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An Exploration of Self Representations Using Spatial Concepts
Gravity and the Creation of Self explores how physical structures that children create in play reflect their own inner emotional landscape. Elizabeth Burford focuses on these physical expressions of the internal processesand their application in psychotherapy, with particular reference to the pioneering work of the child psychotherapist Margaret Lowenfield. Lowenfield developed two techniques suitable for working with children: the World technique, where children use sand trays and miscellaneous objects to build their own environments, and the Mosaic technique, in which multi-coloured shapes are used to create patterns that can be analysed.Burford argues that our early strategies for resisting gravity to attain the upright position are transferred to our concept of self-worth, poeer and independence. She uses case examples and illustrations of her work with the Lowenfield techniques to reinforce her proposition that physical and psychological ideas which develop during childhood are intimately related to each other, and that, in order to help children who are distressed, we must gain a fuller understanding of this relationship.