Child Psychotherapy and Margaret Lowenfeld

Child Psychotherapy and Margaret Lowenfeld

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    Child Psychotherapy and Margaret Lowenfeld By Therese Woodcock
    Clinical Seminar at the Institute of Family Psychiatry, Ipswich: 18 July 1994

    This afternoon I wish to explore with you Margaret Lowenfeld’s view of psychotherapy, particularly psychotherapy with children. As always I want to start from personal experience, yours, mine and others.

    1. Pen and paper: Start with the number 4 -We have all heard it said that 2 and 2 makes 4 -Think of as many ways as you can to arrive at that number. (Go round and write on board).

    Now, when it comes to being face to face with a child, it is a somewhat similar situation. That is, you may have some general principles of development and health as you have about mathematical calculations, but you have as yet to discover how this child has come to be in your presence now. Looking at the child in your presence is like looking at the number 4.

    2. When we were doing that mini exercise just now, you will have noticed several things: there were some basic sums which most if not everyone will have thought of, but there were some which some people and not others did think of, and there were a few which possibly no one else had thought of. There will be many more which no one has written down. In fact the computations are infinite.
    Thus there could have been ways this child had arrived at 4 which had not thought of. So that knowing various ways of getting to 4 does not by definition help us to understand this particular child.

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