By the Bi-Blog Blog

Running alongside the Bi-Blog, responding to and challenging it with comments, diversions, digressions, amplifications, a second blog, the 'By the Bi-Blog Blog'.

Want to comment on the Bi-Blog/Tri-Blog but feel diffident? Want to add information, or run off inspired in a different direction? The By the Bi-Blog Blog runs alongside the Bi-Blog/Tri-Blog with whatever comments, diversions, digressions, amplifications, interventions, or whatever you wish provide, by sending a contribution to Craig via email or using the Comment facility at the bottom of each page. 


From Diana Menzies and Jan Birtle:2013-007stuartthumb

Amanda Weir is next to Stuart in the 1st photo. She was a nurse at the Henderson for many years before going to Webb House in Crewe.


2013-007bandthumbFrom David Kennard:

The one actually blowing the sax is Gerry McNeilly, another TC pioneer from the Ingrebourne Centre, along with Jef Roberts and Anthea Keller, who was also one of the staff members of the early residential weekends.


Jan Lees adds:

It was on an American boat on the Thames - may have been called the Independence!


Also, Stuart used to be a ship's doctor on cruises and his family would go on holiday with him.  He used to write up his experiences for a women's magazine - I can't remember which - as John Stuart - I remember reading one about the problems presented by elders on ship!



Chris Evans

25 January 2013


Click on image for original blogI can identify one person: the woman in the background on the left in the 2nd picture. That's definitely Francesca Hume who would have been a social therapist (I think that was the HH term). I know, because either before or after that Francesca worked with Bridget Dolan and myself both in eating disorders and then went on to Clinical Psychology training and to the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust where she overlapped with my better half (Jo-anne Carlyle, has consulted to a small TC but never particularly worked in the TC world directly). Francesca is now the lead consultant for group work in the Tavistock Adult Department, and I think she is also a fully qualified psychoanalyst in private practice. I wonder what the list of eventual locations of the many people who had those jobs would look like. I can think of at least one more who is a Clinical Psychologist now (Claire Blount), and another who got to the same qualifications from a research assistant post there.


My links to the Henderson came mainly after Stuart's departure and were mostly tangential: I did the number crunching on most of the papers Bridget Dolan published in her period as researcher at the Henderson, and for some of the ones Fiona did after Bridget left.


Sadly, my links with Stuart were even more limited, though they had a great impact. The first was when he gave a lecture on the MRCPsych Part I course in about 1985 or 1986 at latest. The course was then in Belmont Hospital just up the road from the Henderson. I think the Belmont burnt down not long after that in faintly arson-suspicious circumstances it was rumoured. He referenced or gave us a bit of Jan and Nick's book and talked about charisma and routinisation and that, and his tolerance when I challenged him about what the staff would do if the members relentlessly voted in destructive things impressed me. When I pursued it his voice took on increasingly steely tones and he said something like "Well, if it ever came to that, we'd call in the police of course." And I respected the handling, and the clarity that for all the flattened hierarchy, it sat within other hierarchies. That and the chapter from Jan's and Nick's book were the seed of my interest in TCs, and were among those career changing moments you remember and can identify.


The only other real overlap was even more minor. I was working part time in the Psychotherapy Department based in St. George's Hospital in Tooting and picked up a referral, I think probably from a GP, though I'm not sure about that now. The person being referred for an assessment was a man in his late 20s or early 30s who had been rejected from the HH at some point, and my recollection is that the rejection letter to the referrer was on file and from Stuart. (The HH rejection must have been some years earlier, as this episode was probably about 1995/6 I think.) If I'm right that it was Stuart who had written the rejection letter I saw, it was another time he impressed me, as it ended with the wise comment that sometimes the wider community was a better container of some people's destructive side than a TC could be, as the person was too likely to respond to the permissiveness in the TC with a crescendo of testing.


After about 45 minutes of conversation with the man in question, that seemed very apt for the man as I, repeatedly and temperately, explained that how he was handling the assessment left me in no doubt that therapy in the department wasn't going to help him and that he was clearly troubled but also demonstrating his ambivalence about change. He then lodged a formal complaint against me, my first and at the time a rather frightening thing to have happened. The complaint was thoroughly and thoughtfully explored by a small team led by a Professor of Biochemistry as I remember it (those were the days), and a very polite letter was sent to him rejecting the complaint. I think that was a good outcome of a trail that had led from the HH assessment for the man.


Two Stuart points in my own life for what they're worth. I'm sorry we didn't overlap more.  


- Chris

In his Bi-Blog entry for January 15th, Bob Hinshelwood wrote: "Right now we have the emerging diverging of the new TCTC from the equally new INDTC" to which David Kennard responded on January 18th "And now TCTC and INDTC. I really haven't heard of the latter."




INDTC is the International Network of Democratic Therapeutic Communities, initiated by John Gale of Community Housing and Therapy in discussion with others, in order to create a psychoanalytically grounded, international community of communication, training, support, development and lobbying for therapeutic communities and those involved in and with them.


A first meeting of the INDTC Advisory Panel took place in June 2012, and something like a launch was held on Sunday, November 11th in the form of a Symposium chaired by John Gale as part of the 11th World Congress of the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation in Milan. (It would be interesting to know whether this key moment in the developing history of therapeutic community was recorded!).

 The abstract for the session reads:


The International Network of Democratic Therapeutic Communities, London, UNITED KINGDOM

To promote an international dialogue about psychoanalysis, rehabilitation and cross cultural issues; therapeutic communities for people with psychiatric disorders, for children, offenders etc; psychoanalytic thinking and its application to individuals and groups; ideas, develop theory, good practice guidelines and cooperate on new projects, and awareness of psychoanalytic approaches and psychosocial interventions amongst professionals worldwide. To train students and those working in the fields of psychology, psychiatry and social work. To provide student and staff exchanges between different countries and cultures. To lobby decision makers on policy, challenging the dominant discourse and the stigmatisation of the users of mental health services.

Design & Methodology.
Designing an interactive website which will provide opportunities for social networking amongst professionals. Arranging a calendar of events; identifying therapeutic communities that adhere to a broadly psychoanalytic methodology and recruit them to the network.

An Advisory Panel has been set up with members from Athens, Budapest, Rome, Milan, Palermo and London. A group of Associates has also been established including senior academics from the University of Palermo, The Centre for Mental Health at the University of Nottingham and the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex. Links are already being made with clinicians and institutes in South America, USA and Pakistan. Officers, an Administrator and Secretary have been appointed to manage the Network. Individual members already number over 200.


The Network has already received considerable support from senior clinicians, academics and practitioners


A third Advisory Panel meeting will be held in June 2013 in Budapest, hosted by Hungary's Thalassa Haz Therapeutic Community to coincide with their bi-annual conference, and an initial INDTC conference is being organised in Rome for November 2013.


According to John Gale:

"My view is that there is much to be gained from sharing ideas and experiences across national contexts especially at this time when the TC model and psychoanalytic thinking in general is under attack from more cost effective approaches (CBT, DBT, mindfulness etc) and the dominant discourse (empirical psychology research, evidence based medicine, therapeutic technologies and manualisation)."

 A website is promised later this year.


Three photographs by Jan Lees, taken in 1988 during the party thrown for Stuart Whiteley to celebrate his retirement as Medical Director of the Henderson Hospital. The party took place on an American ship in the Thames.


Who else do we see?


Stuart Whiteley at his leaving-from-the-Henderson-Hospital party on an American vessel in the Thams

Ken Nuttall during Stuart Whiteley's leaving party from the Henderson Hospital on the Thames

Celebration band, at Stuart Whiteley's leaving party



David Kennard and Bob Hinshelwood discuss Stuart Whiteley in the Bi-Blog blog, as, for example, here

"I've decided I can get on well with people and really do like them" - not a bad result for a TC professional!


The above is taken from "Learning from Experience in Therapeutic Community Living" by David Kennard, in the ATC Bulletin Number 25, 1978, referred to in David's Bi-Blog entry of December 20th. Click here (for a not-too-large Adobe pdf version of the article).


In the same issue - in fact, back to back, Bi-Blog fashion:


When I left Manchester Uni and returned to London in 1965 I think my then girlfriend was working for them as a secretary.  I think the editor was called Tom McGrath, who went off to found IT - the International Times, the hippie flagship. Those were the days. Anyway, I'd been president of the University Jazz Society and somehow got Peace News to agree to me writing reviews of jazz concerts, which I did for a couple of years, and sometimes on wider themes like "Rock and roll goes home". The very best thing about it was that Ronnie Scott was a supporter of Peace News so used to let me in to his wonderful club free, where all the jazz greats came to play.


How did you come to be writing for Peace News?


Responding to blog post: 18 December 2012

Who wrote:

"We have caught up with history, rock and roll has gone home, in time to find its old man still alive and kicking."


Find out here: Rock and roll goes home