Donald Winnicott was a pioneer child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst whose specialism was the relationship between infants and their mothers. Much of couple therapy involves three people the couple and the therapist peering into that bucket. After studying the contents, items may be added, removed, modified by the couple, sent back to their original owners, or simply understood and accepted as necessary exchanges that help the marital system run smoothly. Over time, couples work out a method for stopping tensions spiralling out of control. They establish a regulatory code of which neither is aware, but which proves effective all the same. The more potentially explosive the relationship, the more such a code is needed. The very real problem presented to the therapist often turns out to be a smokescreen covering an underlying problem, which the couple feel is too unsafe to tackle.