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(p. 299) Playing: A Theoretical Statement 

(p. 299) Playing: A Theoretical Statement
Chapter:
(p. 299) Playing: A Theoretical Statement
Author(s):

Donald W. Winnicott

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190271404.003.0053
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date: 21 October 2019

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.

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