Winnicott Goes Viral: a look at early relationships through early YouTube era viral videos
Viral videos were a phenomena of the early days of YouTube (2007- 2014). One of the first videos to go viral on YouTube was “Charlie bit my finger” watched half a billion times in 2007 when the uses of Youtube were just starting to be realized. Why did that happen? By analyzing Charlie and Harry’s 56 second long interaction, I found that it had all the aspects of a good drama: rhythm, tension, surprise, climax, resolution; but also a well articulated intersubjective lesson learnt. A close observation of viral baby and toddler videos has helped me develop a theory regarding the interaction between different kinds of transitional phenomena.
In this presentation I suggest an elaboration of Winnicott’s term transitional space by defining two kinds of transitional states: “The Flow/Representation”- aspects of rhythm, cadence, pace and pitch- the dramatic part and “The Symbolized”- sequence, content, symbolic language and exchange of information- the intersubjective learning part. Both kinds of transitional states occur in play, art, psychotherapy and other transitional spaces. The interplay between them allows for a successful movement and translation between internal and intersubjective states.
Using a detailed analysis of viral baby and toddler videos, posted by parents and publicly found on Youtube, I will demonstrate the subtle dynamics between the two proposed kinds of transitional phenomena. In the interactive component of this presentation I will show these videos to the audience in a demonstration of transitional space, A treatment of an adult patient will be used to demonstrate the clinical uses of these transitional states. The clinical examples will show how understanding deficits and compensations in transitional capacities, as well as in the communication and translation between those two states, can assist in the therapist’s choice of method and her understanding of the therapeutic relationship.
Here's a recording of a presentation for RECAMFT in 2021: