Vygotsky and Winnicott: a Theoretical Underpinning for the Importance of Play in Child-Analysis

This paper is based on the experience of watching a piece of theatre in which children dub the dialogues of adults. In order to account for the observation that this dubbing as a form of repetition produces a gain without actually adding anything, we formulate the hypothesis that repetition in a child’s play can have the value of an interpretation. We combine this with the clinical observation of Winnicott that playing in itself is therapeutic, illustrated by some short clinical vignettes. A first support for our hypothesis lies in the analysis of the Fort-Da game described by Freud. Furthermore we describe two essential aspects of the child’s play: a supportive function for entering language and the creation of Desire while playing. These two aspects are clarified by making use of the theory of the Russian developmental psychologist Lev Semyonovitch Vygotsky.

Reconstruction of the Symbiotic Origin of the Subject

The article deals with the idea that the origin of the becoming of the subject is symbiotic. After a historical introduction, this concept is explored as well from a developmental as from a deferred perspective. The insurmountable problems arising during these considerations lead to the conclusion that there is no adequate proof to accept the hypothesis of the symbiosis.

Care and Repetition: About good, truth and writing

This article deals with the formidable challenge of repetition for therapeutic or educational care. Two forms of repetition are differentiated: one driven by the Oedipal life drive, the other by the death drive. Through a close reading of the classic myth of Oedipus Rex, the encounter of these forms of repetition is demonstrated. This myth also offers three main perspectives from which this work may be grasped: good, truth and writing. Originating in a project for abandoned children in a school for special education (De Sassepoort), the possible benefits of assisting children through writing is supported.

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The language of violence

This article deals with the question of violence within the context of a school. The central idea is that a tension exists between an experience and the language for that experience, an idea which is brought to the fore by both Freud and the Russian psychologist Vygotsky. Violence is considered as the expression of a missed meeting between experience and language. By means of a number of psychoanalytic concepts this idea is developed and illustrated with a clinical fragment.

The “ontranding” of the psyche

This article deals with the necessary dynamic between the psyche or movement and the object. The notion of movement serves as a material conception of the psyche, in the same way as the drive, the life-drive and language are material: they exist on the basis of a mutual defining relationship to a support, to an object. This necessity (or thought) is considered from within psychosis. Using the poet Antonin Artaud as the movement is illustrated which is not defined by their grounding encounter with the object. With a neologism psychosis is named as ontrand, both in the sense of approach as well as in the sense of distancing. On the basis of a fragment of a case it is explained that, in a way that is different, it is up to the analyst or therapist to ontrand psychosis. In support of this ontranden the case is made for a sufficient continuing constellation of objects. This translation is offered as what Winnicott meant by transitional objects and phenomena.