Dr Lowenfeld (1890–1973) was born in England, of Polish-Welsh parentage. When in 1919, in the aftermath of the Russo-Polish war, she went to Poland as a physician, she recognized the inadequacy of words to describe the devastation, trauma, and lack of the bare fundamentals of existence, yet she also found children who, although bereft, had survived with an amazingly creative spirit. This experience and her scientific openness to new data deeply influenced her psychotherapeutic method. This centred on play as embodying the child’s attempts, through both cognition and affect, to comprehend the experience of the body and the outside world, becoming then the means to the understanding and integration of original distress and inchoate idea. Fantasy, representing a child’s non-verbal image of reality, by-passes defences, enabling the child to engage in a self-encounter that can be facilitated by the therapist without impingement. In 1928 Lowenfeld opened her clinic in West London, later the Institute of Child Psychology (ICP), using a holistic approach. The children created their own forms out of an enriched environment, the ‘World Technique’—a sandtray 442with miniature people, animals, etc., being the most notable. Play in Childhood (Lowenfeld, 1953) was very influential, and her insights were later acknowledged by Winnicott (1971). The first training in child psychotherapy, established there in 1935, continued until the closure of the ICP in 1978. As analysands in varying schools, students worked in an eclectic milieu with children, including the severely deprived and disturbed, accepting that ‘not knowing’ formed a proper part of scientific enquiry.