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Winnicott, D.W. (1966). Becoming Deprived as a Fact: A Psychotherapeutic Consultation. J. Child Psychother., 1(4):5-12.

(1966). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 1(4):5-12

Becoming Deprived as a Fact: A Psychotherapeutic Consultation

D. W. Winnicott

It is part of my credo that training for psychotherapy must be built on the treatment of adults, and of children of various ages, on a basis of five sessions per week. Only in this way can the student really learn from the patient.

A look at child psychiatry shows us immediately that there is another word to be said about the practice of psychotherapy, since vast numbers of children have needs that must be met by the very few who are trained to do therapy. Also, a big proportion of children who come for help cannot be expected to plunge straight into a full commitment, or their parents are not prepared to give the necessary backing, or a five-sessions-a-week treatment would disrupt the life pattern of the child or the family so much that any benefits would be dissolved in harm.

The justification for the psycho-analytic training is that those who have been taught by the five-a-week therapy case may be able to apply what they have learned. I myself find that there are several ways in which psycho-analysis justifies itself socially, and I wish to give an example of one of these by describing a psychotherapeutic consultation.

I have written elsewhere about this particular way of meeting the challenge of a case and I shall not make a new statement here of what can be done in work of this kind. My main object will be to use the material of one psychotherapeutic consultation in illustration of a theoretical detail that I believe has immense practical significance, namely the fact of deprivation as a feature in the experience of the deprived child.

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