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Scarlett, J. (1991). Getting Established: Initiatives in Psychotherapy Training since World War Two. Brit. J. Psychother., 7(3):260-267.

(1991). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 7(3):260-267


Getting Established: Initiatives in Psychotherapy Training since World War Two

Jean Scarlett

The decade before the first world war saw the gradual introduction of psychotherapy into this country. Suggestion techniques and the hypnosis pioneered by Charcot at the Salpetriere were imported from France. Jung's association tests were coming into use and the possibilities of dream interpretation and psycho-analysis were being explored. Ernest Jones founded the London Psycho-Analytical Society on 30 October 1913. The Tavistock, both as a clinic and training institution, had its beginnings in 1920 and the Brunswick Square Clinic flourished between 1913 and 1924. The years after the end of the second world war heralded an era of progess in new directions.

The story begins in 1950 when a group of gifted people came together, first in Oxford and then in Kensington, and took the first tentative steps, daring in those days, towards the formation of an association of psychotherapists. This was the core from which were to grow four bodies: the Association of Psychotherapists, now the British Association of Psychotherapists, the London Centre for Psychotherapy, the Association for Group and Individual Psychotherapy (AGIP) and the Guildford Centre and Society for Psychotherapy.

I did not arrive on this scene until the sixties so, for the early history, I am dependent on the accounts of the leading spirits of the enterprise, Paul and Patricia de Berker. They have both been persuaded to write the story in their own way and I have made an attempt to put the two versions together. These versions vary slightly in detail and sometimes in emphasis so I must ask the reader to forgive any little repetitions or inconsistencies which may occur.

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