The Tavistock Clinic saw its first patient, a child, on 27 September in 1920. The first patient was seen by Dr Hamilton Pearson on 27 September 1920 and this is where we take the date of our founding from. The second patient was an adult and was seen by Mary Hemmingway. After the first patient was seen Hugh Crichton-Miller said, “My dream has come true”.
Hugh Crichton-Miller’s aim was to provide civilians with the kind of treatments that he and other doctors had developed while working with shell-shocked soldiers during World War 1.
Initially, the Tavistock Clinic was meant to be a three-year project to demonstrate these methods, which would then be taken up by out-patient departments in mainstream hospitals. However, the Clinic did not close, it grew.
The Tavistock Clinic originally had two departments: Adult and Children’s. At the time having a separate children’s department was quite revolutionary and anticipated the work of Child Guidance Clinics by several years.
Almost from the outset, education and training were part of the work of these two departments, as well as lectures to engage professionals and publicise the work of the Clinic to the public.