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Van Dantzig-Van, B. (1969). Nel Tibout—1899–1968. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:132-133.

(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:132-133

Nel Tibout—1899–1968

B. Van Dantzig-Van

Through the death of Nel Tibout (b. 2.6.1899 at Zwolle, d. 10.4.1968 at Zeist, Netherlands), the Dutch Society lost not only one of its senior members but also a woman who was a pioneer in our field and among those few who furthered the spread of analytic methods and ideas among larger groups than the initiated few at the dawn of psychoanalysis.

From the beginning, her training brought her into contact with a multitude of scientific disciplines. She studied medicine in Amsterdam and Groningen, in which two cities she also specialized in psychiatry. While in Groningen, Heymans and Wiersma taught her psychological techniques, and she was trained in child psychiatry during her residence at the Valerius Clinic, where she could put into practice her knowledge of psychological testing. None who knew her were amazed that in 1927 Nel Tibout was chosen for a grant of the Laura Spellman Memorial Fund which enabled her to make a study of the system of child guidance clinics as it had developed in the United States. This work, combined with studies in other European countries, finally resulted in the founding in 1928 of the first Medisch Opvoedkundig Bureau (child guidance clinic), of which she was the first director.

To Nel Tibout multidisciplinary thinking came naturally. For example, it was she who introduced milieu therapy by social workers. Her solid scientific basis and her great inner conviction enabled her to tolerate and, if necessary, to fight against the rejections and misconceptions that work of this kind evoked, both from the medical profession and from the authorities.

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