chapter  3
14 Pages

Winnicott and Lacan: A clinical dialogue


The richness of the clinical encounter is so complex that the organizing beam of any one psychoanalytic theorist never seems to provide full explanatory illumination. Insular explanations of clinical process from a single theoretical perspective often constrict vision just as they provide insight; they amplify some of the leading themes, while they simultaneously ignore and obscure many others. It has been my experience that transformational dialogue among different psychoanalytic paradigms stimulates a dialectical, hermeneutic synergy. This synergy may then provide a theoretical and technical perspective that is greater than the sum of its parts. To amplify this proposition, I shall engage a transformational dialogue between aspects of the work of Donald Winnicott and Jacques Lacan. The resulting dialectic will be then used to illuminate clinical material drawn from a psychoanalytic case in which a threatened impasse was avoided.