Donald W. Winnicott and the Holding Feature of Psychoanalytic Frame

Donald W. Winnicott was a well-known British pediatrician and psychoanalyst whose contribution constituted a major development in the psychoanalytic theory and technique. “Holding”  can be considered one of most important concepts of Winnicott related to the psychoanalytic frame. Winnicott first mentioned ‘holding’ as a crucial feature of the mother-baby relationship, but it is also one of the duties that a psychoanalyst should take on in the psychoanalytic setting.

Separation and Differentiation

Separation is different from differentiation. We can separate but not dissociate; our dependency can continue. For example, we can be physically separated but remain emotionally unseparated. I believe that differentiation happens layer by layer. We can become detached and distanced in some ways, which again is a spiritual development, but not in all ways; we can still be dependent and distanced in some ways.