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Abse., S. (2011). A Letter from the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR), London, UK.. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 1(1):139-142.

(2011). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 1(1):139-142

A Letter from the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR), London, UK.

Contributed By Susanna Abse.

‘Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier’. (Charles F. Kettering)

Dear Colleagues,

We are flattered and pleased to be asked to elucidate to an international audience the most recent developments and pre-occupations of our organisation.

The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships was founded in 1948, amid the growing post-war concerns about the breakdown of relationships and the resulting consequences for families and the wider society. Interestingly, this concern about family breakdown is once again very much in the foreground of societal concerns and government policy, and we know that is also true in both the USA and Australia. Growing evidence about the long-term psychological and social costs of disrupted and poor quality family relationships is at the core of this concern; of course, psychoanalytic practitioners have had empirical evidence of these effects for a very long time.

TCCR was founded to investigate and understand more about family process, with a particular focus on the couple relationship and undertook this task with a great deal of rigour and vigour. Collaborating with psychoanalysts working in The Tavistock Clinic, the organisation set out to develop and systematise ideas and theories about the nature of the adult relationship. Early research focused on the dynamic processes, not only between families, but also between organisations and front-line workers and the clients they served. Action research projects during these early years looked at key social issues, such as the transition to parenthood, the work of social services departments, and the impact of unemployment on families.

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