Show Summary Details
Page of

(p. 43) Letter to Michael Balint 

(p. 43) Letter to Michael Balint
(p. 43) Letter to Michael Balint

Donald W. Winnicott

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Clinical Psychology Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 05 May 2021

Winnicott writes to Michael Balint about a paper of Balint’s presented to the British Society. Winnicott believes that though they work from different perspectives both of them are interested in early environmental provision, and what happens when there is a failure at that level. Winnicott disputes Balint’s term ‘primary love’ because for him there is no relationship until the infant has established the capacity to make relationships. Winnicott doubts whether an infant is aware when the environment is satisfactory, but thinks he is affected when it fails. Initially, for Winnicott, the infant is only present in an unintegrated way. Winnicott also disagrees with Balint’s use of the word ‘harmonious’ in primary love because he thinks that this term signifies that a highly complex defence (i.e. negative, also) organization is at work in the child who is no longer a new baby or a pre-natal infant.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Clinical Psychology requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.