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(p. 301) Preface to Collected Papers: Through Paediatrics to Psychoanalysis 

(p. 301) Preface to Collected Papers: Through Paediatrics to Psychoanalysis
(p. 301) Preface to Collected Papers: Through Paediatrics to Psychoanalysis

Donald W. Winnicott

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Subscriber: null; date: 23 April 2018

Originally published in Collected papers: Through paediatrics to psychoanalysis (pp. ix–x). London: Tavistock, 1958.

This book collects together various contributions that I have addressed to scientific audiences.

The student will not turn to these pages for instruction in basic psycho-analytic concepts and techniques. A knowledge of these I was able to take for granted since my audience was composed chiefly of analysts. I have been concerned with putting forwards my own point of view and testing out my own ideas as they came to me in the course of my clinical work.

My clinical experience has been varied. I have never cut loose from paediatric practice which was my starting point. It has been valuable to me to keep in touch with social pressure, which I have had to meet as physician at a children’s hospital. Also I have enjoyed the constant challenge of private practice and the therapeutic consultation. These interests have provided me with an opportunity for applying in a general way what I have at the same time been learning through the practice of psycho-analysis proper.

My hope is that this book will show that paediatrics is one of the legitimate ways into psycho-analysis, and indeed a good one.

It has been found convenient to group the papers into three sections.i In the first section are reprinted two chapters from an earlier book (Clinical Notes on Disorders of Childhood [CW 1:3:11:3:20]), now out of print, and in these (p. 302) chapters is represented my attitude as a paediatrician prior to my training in psycho-analysis. I wrote as a paediatrician to paediatricians.

The papers in the second section can be recognized as coming from a paediatrician—one, however, who has become psycho-analytically orientated.

The third section is my personal contribution to current psycho-analytic theory and practice.


D. W. Winnicott, F.R.C.P. (Lond.)

Physician, Paddington Green Children’s Hospital, London W.2

Physician-in-Charge, Child Department, London Clinic of Psycho-Analysis,

London W. 1


I wish to acknowledge my debt to my secretary, Mrs Joyce Coles.

I am grateful to Mr M. Masud R. Khan for compiling the index and for many helpful criticisms and suggestions.


Editorial Note i For the original arrangement of this book, see ‘Winnicott’s back catalogue.’ [CW 12:1:3].