Lowenfeld toys – zoo sign and tree scene

Selection of toys, ‘The world pictures for children’ from the collection of psychotherapist Margaret Lowenfeld

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) gave prominence to the unconscious by placing it at the core of his psychoanalytical thinking. The unconscious is constituted by psychic material – feelings, fantasies and memories – that have been removed from consciousness. This material can resurface in dreams, symptoms and free associations exposing concealed inner conflicts.

Forgetfulness, slips of the tongue or mislaying things are also instances that reveal unconscious intentions that interfere with the conscious mind. The breaking, losing of or the repeated mislaying of an object (e.g. a wedding ring) may be revealing of unconscious associations and desires.

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