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A Beholder’s Share: Winnicott and the Psychoanalytic Imagination

Presenter: Dodi Goldman, Ph.D.

Case Presenter: Melissa Raines, LCSW

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It is a curious matter that Freud, whose entire body of work can be read as a disquisition on imagination, was reluctant to acknowledge its place in psychic life. For Freud, imagination, like play, is “the opposite of… what is real.”

D.W.Winnicott challenged this view. There must be more to psychic life, he argued, than the bleak pursuit of serial substitutions. Taking as a starting point Winnicott’s assertion that the human predicament involves “an inherent difficulty in regard to contact with external reality,” this talk considers developmental and therapeutic aspects of imaginative life.



Participants will be invited to share their impressions of a series of pictures to consider how imaginative horizons carry both pleasures and perils.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will have a better understanding of Winnicott’s notion of “primary creativity.”
2. Participants will distinguish between fantasy and imagination
3. Participants will learn about the earliest developmental roots of imaginative life.


About Our Speakers


Dodi Goldman, Ph.D., author of “A Beholder’s Share: Essays on Winnicott and the Psychoanalytic Imagination”

Dodi Goldman, Ph.D., is a Training and Supervising Analyst and on the Faculty of the William Alanson White Institute. He authored In Search of the Real: the origins and originality of D.W. Winnicott, edited and wrote an introduction to In One’s Bones: the clinical genius of D.W. Winnicott, and is the former book review editor of the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis. His latest book, A Beholder’s Share: essays on Winnicott and the Psychoanalytic Imagination, won the 2017 Gradiva Award for Best Psychoanalytic Book. Dodi maintains a private practice and study groups in Manhattan and in Great Neck, NY.



Case Presenter:

Melissa Raines, LCSW is a fifth-year candidate in the advanced psychoanalytic program at The New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis. She holds a master’s degree in social work. Her professional experience includes working as an ABA therapist for children on the autism spectrum, working on a university research project involving mother-child communication and sense of self in preschool children, providing outpatient therapy to children and adolescents at two NYC hospitals, and providing outreach and residential counseling to adults struggling with serious and persistent mental illness. She currently maintains a private practice with adolescents and adults in Ridgewood, NJ and Nyack, NY.

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