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Clinical Winnicott: Traveling A Revolutionary Road

The Psychoanalytic Quarterly

Published online on


The author contends that, contrary to the usual perception that Winnicott followed a linear progression “through pediatrics to psychoanalysis,” Winnicott's vision was always a psychoanalytic one, even during his early pediatric work. His place in the development of psychoanalytic theory is highlighted, and the author discusses such key Winnicottian concepts as transitional space, the false self, and the use of the object. Winnicott's unique approach to the form and value of analytic interpretation is particularly emphasized, and his thoughts on the treatment of depression are also addressed, as well as his distinction between regression and withdrawal. Included is a summary of convergences and divergences between Winnicott's thinking and that of Bion.