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Donald Woods Winnicott (1896–1971) began his professional life in London as a paediatrician, later undergoing his own analysis and training as a psychoanalyst. As a paediatrician, Winnicott spent many hours observing and talking to women, their babies, and young children. These hours, and his knowledge of the work of Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, and Anna Freud led to theories of psychical life grounded in childhood experiences, and forged in relationships with others. These two professional foci (paediatrics and psychoanalysis) shaped his particular interest in childhood and the ways in which the mother–child relationship influences infancy, as well as shaping our later relationships with ourselves, our families, others around us, and cultural life. He placed great importance on the place of play in the development and ...

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