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Urwin, C. (1991). Child psychotherapy in historical context: An introduction to the work of Margaret Lowenfeld. Free Associations, 2(3):371-394.

(1991). Free Associations, 2(3):371-394

Feature: Margaret Lowenfeld

Child psychotherapy in historical context: An introduction to the work of Margaret Lowenfeld

Cathy Urwin

Judging by publishers' lists, conference topics and some of the articles in this journal, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and allied disciplines have begun to show an increasing interest in their own history. Though there are many reasons for this interest, it has clearly been fuelled by the political and social climate of the 1980s, as one aspect of a growing concern among many psychotherapists and other practitioners to place themselves and their work in a broader social context.

This concern also applies in psychotherapeutic work with children, where it is particularly obvious that the kinds of symptoms or presenting problems for which children are referred vary historically, both in incidence and in what are identified as forms of deviancy or problems of widespread social concern. At the present time one can think of the publicizing of child abuse, the recent concern over alcohol and drug addiction in young people, football hooliganism and the emphasis on violence towards teachers in schools.

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