Donald Winnicott (1896-1971) is known primarily as a child psychoanalyst, remembered for his introduction of several concepts into psychoanalytic theory (the ‘Good-Enough Mother’; ‘Transitional Objects’; the ‘True Self’ and ‘False Self’) as well as his development of diagnostic and therapeutic games (most famously the ‘Squiggle Game’) and his ideas about the use of play in psychoanalysis. But the most constant fixture of his professional life was Paddington Green Children’s Hospital, where he worked in paediatrics for almost forty years. It was in this setting – in ‘the ordinary out-patient clinic of a children’s physician’ in a relatively deprived area of London – that Winnicott encountered most of the 60,000 or so patients claimed to have treated over the course of his career. Exploring some of the central themes and distinguishing features of Winnicott’s work (the centrality of the mother-baby dyad, the interplay of inner world and surrounding environment, and the relation between physical and mental symptoms) alongside the day-to-day workings of his paediatric practice reveals the significance of Paddington Green in the development and dissemination of Winnicott’s work.


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