[Review of the book Home is where we start from, by D. W. Winnicott.]
On page 42 of this collection of essays by psychoanalyst Donald W. Winnicott, he comments: “I come back to the maxim: be before do. Be has to develop before do.” It is a theme which emerges often in this poetic evocation of the primary themes which underpin Winnicott’s clinical work and theoretical ideas. Throughout these papers, which range from an exploration of the concept of the healthy individual, to the place of the monarchy in British society, Winnicott emphasises that the holding facilitative maternal environment is central to the emotional health of the infant. His lucid prose invites the reader to consider that this early environment is essential to the health, not only of the individual and the family, but to society, and that the risk of ignoring the importance of creating a “home” within the psyche, is disastrous for all.