicott would constantly find his ideas and their developmental focus on the environmental other, the mother and, later, the analyst, rejected and misunderstood. In America, Freudian analysts who congregated as medical elite in the conclave of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, were even more rejecting (Rodman, 2004).