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(p. 97) Aggression, Guilt and Reparation 

(p. 97) Aggression, Guilt and Reparation
Chapter:
(p. 97) Aggression, Guilt and Reparation
Author(s):

Donald W. Winnicott

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190271381.003.0011
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date: 12 November 2019

In this talk, Winnicott discusses the roots of constructive activity in analytic work and looks at the relationship of construction to destruction in this work. He acknowledges Melanie Klein’s work extended Freud’s own, by looking at the destructiveness in human nature. Destroying an object, followed by the development of a sense of guilt, occurs in childhood and is especially important in adolescence. The sense of guilt comes from the toleration of one’s destructive impulses in primitive loving and its extension later to the capacity to enjoy ideas and the bodily excitements that accompany them. Acceptance of destructiveness represents a developmental achievement which gives space for the experience of concern, the basis for constructive activity. Developmentally, a sense of guilt is the coming together of destructiveness and constructiveness. A clinical sense of guilt as a conscious burden is however different.

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