But in that space between Joan Crawford and June Cleaver, where most of us fall, it seemed like a lot could go wrong in the kid-raising department.The good news, at least according to Donald Winnicott, the influential English pediatrician and child psychiatrist, was that you didn’t have to be a perfect mother to raise a well-adjusted kid.
In short, these were parents who had always been “attuned,” as we therapists like to say, and had made sure to guide my patients through any and all trials and tribulations of childhood.
After all, their biggest complaint was that they had nothing to complain about!
At first, I’ll admit, I was skeptical of their reports.
Our main job as psychotherapists, in fact, was to “re-parent” our patients, to provide a “corrective emotional experience” in which they would unconsciously transfer their early feelings of injury onto us, so we could offer a different response, a more attuned and empathic one than they got in childhood.patients were what you might call textbook.
As they shared their histories, I had no trouble making connections between their grievances and their upbringings. Imagine a bright, attractive 20-something woman with strong friendships, a close family, and a deep sense of emptiness.