chapter  5
14 Pages

The connective function

We could tentatively think of psychic health as of a suffi ciently well connected inner world, and we could also think of Winnicott’s notion of ‘living creatively’ in terms of a capacity to combine, adjoin and integrate personal experiences. 1 We do not of course adhere to a Cartesian myth of the mind as a bounded, united centre of awareness; we cannot lose sight of our ineliminable conscious and unconscious components that we struggle to reconnect with our whole personality. Transactions between people’s offi cial selves and their ‘shadows’ – those aspects of the personality that are sometimes exceedingly diffi cult to include and that we even tend to reject – do not receive much attention from standard culture and thus remain disconnected. By contrast, they are sometimes cleverly treated by imaginative writers.