Author Topic: Re: The Tavistock Institute  (Read 437 times)

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Offline Ursus

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Re: The Tavistock Institute
« on: March 19, 2010, 12:45:53 AM »
If you do a search on fornits, you'll find Tavistock has been mentioned not a little.

Basically, during World War II, both the Brits and the U.S. experimented with using therapeutic community modalities on their soldiers. The Brits had a military psychiatric hospital (Tavistock Institute) in which shell-shocked soldiers browbeat each other into returning to the battlefield (instead of going home on psych leave), and the Americans used TCs in a military prison setting.

After the war, American TC use in prisons was expanded to non-military populations, and thence to reformatories and treatment centers. This is essentially the route through which "Positive Peer Culture" was developed.

Also after the war, the U.S. set up an American counterpart to Tavistock known as National Training Laboratories. They were based in Washington, but the "labs" were located in Bethel, Maine. They used to hold workshops during the summer on the campus of Gould Academy, if I'm not mistaken. In the beginning, there was a lot of intel exchanged back and forth between Tavistock and NTL, including cross-appointments, so to speak, of key personnel, e.g., Harold Bridger (director of the 2nd Northfield expt starting in 1942).

Over the years the respective foci of both Tavistock and NTL have changed somewhat. Tavistock is still more concerned with TC applications to mental health, while NTL has drifted more towards TC applications to education and business. Rough stab at the common denominator: social psychology within the context and the ultimate goals of "group management." Both Tavistock and NTL were/are strongly influenced by the theories of Kurt Lewin and the Gestaltists.
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