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DE VOOGHT, Lili. Presence and self-being: a transition between the formless, the experienced and thoughtful. Nat. hum. [online]. 2009, vol.11, n.2, pp.9-32. ISSN 1517-2430.

The search for the self is the crucial theme in chapter 4 of Winnicott’s Playing and reality . Starting from a clinical case study that we will call “the woman with the dream of the crashed airplane”, Winnicott risks along with the patient the fragile depths of the discovery of being, of being oneself, of sensing oneself, of experiencing the sense of self. The space shared between patient and therapist permits a new experience. In this transitional space the non-integration of the being can appear and find a chance to develop itself creatively. The other (the therapist) will try to guarantee the overture, the reflection and the possibility to live a new experience. Many phenomenologists have developed variations on these themes: the image of the self and the impossibility of having a self-image by Binswanger (“Delusion”); the impossibility of being oneself and being in spontaneity by Blankenburg (“the loss of natural evidence in schizophrenia simplex”). The Japanese psychiatrist, Kimura Bin shows how the psychotic patient can be tormented by a pathological self reflection which replaces self-being, the sense of self. It’s an alienated reflection that replaces a reflection offered by the other. It is the other who can promote (and who is necessary for) the emergence of the self. With the notion of Aïda (“Between”), Kimura introduces us to Japanese philosophy and culture. We will study the affinity between Aïda and the transitional space. Also will we study the notions of interiority and exteriority (phenomena of field action) by Erwin Straus (Vom Sinn der Sinne) . Finally, we praise the approach of Winnicott who permits the metamorphosis of phenomenology in a vivid framework where reflection helps and gives place to the discovery of the possibility or impossibility of the being (Loparic) of the subject and, … in the happy case.. to share the joy of this possibility.

Keywords : Winnicott; Phenomenology; The search for the self; Formlessness; To sense oneself; Reflection of the sensed by the other.

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