Donald Winnicott (1896-1971) was trained in paediatrics, a profession that he practised to the end of his life, in particular at the Paddington Green Children’s Hospital. He began analysis with James Strachey in 1923, became a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society in 1935, and twice served as its President. He was also a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and of the British Psychological Society.
The collection of papers that forms The Maturational Processes and the Facilitating Environment brings together Dr Winnicott’s published and unpublished papers on psychoanalysis and child development during the period 1957-1963. It has, as its main theme, the carrying back of the application of Freud’s theories to infancy. Freud showed that psycho-neurosis has its point of origin in the interpersonal relationships of the first maturity, belonging to the toddler age. Dr Winnicott explores the idea that mental hospital disorders relate to failures of development in infancy. Without denying the importance of inheritance, he has developed the theory that schizophrenic illness shows up as the negative of processes that can be traced in detail as the positive processes of maturation in infancy and early childhood.
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