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ERIC Number: EJ829310
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0075-417X
The Anatomy of Riddance
Reeves, Christopher
Journal of Child Psychotherapy, v32 n3 p273-294 Dec 2006
This paper considers the meaning, reference and clinical relevance of Winnicott's concept of "riddance". Taking its starting point from the infant's behaviour in letting go the spatula, as described in his paper, "The observation of infants in a set situation", it explores his explanation of riddance activity in the context of Freud's earlier description of his own grandchild's losing and letting go of objects, in "Beyond the pleasure principle". Particular attention is paid to Klein's influence on Winnicott's formulations about riddance activity. It is argued that this had the effect of lessening the distinctiveness of his own initial explanation of the phenomena. Discussion of the paper is set against the background of Winnicott's contemporaneous treatment of Klein's son Eric and the ideological differences prevalent within the British Institute of Psycho-Analysis at the time. The subsequent eclipse of the riddance concept in Winnicott's writings and the possible reasons for this are discussed, as well as its eventual re-emergence in the later guise of the "use of the object". The clinical relevance for psychotherapy as well as the conceptual utility of the concept of riddance is underscored, and illustrated with reference to Winnicott's treatment of the child patient known as The Piggle. (Contains 6 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom