Show Summary Details
Page of

(p. 299) Playing: A Theoretical Statement 

(p. 299) Playing: A Theoretical Statement
(p. 299) Playing: A Theoretical Statement

Donald W. Winnicott

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Clinical Psychology Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 July 2022

In this paper, Winnicott makes a theoretical statement about what psychotherapy and psychoanalysis do. For him, the work of therapy is a form of playing, and it occurs in the area of overlap between patient and analyst. If the therapeutic process is successful, the patient who cannot ‘play’ is enabled to do so. Winnicott looks at play in relation to masturbation, at his own concept of transitional phenomena, at play in time and space, and uses illustrative cases to make his points. He summarises that the child in play is investing external realities with his dreaming self and its meaning and feelings.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Clinical Psychology requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.