Winnicott on Anxiety Associated With Insecurity

The featured paper is a very brief one by Winnicott – ‘Anxiety Associated with Insecurity’. Winnicott wrote this paper in response to one by Dr Rycroft – ‘Some observations on a case of Vertigo’ in 1953 in which the author comments on the role of balance in maintaining posture. The latter point is focused on by Winnicott who questions a notion proposed by Rycroft that anxiety in infancy is a matter of semicircular canal physiology. Instead Winnicott suggests that there are several types of anxiety in infancy that are influenced by the relationship with the caregiver. He further suggests three types of anxiety that may result from the relationship – ‘unintegration’, ‘lack of relationship of psyche to soma’ and ‘the centre of gravity of consciousness transfers from the kernel to the shell from the individual to the care’. Winnicott then defines ‘good enough care’ in terms of the three anxieties described above. He then suggests how the different anxieties can be distinguished by additional features such as pain. While this paper is interesting in describing ‘good enough care’, Winnicott has not demonstrated this in the paper with research and it must necessarily remain in the domain of conjecture although being supported by Winnicott’s own clinical experience. Therefore Winnicott’s paper offers a structure for considering anxiety although these conclusions require an evidence base and therefore necessarily form a starting point for discussion where further work must be undertaken to test these hypotheses.

References

Donald Winnicott. Anxiety Associated with Insecurity [1952]. In ‘Through Paediatrics to Psycho-analysis’. London. The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-analysis. 1978.

Responses

If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk

Disclaimer

The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

2 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s