History of the Tavistock
During the war, staff from the Tavistock Clinic played key roles in British Army psychiatry. Working with colleagues in the Royal Army Medical Corps and the British Army, they were responsible for innovations such as War Office Selection Boards (WOSBs) and Civil Resettlement Units (CRUs), and also worked on psychological warfare. The group that formed around the WOSBs and CRUs were fascinated by this work with groups and organisations, and sought to continue research in this field after the war.
The Institute was founded by a group of key figures from the Tavistock Clinic and British Army psychiatry including Elliott Jaques, Henry Dicks, Leonard Browne, Ronald Hargreaves, John Rawlings Rees, Mary Luff and Wilfred Bion, with Tommy Wilson as chairman.
The Tavistock Institute became known as a major proponent in Britain for psychoanalysis and the psychodynamic theories of Sigmund Freud and his followers. Other names associated with the Tavistock include Melanie Klein, Carl Gustav Jung, J. A. Hadfield, Samuel Beckett, Charles Rycroft, Enid Mumford and R. D. Laing.