Margaret Lowenfeld: An Appreciation of her Contribution to Child Psychology

Margaret Lowenfeld: An Appreciation of her Contribution to Child Psychology

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    By Phyllis M. Traill and John Hood-Williams
    For the Journal of Child Psychotherapy – Vol. 3. No.3 December 1973

    Dr. Margaret Lowenfeld died on February 2nd, 1973, aged almost 83. She had continued to work until a few months before her death.

    When she started in private paediatric practice in 1928 she was able to develop the interest in the psychological aspects of children’s diseases which had been stimulated by her earlier medical research work on acute rheumatism linked to social conditions and on the study of some aspects of lactation. It was then that she started the Children’s Centre in Clarendon Road, W.11, a voluntary body for children whose parents could not afford private fees.

    The Children’s Centre grew, in 1932, into the Institute of Child Psychology with its own premises. A Child Guidance team operated here, to which were added, as honorary consultants, a paediatrician, a gynaecologist and a parents’ physician. From the outset an approach was established which took into ac-count the whole child and his parents. A reason for including a gynaecologist in the team was that in those days many mothers’ emotional difficulties were sometimes caused by, sometimes enhanced by, minor gynaecological conditions, so draggingly enervating that they could affect the whole family’s well-being and which could easily be rectified; but at that time they were not attended to in the routine way they are nowadays. The parents’ physician would undertake psychotherapy with a few disturbed parents.

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