Attachment, Play, And Authenticity

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Overview

D.W. Winnicott is likely the most influential and evocative child therapist and theoretician who ever lived. His work provides the underpinning for much of the empirical and clinical enterprises regarding the developmental process over the past half-century. Using over 25 of his most thought-provoking—indeed provocative—conceptual and clinical writing as its base, Attachment, Play and Authenticity provides a systematic construction of his theorizing and then integrates it with his clinical work. The book begins with a description of Winnicott's unique ability to link Freudian drive theory with what we now call object relations theory by describing the newborn as a being with "predatory ideas" and the new mother as adaptively "preoccupied" with her baby. It then discusses the infant's innate need to "create" its mother; the dangers of a false compliance to an unreliable mother in order to survive; the dynamic dialectic between the baby's essential isolation and its need for others; and the capacity for hate as intrinsic to the humanization process. The role of play as the medium and hallmark of human potential, the creation of transitional phenomena to weather the aloneness of existence and the antisocial qualities inherent in the human condition are then all brought into play as pillars of his conceptual constructions. These themes are constantly interwoven throughout the book with an analysis of his clinical work, so that Winnicott as preeminent clinician sits alongside Winnicott as generative theorist.

2009 Finalist for the Gradiva Prize for Outstanding Theoretical Book of 2008

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Editorial Reviews

New York Play Therapy Association Newsletter
This book will be invaluable to mental health professionals unfamiliar with Winnicott's work or those of us who need a refresher. It is a comprehensive, wise, and unusually readable summary of Winnicott's key conceptual contributions and his approach to therapy. Steve Tuber is a first rate clinician and scholar....I regard him as well as his book as a true gift to the field of child therapy.
Journal Of The American Academy Of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Although straightforward and accessible, Tuber's explication of Winnicott's remarkable and remarkably phrased key concepts transcends its 'primer' subtitle, as he grapples with obscure and enigmatic ideas and insists on clarification of the sometimes elusive poetry of Winnicott's extraordinary work... This 'primer' offers the wisdom of Tuber's years of immersion in Winnicott's thought, seamlessly combining simplicity and sophistication to produce an engaging book.
— Dr. Karen Gilmore
Journal of The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Although straightforward and accessible, Tuber's explication of Winnicott's remarkable and remarkably phrased key concepts transcends its 'primer' subtitle, as he grapples with obscure and enigmatic ideas and insists on clarification of the sometimes elusive poetry of Winnicott's extraordinary work... This 'primer' offers the wisdom of Tuber's years of immersion in Winnicott's thought, seamlessly combining simplicity and sophistication to produce an engaging book.
— Dr. Karen Gilmore
Spring 2010 Psychoanalytic Psychology
Very well-organized and beautifully rendered book. . . . Complementary to his intimate, almost conversational engagement with Winnicott is Tuber's clear and explicit rendering of what is in essence a course on Winnicott. . . . Attachment, Play and Authernticity: A Winnicott Primer is a solid and true understanding of the work of Donald W. Winnicott.
Peter Fonagy
This is the best integration of Donald Winnicott's oeuvre to date. It takes from Winnicott's work what is most clinically relevant today and builds upon it, making it 'real' but never losing the poetic richness of Winnicott's contributions. This book is a wonderful presentation of Winnicott's work, from which both Winnicott and the author emerge with immense distinction.
Aug. 2008 CHOICE
Those who take the time to play with Tuber and Winnicott will be the better for it. Highly recommended. All readers, all levels.
Arietta Slade
This is a breathtaking book. Winnicott's humanity, generosity, humor, and brilliance leap off the page in Steven Tuber's loving, creative, and magnificent contemplation of his work.
Sebastiano Santostefano
In this clear and creatively written book, the reader is offered an unusual experience. Steve Tuber does more than make available a detailed examination of the theoretical and clinical contributions of D.W. Winnicott. As the metaphor of the title of this excellent book expresses, with each chapter Tuber invites and encourages the reader to step into a playroom and sand box and interact, participate and play with one of Winnicott's core concepts and techniques which Tuber presents to the reader as a dilemma to work through and sort out, before embracing the solution.

During the past 25 years, interest in relational psychology and psychoanalysis has surged including the revival of contributions by early writers. Tuber does an outstanding job reviving the contributions of Winnicott for this movement. The author's presentation of these contributions will be highly valuable and benefit very experienced psychogynamic therapists as well as students of clinical psychology.

Paul Wachtel
This book, based on a tremendously popular course that Professor Tuber teaches in the City College clinical program, presents Winnicott's ideas in a way that I think Winnicott himself would have loved. It is clearly a labor of love, filled with the three Ws: wit, wisdom, and Winnicott.
Lewis Aron
Winnicott was among the most seminal writers in the first century of psychoanalysis, and his subtle, elusive, and complex ideas are of enormous importance to both child and adult therapists. In this important, scholarly, but very accessible text, Steven Tuber has provided a much-needed and yet reader-friendly introduction to Winnicott's theoretical and clinical contributions.
Psychotherapy:Theory, Research, Training, Practice, December 2009 - Robert Grossmark
Steven Tuber's wonderful Attachment, Play and Authenticity: A Winnicott Primer is essential reading for every psychotherapist. Regardless of one's orientation or of the clinical population with which one works, this book is a vibrant introduction and explication of one of the most important writers and thinkers in our field. This book is a treasure trove both for those who may already be familiar with the work of Winnicott and for those who have yet to encounter him . . . This clear and clinically relevant book spells out with great clarity and richness the main ideas and structure of Winnicott's contribution and how to apply them to one's clinical thinking and work.
Psychotherapy:Theory, Research, Training, Practice, December 2009 - Linda S. Penn
Tuber captures what I see as the essence of Winnicott's work, and as Winnicott would have loved, presents it without jargon or pretense in the simple terms that best elucidate Winnicott's view of the human experience . . . Tuber's understanding of Winnicott is deep and rich, his explanations are wonderfully clear, his discussion of the extension of Winnicott's ideas rewarding, and his style humane, personal, and playful.
February 2009 International Journal Of Psychoanalysis
While this book is aimed primarily at first-time readers of Winnicott, especially those who are starting out as therapists, Tuber's attention to papers that are not ordinarily read in clinical training and his efforts to delve deeply into Winnicott's writing offer a useful second look for more seasoned students of psychoanalytic thought as well. Tuber's extensive knowledge of Winnicott's corpus and his lengthy experience in applying Winnicott's ideas in clinical work with children make him a learned guide, while his enthusiasm and obvious love for Winnicott make him a delightful one.
June 2009 Journal Of The American Psychoanalytic Association
It is worthwhile reading for both the beginner and the more experienced clinician as a guide to the thinking and humanity of Winnicott and his many important and lasting contributions to our clinical work and our understanding of rational development.
Summer 2009 Psychologist-Pscyhoanalyst
Steven Tuber's beautifully written Attachment, Play and Authenticity is a tight, smart, and inherently readable volume that serves as a user-friendly guide to the master theoretician and clinician.
Contemporary Psychoanalysis, January 2010 - Monica Grady
. . . A poignant achievement . . . It is clear that all he brings to bear on this material helps him embody and enliven Winnicott's legacy, and has provided a welcome addition to Winnicottian scholarship. 'Creativity,' Winnicott once remarked, 'is...the doing that arises out of being.' We owe Steve Turber a debt of gratitude for offering us a creative piece of doing arising from his own being.
Journal Of The American Academy Of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry - Dr. Karen Gilmore
Although straightforward and accessible, Tuber's explication of Winnicott's remarkable and remarkably phrased key concepts transcends its 'primer' subtitle, as he grapples with obscure and enigmatic ideas and insists on clarification of the sometimes elusive poetry of Winnicott's extraordinary work... This 'primer' offers the wisdom of Tuber's years of immersion in Winnicott's thought, seamlessly combining simplicity and sophistication to produce an engaging book.
February 2010 Human Ecology
The volume is a resource that is likely to be referenced frequently by researchers and individual chapters will provide excellent reading material for courses in ecological anthropology.
February 2010 Journal Of The Amer. Academy Of Child and Adolescent Psych
This delightful book reads like an in-depth seminar on selected works of Donald Winnicott. . . . Tuber's selection creates a coherent picture of Winnicott's theoretical position, organized and informed by the kind of familiarity that a teacher develops over the course of many years of study. . . . Tuber is a friendly and personable guide. . . . This 'primer' offers the wisdom of Tuber's years of immersion in Winnicott's thought, seamlessly combining simplicity and sophistication to produce an engaging book.
Spring 2010 Clinical Social Work Journal
Tuber has chosen to focus on the paradoxes in [Winnicott's] work and plays with them with creativity and enthusiasm.
September 2010 American Journal Of Psychoanalysis
While described as a primer and written in a beguilingly easy style that is both enthusiastic and playful, this book is a highly contemplative and though-provoking work by an author who clearly and intuitively understands Winnicott....in the weeks since reading this book I have noticed welcome changes in how I think and talk about patients and in the rhythm and style of my interventions, and I believe that it is Tuber's insightful perspective that has transformed my appreciation of Winnicott into a deeper form of effective understanding. He ends by stating that he hopes he has done Winnicott justice: it is this reviewer's opinion that he has done that and more. He has written a book that will not only reinforce Winnicott's historical legacy but that also will perpetuate the continuing relevance and vitality of Winnicott's works.
Jeremy Holmes
It is hard to overestimate the sheer excitement and pleasure to be derived from this remarkable book. Based on a 'close reading' of Winnicott's principal texts, it vividly and logically explicates his central themes—true and false self, authenticity, positive hate, play, creativity and transitional phenomena—all in the context of the parent-infant (or therapist-patient) relationship. Homologous with his chosen subject, Tuber is original, profound, amusing, and truthful, transmuting Winnnicott's sometimes paradoxical and poetic concepts from nouns into active verbs. He makes the idiosyncratic world of Winnicott seem lucid, accessible, and irrefutable. A must-read for all therapists and analysts, and destined to become one of the key psychology books of the decade.
September 2010 The American Journal of Psychoanalysis
While described as a primer and written in a beguilingly easy style that is both enthusiastic and playful, this book is a highly contemplative and though-provoking work by an author who clearly and intuitively understands Winnicott....in the weeks since reading this book I have noticed welcome changes in how I think and talk about patients and in the rhythm and style of my interventions, and I believe that it is Tuber's insightful perspective that has transformed my appreciation of Winnicott into a deeper form of effective understanding. He ends by stating that he hopes he has done Winnicott justice: it is this reviewer's opinion that he has done that and more. He has written a book that will not only reinforce Winnicott's historical legacy but that also will perpetuate the continuing relevance and vitality of Winnicott's works.
Choice
Those who take the time to play with Tuber and Winnicott will be the better for it. Highly recommended. All readers, all levels.
Psychologist-Pscyhoanalyst
Steven Tuber's beautifully written Attachment, Play and Authenticity is a tight, smart, and inherently readable volume that serves as a user-friendly guide to the master theoretician and clinician.
Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association
It is worthwhile reading for both the beginner and the more experienced clinician as a guide to the thinking and humanity of Winnicott and his many important and lasting contributions to our clinical work and our understanding of rational development.
International Journal of Psychoanalysis
While this book is aimed primarily at first-time readers of Winnicott, especially those who are starting out as therapists, Tuber's attention to papers that are not ordinarily read in clinical training and his efforts to delve deeply into Winnicott's writing offer a useful second look for more seasoned students of psychoanalytic thought as well. Tuber's extensive knowledge of Winnicott's corpus and his lengthy experience in applying Winnicott's ideas in clinical work with children make him a learned guide, while his enthusiasm and obvious love for Winnicott make him a delightful one.
Psychoanalytic Psychology
We've all given Winnicott a whirl—or two, or three. Far fewer of us have pursued Winnicott down the meandering roads he traveled to unearth and understand the magic of early psychological life and of clinical process. In this very well-organized and beautifully rendered book, Steven Tuber dares to do so and more... His project is not only to tell us what Winnicott says, nor solely to help us understand Winnicott, but also to help us see how and why Winnicott got to what he says. At times it is as if Tuber can articulate things about Winnicott's understandings that Winnicott himself could not... Attachment, Play and Authenticity: A Winnicott Primer is a solid and true understanding of the work of Donald W. Winnicott, and it now stands, as all translations do, in a third space, a transitional space—between me and Winnicott, allowing me to find him and use him in ways I could not have before. I will put this book next to Winnicott on my shelf.
Clinical Social Work Journal
Tuber has chosen to focus on the paradoxes in [Winnicott's] work and plays with them with creativity and enthusiasm.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765705426
  • Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 826,167
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Tuber, Ph.D., ABPP is professor of psychology and past director of the doctoral program in clinical psychology at the City University of New York at City College.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Preface Part 2 Acknowledgements Chapter 3 Overview Chapter 4 Dialectical Meaning-Making in Infancy Chapter 5 A Good Object Must be Found in Order to be Created Chapter 6 The True Self and False Compliance Chapter 7 We are Essentially Isolates, with the Capacity to be Alone Chapter 8 Using Objects and the Capacity to Hate Chapter 9 Integrating Theory with Therapy: The Case of Bob Chapter 10 The Meaning and Power of Play Chapter 11 The Mind, the Body, and the World of Transitional Phenomena Chapter 12 Hate in the Countertransference Chapter 13 The Antisocial Tendency Chapter 14 The Aims of Psychoanalytic Treatment Chapter 15 Winnicott as Therapist More than Theorist Part 16 Bibliography
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2009

    Vivid, poetic, practical, & wise

    As a beginning therapist, I found this book to be one of the most wise and provocative resources I have come across, both as a source of clinical guidance for working with children and adults and as an intellectual work that infuses familiar theory with surprising new resonance.

    The author's close readings and vivid explications of Winnicott's ideas are organized around a number of core paradoxes - for example, the need to be found and the need to remain hidden; the need for relatedness and the need for a private, spontaneous self; the role of both love and hate in becoming 'real.' The book is then devoted to animating and 'playing with' these paradoxes, and to illustrating the startling creativity with which, given the right conditions, each person can negotiate these tensions with playfulness and authenticity.

    In addition to its clinical usefulness for therapists, this book is a joy to read, a lively meditation on what it's like to be a person, and a wonderful example of the ideals of creativity and play that it describes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2008

    Amazing book by first-rate scholar and clinician

    Steven Tuber is Professor of Psychology and Past Director, Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology of the City University of New York at City College. His new book on Winnicott¿s work will be of great interest to play therapists. Of particular interest to play therapists is his Chapter 8, ¿The Meaning and Power of Play.¿ Tuber states on page 119, that Winnicott ¿believes that the ability to play is the benchmark for the entrance into a life of health and vitality.¿ Tuber explains Winnicott¿s notion of the duality of play, ¿It is the milieu in which the baby discovers her True and hence utterly private self and yet the means by which she engages others and develops support¿ (p.122). Another important Winnicott concept of play is ¿Playing thereby allows the child to consistently work on the boundary between illusory omnipotence and helplessness and thus has at its essence the quest for mastery over the inner and outer chaotic (that is, not yet understood) aspects of its experience¿ (p. 123). Tuber cites an essential characteristic of play in general emphasized by Winnicott, but in play therapy this quest for mastery over the inner and outer worlds, creating cohesive play and later verbal narratives out of the bewildering experiences of a young child is a quintessential task. Tuber also explains that play is about repetition play themes are endlessly repeated. This redundancy is most valuable to the play therapist because if we miss something the first or second time around, chances are it will come around again. This, however, poses a challenge to the parent, especially the mother who is typically the primary caretaker because she must attempt to maintain a ¿good enough¿ connection with the child in the face of boring, repetitions of play themes that may after a point become mind-numbing boring. Ending these play sequences often as a result of necessity involves as Tuber explains the ¿good-enough¿ mother learning to help the child make a difficult transition. Among many clinically astute and remarkable insights expressed by Tuber in this outstanding book is his comparison to the role of a child therapist in ending a play session. He states, ¿It makes me think immediately of what it is like to be a child therapist when the patient doesn¿t want to leave at the end of the session. These moments speak to how difficult it is to end the magic of play, to end the magic of relating, and for children who have had parents who have been experienced as unreliable, how frightening and/or depriving it is to end the therapy session. These children expect that the ending of the session will also not be reliably done, such that they won¿t get back to the pleasure of playing and the pleasure of relating¿ (p.124). Tuber goes on to explain that not wanting to end the session is a sign of hope in child therapy because it represents a wish in Winnicott¿s term of continuing the ¿good object¿ and a fear that the ¿good object¿ will not come back. Although the ¿good object¿ is viewed as unreliable there nevertheless is implied both the wish and capacity for relatedness. Tuber beautifully expands on Winnicott¿s concept of a holding environment and its crucial importance in the creation of the True self. But the very process of creating a true and separate self presents the young human with the ever present prospect of aloneness. Tuber eloquently elaborates on this point, ¿The capacity to be alone thus implies the need for relatedness. To the extent that the baby can evoke treasured people in its play, and use the play to engage imaginatively with these people in interactions that explore every type of affect the baby knows, then the baby can tolerate the aloneness and indeed come to thrive despite¿actually because of¿its awareness. We can also say that the capacity to create symbols allows the child to cognitively ¿hold¿ her parent more easily, creating a salve to combat aloneness¿ (p.127). The above examples are samples of the richness of insight a

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2008

    A Must-Read for Mothers!

    Steve Tuber¿s book, ¿Attachment, Play, and Authenticity,¿ is an incredible resource not only for students of psychology, but for any mother or mother-to-be. Tuber transforms Winnicott¿s theories into accessible, everyday language and invokes familiar songs, lyrics, children¿s books, and other bits of popular media to highlight the manifold meanings behind every moment of mother-baby interactions. As recent mothers ourselves, we found Tuber¿s ability to capture and make come alive the subtleties of mother-infant interactions remarkable. He describes the importance of the mother¿s ability to mirror her baby¿s experience through her facial expressions, the particular ways in which the fluctuations of her mood contribute over time to her baby¿s development, and the importance of the mother¿s participation in baby¿s play¿all of which are vital parts of the new mother¿s everyday experience. Furthermore, this book ¿gives voice¿ to the infant, providing mothers with new ways of understanding the inner life of her baby and highlighting just how very psychologically alive their babies are. Winnicott is known for the idea of ¿good-enough mother,¿ and Tuber¿s repeated invocation of not only the inevitably but the importance of a mother¿s imperfect attunement to her baby is likely to resonate with and inspire confidence in mothers. So many new mothers feel overwhelmed with the 'rules and regulations' of new mothering provided by the myriad books and internet sites with ¿to-do¿ and ¿not-to-do¿ lists. It's incredibly reassuring to think that we need only be good enough, not perfect, and that the mother's effort to repair a ¿failure¿ is just as¿if not more¿vital for the infant's emotional development than attempting to provide a perfect attunement at all times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2008

    A Rich and Rewarding Book

    'Attachment, Play, and Authenticity,' is a beautifully written primer by Steve Tuber on the work of Donald Winnicott, detailing the richness and clarity of his writing and ideas. Tuber starts each chapter by grappling with a paradox inherent in an aspect of Winnicott's work, and then wrestles with each paradox by delving deeply into a paper or two by Winnicott that is particularly illustrative of that idea. The chapters focus on key aspects of the text, and each passage beautifully illustrates Winnicott's evocative language and depth of thought. Tuber elegantly unpacks the density of Winnicott's ideas while constructing a narrative for the reader, with each theory building on the last, leading the reader to an integrated understanding of the developing internal world of the child. Tuber uses examples from his own work as a therapist, his experiences as a parent, as well as illustrations from classic children's stories that have become classics precisely because, as Tuber shows, they so perfectly capture the emotional dilemmas of childhood. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to delve into Winnicott's work this book is a must-read for therapists working with clients of all ages, as well as anyone who wants to better understand the emotional lives of children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    Wonderful Resource for Clinicians and Parents

    Steve Tuber's 'Attachment, Play, and Authenticity' is brilliantly written, a true pleasure to read in its clarity, originality, and playful approach. Tuber's book is an especially welcome addition as a primer that makes Winnicott's complex and often-paradoxical ideas accessible to a wide range of readers. Tuber unpacks and explicates Winnicott's theories--including 'good-enough' mothering, the child's capacity to play, and the 'False Self'--through the use of examples from his own experiences as a clinician and as a parent. Tuber also draws on works of popular culture (J.K. Rowling and Bruce Springsteen, among others!) to illustrate the universality of Winnicott's ideas. I highly recommend this book to clinicians, parents, and anyone curious about the inner life of children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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