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(p. 129) Roots of Aggression 

(p. 129) Roots of Aggression
Chapter:
(p. 129) Roots of Aggression
Author(s):

Donald W. Winnicott

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190271398.003.0018
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date: 13 December 2019

In this paper, Winnicott states that the care of babies and children is complicated by destructive episodes that may need management and understanding. Human aggression is seen by Winnicott as innate and as both a normal reaction to frustration and also as evidence of life energy. He also sees a child’s striking out at the external world as inevitable reality testing. He speaks of a child’s dreaming, playing and fantasising as part of the processes of making aggression manageable, and he also highlights constructive urges alongside the destructive side. He points out that love and hate, creating and destroying are part of the same process for a child, and learning how to manage this is part of the child coming to maturity and harnessing these innate aggressive forces to the task of living, loving, playing and (eventually) working.

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