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Synopsis

While the psychodynamic understanding of play and play's therapeutic potential was long restricted to the realm of children, Winnicott's work demonstrated the profound significance of the capacity to play for healthy mental functioning during adult life. Scattered writings of Erikson, Glenn, and Shopper notwithstanding, the early spark of understanding remained largely ill developed. In Play and Playfulness, the reader is offered an exciting and highly informative set of essays about the psychic area that lies between reality and unreality and between veracity and imagination. It is the area of paradox and creativity. It sustains the self, allows for ego-replenishing regressions, and adds to the joy of the vital and lived experience. This book provides an easy and readable passage to the valley of the transitional experience in which creative synthesis of reality and unreality leads to a world of vigor, enthusiasm, and liveliness. The cultural variations and the clinical implications of such an experience are thoroughly elucidated. The result is a volume replete with technical virtuosity, clinical relevance, and the basic and nearly self evident humane music of the day-to-day experience of life.

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