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(p. 171) Letter to Charles Rycroft 

(p. 171) Letter to Charles Rycroft
(p. 171) Letter to Charles Rycroft

Donald W. Winnicott

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Subscriber: null; date: 18 July 2018

Originally published in Kahr, B. (Ed.), The legacy of Winnicott: Essays on infant and child mental health (p. 158). London: Karnac, 2002.
Charles F. Rycroft (1914–98) was a psychoanalyst, essayist, and author. He resigned from the British Psychoanalytical Society in 1968 to devote himself to a literary career and journalism.

7 October 1956

Dear Rycroft, (qua Sci Sec)

If you find empty spaces:

  1. (1) A psycho-somatic evening is long overdue. We need a statement of our position.

  2. (2) ‘The psycho analyst as consultant psychiatrist’ would give another important discussion, which ties up with

  3. (3) Child psychiatry and psychoanalysis.


  1. (4) I would like to throw a word at the society like ‘black’ (as in the Medical Section when I was president) to see what the Society makes of it— & to bring in back-benchers. Or, perhaps, ‘ghost’ would be better.i

I might have other ideas


D. W. Winnicott

Not expecting reply—

Actually I liked the Bionii but it’s difficult to get the proper discussion started I fear. (p. 172)


Editorial Note i Winnicott chaired a free discussion on the subject of ghosts on 21 November 1956. He discusses the theme of black and blackness in ‘Hallucination and Dehallucination’ [CW 5:3:23], and returned to the subject in the mid-1960s in ‘The Price of Disregarding Psychoanalytic Research’ [CW 7:2:4], in the note of an analytic session ‘Theme of “Two”, also Theme of “Black”’ [CW 7:2:13], and in the case material of the ‘Piggle’ [CW 11:2:117].

Editorial Note ii ‘On hallucination’, first presented by Bion to the BPAS at that week’s scientific meeting (International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 39, 341–349; reprinted in Second thoughts).