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D.W. Winnicott

Born in 1896 in England and died in 1971 at the same place. He was a British pediatrician and psychoanalyst, he studied medicine at Cambridge and, since 1923, he practiced pediarics for forty years at Paddington Green Children's Hospital in London. It was also in 1923 when he begins teaching psychoanalysis, opening a private office to exercise it professionally. His main contributions were focused on psychoanalytic analysis of the game and study of the mother-baby relationship and how it determines the further development of the child. According to Winnicott, the human subject is dependent from the moment of birth and its construction is based on the encounter with the others. This dependence begins through the mother's functions1, which will gradually allow the child to integrate, be personified and interact in the world. These functions are divided into three: Holding: Corresponds to the emotional care of the mother/father/substitute to the baby at the stage of absolute dependency. To talk gently, rock him in one’s arms and to convey calmness are features that help build a good foundation for the mental health of the baby. Handling: It occurs when the baby begins to manipulate material objects. This lets him work psychomotricity well as to begin to distinguish the real from the unreal. Object-presenting: It occurs when the mother/father/substitute present objects to the child and he begins to ascribe a degree of attachment. Winnicott calls them transitional objects since they involve a transition to detachment from the mother/father/substitute when the child is alone. A clear example is the stuffed animals to sleep.
Functions that, according to Winnicott, may be taken by the mother, father or a substitute. He gives more importance to the role than the subject who exercises it.